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Fleet Driver Safety: Values Are Important

You probably wouldn't think a person's values would be a significant factor in whether he or she would be a safe driver. But research shows they are.

Behavioral Values Research Associates conducted a safety study in 1993 on railway maintenance workers, people whose job certainly requires safety practices and attention to detail. Surprisingly, the study showed no significant differences between the injured and non-injured workers based on their level of safety training. There were significant differences, however, in their behavioral styles and values.

Workers who ranked high in the Social (Humanitarian) value had better safety records than those low in this value. The high Social driver has a passion for serving others and being sensitive to their needs. So, they tend to look out for others and be hesitant to do anything that would endanger people.

High Social drivers sometimes will even neglect themselves and their own needs to help others. They go the extra mile (pun intended) to help, protect, and serve. They do this naturally because they believe as Einstein did that, “Only a life in the service of others is worth living.”

The company that provided the behavioral and values assessments for the BVRA study is Target Training International in Scottsdale, Arizona. As a TTI Certified Professional Behavioral and Values Analyst, I had a theory about values' relationship to safety which isn't mentioned in the research. So, I called the president of TTI, Bill Bonnstetter, who many believe is the leading expert on behavior and values in American and perhaps the world, to get his opinion of my theory.

Bonnstetter agrees with me that where safety is concerned, it's also important that a driver rank low in the Individualistic (Power) value. Those who rank high in the Individualistic value are passionate about having power and control over situations and other people. They are the kind of driver who would take unnecessary risks on the highway. They see themselves as King or Queen of the Road and literally have a “my way or the highway” attitude. They want their way and they will get it.

Transportation companies, our clients included, have cut their accident rates and costs drastically by adhering to the results of the BVRA safety study. They use the behavioral and values assessments to pre-screen driver applicants and hire only those who fit the profiles.

Many articles have been written about the growing number of American businesses and industries that have realized the importance of and are using pre-employment screening assessments to determine applicants' behavioral styles and values to match the right person to the job.

The applications of this knowledge of people has improved companies' hiring practices, team productivity, leadership development, management skills, employee retention and as a result, their bottom line. They save a lot of money by hiring and retaining the best people.

Transportation companies that use assessments to hire and manage fleet drivers have done the same. And most importantly, they have saved lives.

©2006 Annette Estes.  All Rights Reserved.  Permission to reprint granted as long as entire text and tag line are included.

About the Author: Annette Estes is a Certified Professional Behavioral and Values Analyst, Coach, and Trucking Company Consultant. She is an award-winning author and columnist. Subscribe to her free newsletter at

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