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Trucking Safety ­ “D” is for Don't Hire This Driver

Trucking companies that use behavioral assessments to screen driver applicants have cut their accident rates and costs substantially, sometimes by half or more. Research and experience prove this to be true. A study conducted by Behavioral-Values Research Associates in 1993 showed that behavioral style is a better determiner of safe driving practices than how much safety training a driver has had. A behavioral assessment measures normal behavior in four areas: D (Dominant), I (Influencing), S (Steadiness), and C (Cautious, Compliant to Standards). The D factor determines how drivers tend to handle problems and challenges, the I factor looks at their interactions and influence with others, the S at how they respond to the pace of the environment, and the C at how they respond to rules and regulations set by others. A DISC behavioral assessment shows how the applicant ranks in each of the four factors from 0% to 100%.

Fifty percent is the midline; above this the person is said to be high in the factor, below 50% - low. The higher or lower the ranking, the more intense the behavior will be. In this article, we'll look at the highs and lows of the D factor. Research shows the safest drivers are low in the D factor. Here's the reason why.

Drivers who score highest in the Dominant factor have a Core D style. They are bold, daring, results oriented, argumentative, and quick to challenge. They tend to be impatient. A slow-moving vehicle may cause them to take risks that can cause an accident. This actually happened to one of my cousins. She was driving on an Interstate highway, passing a car in the left lane. A big truck came up behind her, so close it unnerved her. She sped up to pass the car and said the trucker got off on the road shoulder to pass her before she was able to safely pull in front of the car she was passing. A Low D driver wouldn't do this. A person low in the D factor tends to be cautious, agreeable, cooperative, humble, and mild mannered.

The Core D driver's motto is “My way or the highway,” or even “My way on the highway.” This driver's attitude is “Get outta my way, I'm king of the road.” The low D driver believes “We can all share the highway and get there safely.” In a nutshell, the lower the D factor, the safer the driver. People with Core D behavioral styles make excellent CEO s, entrepreneurs, and drill sergeants. They don't belong behind the wheel of your trucks.


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