How Does Driver Turnover Affect Motor Carrier Safety Performance and What Can Managers Do About It?

Motor carrier safety and truck driver turnover are two vital, interacting aspects of the performance of the trucking industry. The research to date on driver turnover has primarily focused on factors affecting turnover itself, with little emphasis on its effects on motor carrier safety. The current investigation synthesizes several theoretical approaches to develop and test theory of the turnover–safety relationship. Two hypotheses were tested: that driver turnover rate has a negative attenuated effect on motor carrier safety performance; and that activity control mitigates the turnover–safety performance relationship. The study collected primary data through surveys with managers of for-hire U.S. motor carriers and secondary data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program and the biennial Motor Carrier Census. The dependent variables were three core measures from the CSA program: Unsafe Driving, Hours-of- Service (HOS) Compliance, and Vehicle Maintenance. The independent variables were Driver Turnover and Activity Control. The results confirmed that the turnover–safety performance relationship in the motor carrier context follows a negative attenuated pattern. Further, it was found that motor carriers can use activity control, a formal management control protocol, to alleviate the negative effect of driver turnover on motor carrier safety in the realm of Unsafe Driving (but not in the domains of HOS Compliance or Vehicle Maintenance).


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  • Accession Number: 01689544
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 30 2018 9:49AM