Annual or Quarterly MVR Checks: What's Enough?

  • January 23rd, 2017

Motor vehicle record (MVR) checks are the basis of any fleet safety program. MVRs not only provide companies with peace of mind, but they also provide key insights into an employee's driving history, accidents, convictions, moving violations, suspensions, etc. A driver with multiple violations is more likely to be involved in future accidents. This unquestionable correlation supports the importance of checking MVRs constantly. The question is: how closely should they be checked?

While the average company checks MVRs annually, more proactive companies check MVRs once per year for low-risk drivers, and twice yearly for high-risk drivers. The problem with this basic approach is that a driver's behaviors and unnoticed violations could expose a company to accident liability due to negligence.

The American Transportation Research Institute performed a study identifying the specific driving behaviors that are most predictive of future truck crash involvement. The chart below shows the results of the study:

Specific driving behavior Increase in Crash Likelihood
A Failure to Use / Improper Signal conviction 96%
A Past Crash 88%
An Improper Passing violation 88%
An Improper Turn conviction 84%
An Improper or Erratic Lane Change conviction 80%
An Improper Lane / Location conviction 68%
A Failure to Obey Traffic Sign conviction 68%
A Speeding More Than 15 Miles over Speed Limit conviction 67%
Any conviction 65%
A Reckless / Careless / Inattentive / Negligent Driving conviction 64%

The reality is that checking MVRs once, twice, or even quarterly leaves a significant gap of information that can jeopardize a company's image and bottom line. Just recently, an R&E Logistics driver was traveling 80-mph in a 55-mph zone resulting in the tipping over and tossing of its load of lumber and unfortunately killing two other drivers. The driver, Randall Weddle, was found to have high levels of alcohol in his blood and multiple federal hours-of-service violations. The police also found that Weddle had a recently suspended license in Louisiana, and a revoked license in Virginia. A MVR report pulled by R&E logistics just a few months prior may have shown Weddle's record as clean, giving the company a false sense of safety for the remainder of the year. This example shows that anything less than continually monitoring MVRs leaves a significant risk for motor carriers.

So what's the solution? With some states charging as high as $27.00 per MVR, it isn't financially feasible to order MVRs every month just to stay up-to-date on employees' driving behaviors. The time and effort it takes to collect, sort, and analyze all those MVRs is also burdensome. So how is it possible to obtain real time information about changes to a driver's MVR in the most time effective way possible? MVR Monitoring is a system that monitors employee's MVRs continuously and notifies managers when new violations and suspensions appear in a driver's record. The system links directly with DMVs to monitor changes in driver licenses and finds adverse actions that may expose your organization to liability and accident risk. MVR Monitoring is a simple and cost-effective tool ensuring a rock solid safety program.

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Embark Safety's Driver License Monitoring System ensures that drivers have valid licenses all the time. System notifies managers when drivers receive new violations, suspensions, DUIs, revocations, license and medical certificate expirations.

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