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Trucking Safety: I Is for the Interactive Driver

Safety research shows drivers' behavioral styles and attitudes are a better predictor of safe driving practices than their level of safety training. A 1993 study conducted by Behavioral-Values Research Associates showed significant behavior and attitude differences between injured and non-injured workers.

Trucking companies that obtain this information to pre-screen driver applicants have significantly reduced their accident rates, costs, workers' comp claims, and have increased driver retention.

A behavioral assessment measures a driver's 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%. Above 50% is considered high, below 50% is 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 Core I driver.

The BVRA study showed significant differences in the D, S, and C styles of the injured versus non-injured safety workers. But there wasn't a marked difference in the I factor between the two groups. However, I recommend trucking companies hire drivers who are low in the I style. Here's the reason why.

Drivers who score highest in the Influencing factor tend to be talkative, sociable, friendly, and outgoing. They get distracted easily especially when other people are involved. They'll get bored on long hauls with no one to talk to. They may take extended breaks if they get into a lively conversation with someone.

Drivers with a low I factor are the opposite. They're introverted and shy away from others. They'll be content on a long driver where they don't have to interact with people. They're able to pay more focused attention to their driving.

However, one of our trucking company clients wants its drivers to be somewhat, but not extremely, high in the I factor because they're required to interact frequently with their customers. The company want drivers who are friendly and can relate well with others.

If you feel being lively and likable is important for your drivers, then hire applicants with an I ranking above the mid line. Otherwise, select those low in the I behavioral style.

Watch for upcoming articles in which we'll discuss the drivers you most want to hire: those high in the S and C factors. If you missed it, look for our previous article on the Core D driver. Contact us if you can't find it and we'll send it to you.

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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