High driver turnover correlated with higher OOS, crash volumes and CSA scores

The Vigillo data firm, counting around 2,000 trucking fleets as customers for their compliance data mining and monitoring services, recently completed an analysis of clients’ rates of driver attrition, or turnover, and found a correlation between carriers with high turnover rates and generally more negative numbers in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s compliance measurement/ranking program. Speaking at Conversion Interactive Agency’s Recruiting and Retention conference last week, Steve Bryan, president and founder of Vigillo, laid out the results for the audience of recruiters.

The analysis was meant to ask these questions, he said: Does high driver attrition impact CSA scores? And more to the point: “When you’re battling the turnover problem – does it matter” where the rubber hits the road in true safety?

Granted, CSA as it exists at present has no shortage of problems, all of which led to Congress ordering the FMCSA to pull SMS scores from public view and retain the National Academies to analyze the program for improvements, as Bryan outlined in his presentation. Setting those issues aside for the moment, however, Bryan urged his audience to consider what he sees as “strong correlations” between the broader “safety culture that exists in a motor carrier — I’m going to propose that it can be measured in CSA — and turnover rates.”

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Vigillo’s service allows the company visibility into client carriers’ driver-employees as they enter and exit in the company’s database. He and data scientists at the company measured all client carriers’ turnover rates on the basis of such entries and exits, discarding those who fell in the middle and looking at the difference in compliance performance for equivalently-sized groups in the 25 percent with the highest turnover versus the 25 percent with the lowest turnover. Results showed that in all 9 analyzed metrics, high turnover carriers performed significantly worse than low-turnover carriers.

Here’s how the SMS scores in the seven CSA BASICs worked out, with high-attrition/turnover carriers represented by the orange bar in each pair, the low turnover fleets by the blue:

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