Incentives Improve Worplace Road Safety

“This is where incentives can come into play. Incentives provide a means for employee
recognition. Positive reinforcement has been the most widely used component of behaviour

The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NSRPP - Australia) have just published an excellent discussion paper which looks at the effectiveness of incentive measures - recognition, tangible rewards and monetary benefits - to motivate behavioural change among staff who drive for work.

Incentives differ from traditional rewards because benefits are conditional on employees’ future safe driving practices, rather than previous practices.

Specifically, the paper looks at:

  • methods of motivating behavioural change through the hierarchy of human needs

  • the elements of an incentives program within a safe driving program

  • the benefits of an incentives program

  • types of incentives programs currently used by organisations

  • the challenges and considerations that incentives can pose

  • and the importance of safety maturity and a safety culture within an organisation

There is substantial experimental and other evidence to suggest that incentive programs improve workplace road safety. 

Workplace road safety is a prime concern when operating a fleet of vehicles, or relying on employees to operate vehicles, within an organisation. When incidents or crashes occur, employees are at risk of injury and the organisation is at risk of substantial costs, which can include a loss of productivity; the potential for liability; damage to the organisation’s reputation; and expensive insurance claims. Keeping employees, and the public, safe on the roads is a key responsibility of any organisation. One effective way to improve workplace road safety, and motivate behavioural change towards safer driving practices, is to incorporate incentives in safe driving initiatives. This is where a driver’s driving practices are monitored, using various technologies, and those drivers with excellent driving records are recognised and/or rewarded.

This NRSPP paper looks at why incentives can work, current incentives schemes used in the real world, and challenges and considerations in using and implementing them.

The three main types of incentives that have been proven to help promote a safety culture are recognition, tangible rewards and monetary benefits.

Recognition is something many people like to receive, so recognition among peers and seniors can be used as an incentive to promote safer driving practices within a fleet.

Tangible rewards allow fleet drivers to publicly display their achievements in safe driving. Tangible rewards can be letters of commendation, plaques, trophies, prizes form catalogues or permitting drivers to upgrade the model of their vehicle or equipment.

Monetary benefits can be in the form of a cheque, reduced personal use charges, or anything else that provides more kept income to the driver. These monetary benefits can be self-funded from the savings made due to safer driving practices.

Source and further reading: The Power of Incentives in Improving Workplace Road Safety NRSPP (Australia)