Road Collision and Fatality Reduction through Driver Monitoring and Incentives



Presenter: G. Wolfe, Safety, Health and Environmental Management, U.S. Department of State, Severna Park, MD.

Motor vehicle collisions have been and continue to be the leading cause of work-related fatalities. In the U.S. and other developed countries, improvements in roadway and vehicle technology have resulted in modest reductions in fatality rates over the last few years. However, multi-national organizations operating fleets in developing countries do not benefit from these technologies, where fatality rates from road traffic are actually increasing. Risky driving behavior is still the leading causal factor in roadway crashes. While risk perception on the part of the driver should act as a potential behavior modifier, risk perception does not always correlate with actual crash risk, and so many drivers engage in risky driving behaviors regardless of crash risk. For most drivers, this optimism bias is created by the fact that collisions are rare outcomes compared to risky behaviors like excessive speed, DUI, tailgating, distracted driving, and so on. Therefore, other incentives or consequences to modify attitudes about risky driving must be implemented to achieve significant reductions in risky driving behaviors. The State Department began using in-vehicle video monitoring to identify drivers exhibiting risky driving behaviors overseas. While training and coaching risky drivers produced modest reductions in risky driving, a progressive discipline and award program, tied to driver performance, was needed to achieve significant reductions in risky driving and subsequent collisions. Lessons learned were applied at sites without in-vehicle video monitoring. Fatal collisions were reduced by 92% over a five year period.

Presented at AIHce 2015 in Salt Lake, Utah.