How to Create a Successful Driver Engagement Protocol

Creating a driver engagement protocol that inspires and encourages responsible driving is easy with the SpeedGauge Safety Center. Our tools provide you with the data you need to create a driver engagement protocol that gets results!

Identifying drivers who need coaching (or those who deserve a pat on the back for a job well done), communication, and consistency are the key components of a strong protocol. Read our recommended steps below:

1. Evaluate How Your Drivers Compare to Each Other

Before you craft your driver Communication Plan it is important to first understand what range of behaviors occur within your fleet. In other words, how do your drivers compare to each other? Does everyone drive the same way? Is there an 80/20 rule? Or, do behaviors differ widely? The "scatterplot" charts in the SpeedGauge Safety Center can provide that answer!

On a scatterplot, each dot represents a single driver's performance and it shows how frequently they speed and how far they drive. The scatter plot is found in the report Archive for each Vehicle Group.

Watch the following video to learn more about the scatterplot and how to use this helpful tool:



2. Assess the Patterns and Trends of Your Drivers as a Group

Next, you should consider whether there may be systemic issues that may be affecting driver behavior across the fleet.

Geographic Concentration

Use the Incident Search tool to plot multiple incidents on a map and to visualize where speeding is occurring - certain states, towns, or even specific roads. Geographic concentration could be the result of variations in legal enforcement, dispatch or regional management.

Road Type Concentration

Use the Scatterplot, Incident Search and Trend Report to compare Interstate vs non-Interstate speeding Variation in patterns could suggest a difference in management's attitude towards speeding based on road types. 

Speeding Severity Concentration

Use the Trend Report and the Frequency Trend Chart to evaluate how severely drivers speed when they speed. Do drivers cluster at 1-2 MPH above the limit or are there spikes of severity? Severity data can give you insight into behavior norms that may have been established within the fleet.


3. Evaluate the Behavior of Select Individual Drivers

Now that you have a sense of the overall speeding behavior of your fleet, you can begin looking at the performance of your individual drivers. 

Find Your Outliers
● Use the scatterplot (video tutorial) to identify the drivers that speed much more frequently than their peers, particularly the drivers who travel the greatest distance. The drivers who speed the most and drive
the most are the greatest overall risk to your company.

● Use the Trend Report (video tutorial) to rate and rank drivers by speeding frequency and severity. This report has the same data as the scatterplot but the information is presented in a way that allows you to
easily sort your drivers.

Evaluate Your Outliers' Individual Performance
● After you have found your outliers, plot their incidents on a map (click on their dot on the scatterplot, use link on Trend Report, or search using Driver Incident Search) (video tutorial).

● Look at the map and study where they speed.  Ask Yourself, Why Does This Driver Feel The Need To Speed? What Is The Root Cause? For example: dispatch pressures, routing issues, customer complaints, parking concerns, or ELD limitations, equipment issues like faulty ECM settings, bad GPS sensors, driver training, or attitude.


4. Create a Driver Communication Plan for Your Fleet

There is no single right way to introduce the SpeedGauge Safety Center to your drivers. Every company
and driver population is different. With this in mind, here are some key points you should consider:

● Get executive support. Make sure that the fleet leadership knows about the SpeedGauge Safety Center and supports your plan.

● Inform other departments. Make sure that Operations, HR and other departments know about the SpeedGauge Safety Center, not just the Safety department. Dispatchers and driver managers play a
vital role.

● Drivers will learn the most about the SpeedGauge Safety Center from other drivers so get ahead of that and support positive messaging while driver awareness builds; provide clear communication to drivers that explains how the system works (your can find our sample info sheet for drivers here).

● Be prepared to reward the best performing drivers and to share praise.

● Communicate that the Safety Center is a tool to protect the company and drivers, and to turn good drivers into great drivers. Helping a driver avoid speeding helps protect his job. Proving that drivers are not habitual speeders can be vital in litigation and protects the company.

● Set clear expectations of continuous improvement for drivers individually and the company as a whole.

A Few Incentive Examples Used By the Most Successful Safety Center Fleets Are:

  1.  Post a weekly list of top performing drivers in the break room and let other drivers compete to get on that list.
  2. Ask dispatchers to praise drivers with top-tier performance or mention them on company wide messages.
  3. Offer $100 gift cards to drivers with perfect scores and pay for it with the fuel savings from better MPG etc.


5. Create a Driver Engagement Protocol for Your Staff

We recommend that you establish an Engagement Protocol before you start reviewing speeding violation data with drivers. Some recommendations:

● Consider "external" factors first. Has dispatch given them a realistic route? Are there customer or traffic
issues that might make your driver feel the need to "make up time? Has their route changed? Are there equipment issues? Are there personal issues?

● Pick the right time and place. Unless it's urgent, take time to pick the right moment to talk to a driver. Find something to praise, show interest or show empathy before raising driver behavior concerns. Say
something positive after delivering a difficult message. Share the fact that you have considered external
factors first.

● Focus on patterns. Individual speeding events can always be argued so instead discuss a pattern of
behavior. Print out a map with multiple speed incidents or use summary data from a Trend report.

● Do the research. If you want to talk about a specific incident, fully research the event detail beforehand.

● Assess the context. Is this a rookie mistake vs recklessness? Is the driver willing to be coached? Is the
driver open to continuous improvement?

● Follow up. Provide accountability; consider a Letter of Instruction. If a driver raises external issues related to something like dispatch or maintenance then follow up and report back to driver.

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