It is often said that it is more difficult to maintain top performance than to climb the mountain to achieve that top performance in the first place.
Why is that? My guess is that the people that achieve top performance can easily fall into a state of complacency which can cause their performance to slip back to less than excellent.
HNI recently did a study on our agency’s 50 largest truck claims over the past 3 years. One of the most
This was a very surprising find that we did not expect. To dig into this, we gathered our team to brainstorm how and why this could be happening.
Some of the ideas that were thrown about included distracted driving, traffic congestion, and weather.
However, one idea that was thrown out struck me as something to be investigated. The idea was that some of these experienced drivers could become complacent in their driving habits.
What is complacency? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as:
Think about some characteristics of those experienced drivers having driven many hundreds of thousands of miles over the road. Words probably come to mind such as professional, safe, and responsible.
However, do words such as comfortable, confident, and maybe complacent come to mind? How about “autopilot”?
How can we help good experienced drivers that want to do the right things stay on guard and help them avoid complacency?
Here are a few critical practices to consider:
Weave safety excellence into the company culture.
A CEO driving a culture of daily excellence throughout the organization is necessity. A sense of urgency around safety excellence will help keep everyone on their toes.
Deploy constant training.
Safety never sleeps. We have to be constantly training and reminding our drivers and operations staff on driving techniques, weather, traffic conditions, and the “why” behind safety.
Use technology as a leading indicator.
In-cab cameras can help identify some of those complacent behaviors before they result in a crash.
The complacent “autopilot” mode is a danger to everyone including the driver. Let’s make an effort as an industry to keep on our toes and maintain that level of driving excellence.
Over to you: did our finding about experienced drivers having the worst crashes surprise you? What do you think is fueling this trend? How do you beat complacency in your organization? Let us know in the comments!