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DRIVER SELECTION TESTS AND MEASUREMENT SUMMARY This report synthesizes current information on the driver selection methods of commercial truck and bus companies. Drivers are selected primarily through the use of tests, measure- ments, and other assessments of applicants. This report reviews the academic, commercial, and industry literature on these assessments, and how they are used within carriers' driver selection processes. It also includes a background discussion of driver hiring and the selec- tion process, explanations of major types of selection instruments, and an explanation of test validity in the context of commercial driving. It presents a survey of carrier safety managers and other experts; case studies of carrier selection schemes; a summary of reported effective practices; and research, development, and analysis needs relating to improved commercial driver hiring and selection. The audience for the study includes motor carrier safety manag- ers, other carrier executives and managers, and government and industry officials. Driver assessments are intended to capture and quantify underlying, enduring, and safety-relevant individual differences. Past research has indicated that individual differ- ences in both commercial and noncommercial driver crash risk are significant, with a rela- tively small percentage of drivers disproportionately involved in crashes and incidents. Differences in driver crash risk arise in part from enduring individual differences, some of which are discernible during driver selection. Because safety and driver retention are associated, driver factors relating to retention are also considered. The following areas of driver individual differences are examined: personality, attitudes, psychomotor perfor- mance, medical status and conditions, behavioral history, and mental abilities. Specific selection procedures and tests described are generally designed to target one of these areas, or a more specific dimension within one of these areas. Individual differences and assess- ments relevant to predicting job retention are also addressed, because driver safety and retention are interrelated. In addition to exploring individual dimensions relevant to safe driving, the report reviews fundamental characteristics of valid and fair selection procedures, as well as key legal requirements. It identifies and describes driver selection methods and instruments in relation to their psychological or medical basis and their usefulness in predicting driver safety. The report reviews general driver selection and hiring procedures used by motor carriers, as well as specific procedures addressing personal dimensions underlying differ- ential driver risk. It also articulates potential research and development needs relating to commercial driver selection. Based on literature and product reviews, the report presents information on a represen- tative group of assessment instruments and other products supporting the selection of safe and successful commercial drivers. The product review is intended to be illustrative; it is not exhaustive, nor is it evaluative in the sense of identifying "best" products. Rather, the information obtained from product vendors and other sources has been used to classify products, explain their scientific or theoretical basis in relation to safety, describe how they are constructed and administered, and report available findings on their relevance to safety. Products are not compared in a qualitative manner, and neither TRB nor the report authors endorse any product described in this report.
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2 The project surveys of motor carrier safety managers and other experts on truck and bus safety were convenience samples of individuals active in national industry and research organizations. The primary project survey, a written questionnaire, was of motor carrier safety managers. The survey was designed to determine the individual driver dimensions and characteristics that respondents consider most important for safety. It also asked what specific selection practices and assessment tools they used, and their assessments of the success of their current procedures. Another perspective was provided by a similar survey polling other experts in motor carrier safety. These individuals included professionals in government, industry trade associations, other industry roles (e.g., safety consulting), and research. They are highly knowledgeable and experienced, but are not current practitioners in making driver assessments at the carrier level. Thus, their survey was limited to questions on views and opinions, as opposed to practices. Most survey findings relate to the association of specific driver characteristics with risk, and to specific types of selection instruments and practices. Perhaps the most fundamental survey finding was that respondents believed driver assessment activities, including driver selection and postselection evaluation, to have greater effects on safety outcomes than other, nonassessment management activities. The latter included driver preparation (pre-job train- ing), company communications (e.g., safety meetings), and company rewards and discipline. This survey finding reinforces observational and experimental evidence of enduring and safety-significant driver individual differences. A select group of 10 motor carrier safety managers--those whose questionnaire responses indicated an active focus on driver assessment--were recruited to be interviewed for case studies on carrier driver selection practices. Each case study describes that company's driver selection methods and features five innovative hiring and related human resource manage- ment practices. Based on the literature review, surveys, and case studies, the report summarizes effective practices for carriers to improve driver selection from the safety perspective. They include 15 specific practices consistently reported as effective as well as 9 other practices suggested for consideration by carriers. Perhaps the most basic advice to carriers is to create a posi- tive, professional, and rewarding work environment where driver jobs with the company are valued. This produces the situation where driver recruitment efforts attract a large number of highly qualified applicants, which in turn allows a carrier to be highly selective in its hir- ing. Selectivity and the use of valid, predictive instruments are two necessary ingredients of a strong selection program. Both research to find new knowledge and development efforts for new tools could con- tribute to better commercial driver selection and higher quality drivers on the road. Research could seek to define driver traits with relationships to safety more sharply. Development efforts could focus on tests and other assessments usable by carriers to screen drivers for hire. Much of the work would analyze test validity, or the ability of the test to predict on-the- job driving safety fairly and accurately.