Idelic 2021 Trucking Trends Report | Driver Professional Development

What’s Inside?

This report summarizes 2021 findings on Professional Development Plans and other driver development trends pulled from Safety Suite®, trucking’s premier Driver Performance Management Platform and the industry leader in third-party service provider data integration.

Are Professional Development Plans Actually Keeping Drivers Safe?

While the industry standard for addressing driver risk today is simply having a one-off conversation with a driver after each incident, more recently it’s been suggested that investing in the additional training, time, and targeted coaching provided by a comprehensive Professional Development Plan (PDP) can yield much better results. So the question is, do PDPs help fleets reduce risk, liability, and even turnover?

The Short Answer, Yes.

Managers that are effectively coaching their drivers through longer, recurring conversations definitely see an improvement in driver performance – meaning assigning PDPs works.


Here’s what we’ve found: The graphs to the right depict speeding alerts across all drivers before & after implementing a Professional Development Plan in Safety Suite. By implementing development plans, fleets see a noticeable decrease in speeding alerts.

Common Attributes Among Development Plans That Work

What do successful development plans look like? Here are some common trends we have found in the safest fleets’ PDP programs:

  • 4 Weeks is the Ideal Length for a Professional Development Plan
  • 12 Touchpoints with a Driver Manager in Addition to Training
  • 3 Leaders involved in Training. (typically including Driver Manager, Operations leader, and Safety Manager)

Most Frequently Assigned Development Plans in 2021

What were the problem areas exhibited by drivers the most in 2021? Fleets found themselves needing a number of development plan templates to be successful, but below are the plans most commonly assigned to drivers:

Most Commonly Assigned Development Plans in 2021

  • Following Distance & Space Management
  • Traffic Control & Signage Incident Prevention
  • Incident Prevention

Quarterly Trucking Mythbuster | Daylight Savings

Myth: Just how much of a role does Daylight Savings Time play each year in terms of accidents? Given the ‘off’ feeling most of us experience, many think there is a significant impact and increase in accidents the week of the time change.

Busted: However, according to our data, the week of the time change shows almost no change in accident rate in comparison to weekly averages. In fact, data shows that week on average is actually slightly lower – proving that changing the clocks hasn’t resulted in a change in safety on the highways.

Results: Fleets Using Driver Performance Management Programs

What is Driver Performance Management?

Driver Performance Management (DPM) is the process of creating and executing on fleet-wide processes, procedures, and workflows to optimize the satisfaction, operational productivity, and safety performance of your drivers. Below are some of the real results fleets have achieved using a Driver Performance Management Platform:

Enterprise For-Hire Carrier | Focused on 4-Week Development Plans

This carrier focused on tracking 4-week-long development plans more effectively with a Driver Performance Management Platform and saw a significant decrease in accidents per driver. The plans focused on five key areas and included multiple touchpoints per week, both coaching (short conversations) and training (videos and ride-alongs) across various levels of the organization:

Improved Safety

Reduced Costs
Reduced Risk

 Mid-Size Private Fleet | Integrated Key Data Points For Improved Visibility

By implementing a Driver Performance Management Platform that integrated their telematics, camera alerts, CSA violations, HR records, accident data, asset management, drug/alcohol tests, background checks, and development plans, this fleet cut its accidents per driver in half while improving operations:

Efficacy of a Driver Performance Management Platform | Average Accidents Before and After Launching Safety Suite

Across all fleets, there is a marked dropoff achieved in the first year after launching Safety Suite:

Accidents Pre-Safety Suite

Thousands of accidents per year, costing hundred of millions of dollars


Getting Started

While implementing a robust Driver Performance Management program can help you achieve similar results to the fleets above, it can be difficult to put all the puzzle pieces together. Fortunately, there are tools you can implement at your fleet to make getting started easy.

Learn more about Safety Suite®, transportation’s first end-to-end Driver Performance Management Platform, here.

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