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The Importance of Screening When Hiring Drivers

Posted on February 3rd, 2017

Truck Driver with Notepad and Laptop

Having the right driver is just as important as having the right truck.  With someone who understands how to drive efficiently and safely, you can be at ease knowing your cargo, your employee, your truck, and other drivers will be safe from harm.

Why is it important?

First of all, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) requires employers to obtain a three-year driving, employment, drug/alcohol history on each driver.  This ensures you are aware of an applicant’s full background history and make a decision based on their full qualifications.

Additionally, pre-screening your employees can significantly improve CMV safety.  In a study where FMCSA examined crash rates and driver-related out-of-service (OOS) rates for the motor carrier population using their Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), they found a 12-20% decrease in crash rates for carriers with less than 100 drivers.  Similarly, the driver OOS rate fell by approximately 17% across all size classes.

How do you screen your applicants?

One method to get the information you need is to obtain a PSP record through FMCSA. A PSP record contains a driver’s most recent 5 years of crash data and the most recent 3 years of roadside inspection data from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database.  This information is updated once a month and the most recent snapshot can be found on the PSP home page.

Another way is to fill out a request form from your state’s DMV.  The information provided here will include an individual’s driving, accident and violation history for a 3-year or 7-year period. The main difference between a PSP record and a state DMV record is the extra roadside inspection data, which could highlight recurring issues with an applicant’s driving behavior.  Depending on your situation, that information may be beneficial for you in your hiring process.

Is it an ongoing process?

Short answer is yes. The DOT requires motor carriers to randomly select a certain percentage of their drivers each year and test them for drug use or alcohol misuse.  Selecting a screening partner with an established random selection program ensures random testing is valid and that it meets the required federal regulations.

Whether you’re just starting out or currently manage a nationwide fleet, Triumph Insurance Group has the expertise to protect your assets through customized insurance plans.  Call us at (800) 411-7542!

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