Road Rewards: The Importance of Fleet Safety Incentives

If my recent road trips are any indication, the sight of more and more trucks traveling on our highways tells us we’re in a post-pandemic booming economy which only increases my awareness of the vital importance of our transportation industry.


Unfortunately, collisions on the road are becoming a more frequent occurrence as the number of distracted, tired, and intoxicated drivers increases. According to the OSHA motor vehicle guide, the monetary expenses associated with a crash involving a commercial vehicle start at an average of $16,500 and exceed over $500,000 if a fatality occurs. In some cases, juries are awarding “nuclear verdicts” that range into the tens-of-millions of dollars!


In addition, fleet vehicle accidents are among the costliest insurance injury claims for business. The average cost of a loss related to a vehicle accident is approximately $70,000. This is twice the cost of the average workplace injury ($36,592), according to Travelers Insurance.


The good news is that fleet managers are increasingly aware that having a properly designed driver safety incentive program in place can dramatically reduce mishaps, while creating a culture built around the idea that better employee engagement leads to safer driving.


By adopting a driver safety rewards program, employees are no longer simply held accountable for their mistakes, they are recognized for their achievements when it comes to outstanding safety practices.


There are various driver safety recognition / rewards programs that a fleet company can adopt. However, the proper safety incentive plan needs to align with the overall goals and core values of the company. The program should be structured and budgeted in a way that makes them compelling in terms of effecting behavior change.


Historically, some safety incentive programs have been built using cash as the primary award. However, cash (and cash substitutes like gas cards and gift cards) have no track record of delivering lasting behavior change because they do not generate any type of emotional response.  Most people that are rewarded with cash cannot remember what they did with the reward only weeks later, in fact some don’t remember receiving it at all, and everyone considers it part of their compensation.


For over 50 years All Star Incentive Marketing’s programs have generated the greatest results by utilizing a points-driven rewards platform that offers tangible brand name merchandise, and experiential / travel awards.  Recipients of such awards (together with recognition) will remember forever how and why they were rewarded.



Beyond the rewards, it is crucial to get the branding and communications structure of the program right.  These can evolve over time, but custom branding and frequent communications using multiple different marketing pieces (letters, catalogs, posters, emails, SMS, award sites) is an important part of keeping the message of safety at the forefront of people’s thoughts.


Finally, don’t expect your driver safety incentive program to be perfect on the first try. Instead, be prepared to consistently evaluate both the successes and opportunities for improvement by reviewing (and cross-referencing) reports on not just safety but other metrics like turnover, morale and engagement.  Keep the program fresh month-in month-out to insure it’s long term success.


Wishing you a safe summer of driving.



For the greatest success in building a safety culture, companies must reinforce safe work practices, build team spirit, promote group interaction, foster positive peer pressure, and engage in constant communication. If you properly motivate employees to be safe, safety improves, and safety-related costs go down.


Brian Galonek


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