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OCR for page 57
57 tests described in chapter three but did not find it helpful in Five Carrier I assessing driver risk. More effective was direct interaction Innovative Hiring Practices with the driver, both in the bus and in the interview. Credit checks CASE STUDY J: SMALL CHARTER/SCHEDULED BUS Road and range testing using New York State evalu- SERVICE ation form Observe candidates in their own cars for belt use Five Carrier J and other safety signs Innovative Hiring Practices New York State medical history form Three managers evaluate each applicant Math/mental ability test relevant to required job Road and range testing skills Use driver profile questionnaire New York State motor carriers must comply with several Medical questionnaire from health services provider state practices in their hiring in addition to meeting federal requirements if they are interstate carriers. They include a Hiring not complete until after 5 weeks of training health history, structured road test (with point scoring), and a defensive driving observation conducted along with the road test. Appendix B provides the road test and defensive Carrier J operates about 50 motor coaches in the Midwest. driving forms, which might be considered for voluntary use These buses carry 29 to 56 passengers and originate from by non-New York carriers. The Carrier I SM considers these three company terminals. Services include charters, tours, to be worthwhile requirements. shuttles, airport transfers, casino runs, and daily scheduled routes. The company carries more than 750,000 passengers The Carrier I SM considers driver medical conditions annually. The company's SM and interviewee for this sum- and health habits to be strongly related to driver safety. The mary holds the dual title of director of safety and training. point was made that a correlation to unsafe driving may be the result of both short-term and long-term effects of poor In the study survey, the SM selected driver character- health habits. An example of a short-term effect would istics (both enduring traits and temporary states) as the be the soporific effects of eating large meals. Charter bus factors having the greatest influence on crash risk. "Every- groups often eat at buffets or other lavish restaurants. Driv- thing else is constantly changing, but the driver stays the ers with bad eating habits might be especially vulnerable to same." A relatively small number of drivers generate 50% drowsiness or other reduced performance after such meals. or more of a carrier's risk. Applicants for motor coach jobs The SM was concerned, however, that the use of health tend to be older than those seeking truck-driving jobs, so questionnaires in hiring might lead to lawsuits or EEOC their enduring personal traits are even more important. By complaints if items were not validated against driving middle age, individual personality, attitudes, and habits are safety. The company had to defend against a discrimina- generally established. "You can teach anyone to control a tion complaint based on other grounds, and wants to avoid vehicle, but you can't change their style and personality." any future similar disputes. What's important is "who they are, not what their current skills are." Other company selection procedures include a credit check motivated by concerns about trustworthiness, as dis- The SM regards aggressive personalities, risk-taking cussed earlier. The SM added that drivers with credit prob- personalities, and poor vehicle-handling skills as prominent lems may have even bigger personal problems that come to risk indicators. Safe motor coach operators should be "pas- light during inquiry. The SM tries to observe driver can- sive, not assertive" in their driving. They must be patient didates arriving at the facility to see if they are wearing a and accept the dynamic limitations of their vehicles. They safety belt in their personal cars, or to reveal other safety- do not have to be highly educated or especially friendly with significant behaviors. The company uses a math/mental customers as long as they are deliberate in their driving. ability test to ensure that applicants can read maps, fill out logs, and perform other mental tasks required on the job. Carrier J uses multiple driver selection tools, with empha- This is viewed as having only a weak, indirect relation to sis on road and range testing. Three different company man- driving safety. The company tried one of the driver profile agers observe each candidate's driving, and each writes an

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58 informal summary of observations, concerns, and conclu- Driver physical assessment beyond minimum qualifica- sions. "Driving is a habit. People cannot change their hab- tions is provided by a medical service contractor. Carrier its, even when they are being observed." A person can mask J also uses the Daecher Driver Profile described in chap- driving habits for 10 minutes or so, but not longer. Driver ter three. The SM considers the test to be "fairly accurate," selection and employment are not finalized until candi- although the company has performed no statistical valida- dates have completed 5 weeks of training, including ride- tions. Applicants must also take the Wonderlic mental abil- alongs on charter trips. About 10% of candidates wash out ity test to ensure that they can perform mental tasks of the for safety reasons during the training. The Smith System, job such as HOS log completion and other record keeping. which emphasizes proactive and defensive driving, is used If given one additional selection instrument, the SM would in training. Evaluators focus on the degree to which driver choose a driving simulator so that specific driving tasks and candidates understand and embrace the system. crash threat scenarios could be presented to candidates.