Training Top 100 Best Practice: Driver Safety at Rollins LLC

Rollins LLC revamped its driver safety program in 2020, targeting more than 11,000 employees driving company vehicles in North America and focusing on behaviors that can lead to an accident.

Pest control services provider Rollins LLC’s #1 priority is its employees. The company aims for everyone to return home in the same or better condition than when they left—which can pose a challenge with 14,000 employees driving 230 million miles each year.

That’s why Rollins revamped its driver safety program in 2020. The company targeted more than 11,000 employees driving company vehicles in North America. This includes all service technicians, salespeople, and managers across all 11 companies.

Program Details

All new employees and high-risk drivers take Rollins’ Defensive Driving eLearning course, eDriving. This three-hour course calculates a profile for each driver and then assigns additional courses based on their individual risk assessment.

The new driving curriculum focuses on behaviors that can lead to an accident. Courses include Harsh Braking, Creating Space Cushions, and Always Looking for an Out. The goal is to create proactive drivers and develop safe driving behaviors.

Toyota vehicles make up the majority of Rollins’ fleet. These cars and trucks come equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense system (TSS). In 2020, Rollins developed a TSS curriculum to eliminate collisions and minimize injuries. It addresses the three most common collision types. Employees learn how to work with the TSS system while driving. Its shows how to use tools to help avoid frontal collisions, unintended lane departures, and nighttime collisions.

High-risk drivers accounted for less than 0.5 percent of all tenured drivers in 2019. This is not enough to influence change in Rollins’ workforce’s behaviors. So in 2020, the company assigned eDriving to all employees driving company vehicles. As a result, Rollins reached 4,500 more employees than in years before.

Rollins also changed how it administers the courses. In the past, employees completed only one new eDriving course every 60 days. Now, employees can complete all the assigned courses at the beginning of the year. This instills good driving behaviors before an employee gets behind the wheel.

Each Rollins vehicle has a GPS transponder. This allows the company to monitor things such as driving speed and braking. Rollins used this information to create a Safe Driving dashboard. It rolls up driver safety data from each individual driver, to the branch, region, division, and company. It has become the one true source of driver safety data.

Rollins uses the Smith Defensive Driving System to reinforce the proper behaviors. The local manager must ride along with each driver at least two times per year. While driving, they use a rubric to assess the driver’s performance. The five keys they look for are:

  • Space cushioning
  • Looking ahead while driving
  • Anticipating what others will do
  • Watching your speed
  • Always having an out

The manager requires the driver to call out the specific Defensive Driving Key before they perform it. The manager and employee co-create an action plan to address any deficiencies. They schedule a follow-up ride-along where the manager gauges their progress. The manager then files the rubric in the employee’s Verifiable Training folder. Rollins’ internal QA Audit team confirms progress on the rubrics during annual inspections.

Every month, each brand president receives a Safe Driving report. The brand presidents also ride along with individual employees during local visits. This, more than anything, reinforces Rollins’ commitment to driver safety. They, too, use the Smith Defensive Driving rubric to evaluate driver and coach behaviors.

Results

Compliance with the Defensive Driving program was 99.7 percent, an increase of 1.2 percent.

Harsh braking decreased by 42 percent. Speeding 11 mph or more over a half-mile decreased by 18 percent. Rear-end collisions decreased 36 percent.

The corporate goal was a Collision Frequency Ratio (CFR) of 6 percent. Over the last year, Rollins’ CFR is 5.1 percent, a 24 percent improvement. Some might think the CFR decreased last year due to COVID-19. But Rollins employees drove 1 million more miles in the first six months of 2020 than they did in 2019.

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Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training Top 100 and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 29 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.