Driver Monitoring | SambaSafety
Leading Food Distribution Customer Success Story

Leading Food Distribution Customer Success Story

Managing the Driver Lifecycle

The Challenge

Safety issues led to DOT audit

A Top 5 food distribution company was not identifying drivers who had invalid licenses. Even the drivers were often unaware their licenses had been suspended. This was costing the company thousands in out-of-service order expenses and fines. It also prompted a Department of Transportation audit for exceeding the safety threshold, which created great expense in the form of personnel, time and monetary loss. The safety issues and DOT audit heightened the company’s concern of exposure to additional legal risks.

“SambaSafety identified drivers with invalid licenses – saving thousands of dollars in costs and potentially millions in negligent entrustment lawsuits.”

The Solution

Close Visibility Gaps and Optimize MVR Spend

SambaSafety completed a comprehensive review and identified visibility gaps in the customer’s qualification and compliance processes. Together with a strategic partner, the company’s background screener, SambaSafety began to monitor drivers for negative changes to license status. They also updated drivers’ qualification files and verified certification activity at the end of each given year – effectively managing the complete driver lifecycles of the employees.

The Results

Improved Safety to Avoid the Next Major Accident

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256 at-risk drivers were identified on Day 1, of service


Avoided $2.56 million in estimated costs from unsafe driving– Avoided $2.56 million in estimated costs from unsafe driving


Accident-prone drivers Identified and removed from the wheel, leading to decreased accident rates

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The Benefits of Continuous Driver Monitoring Services

The Benefits of Continuous Driver Monitoring Services


Driver Risk Exposure & the Advantages

of Continuous Driver Monitoring


of all motor vehicle ACCIDENTS are WORK-RELATED

and COST EMPLOYERS a staggering


BILLION in 2017

The Benefits of Continuous Driver Monitoring Services

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, highway accidents accounted for 37,461 deaths in the U.S. in 2016.¹ Moreover, a recent study by Motus, a vehicle management and reimbursement platform, found that 40% of all motor vehicle accidents are work-related and cost employers a staggering $56.7 billion in 2017, taking into account medical expenses, property damage, increased insurance premiums, and lost productivity.²

“Regardless of the size of the vehicles, and often despite the utmost caution, operating vehicles can be a risky endeavor.”

While liability insurance is an important way for employers to address that risk, it’s by no means a panacea. Companies can and should be doing more to lessen the likelihood of accidents in the first place. And given that the vast majority (94%, according to NHTSA’s study) stem from driver-related actions or inactions as opposed to equipment malfunctions, one of the most important ways of doing so is to ensure that the individuals who drive in connection with their employment (including those who do so for a living) are safe drivers.

In the Firm’s experience, companies that carefully and continuously vet their drivers are not only better positioned in their defense of catastrophic accidents but are also much less likely to find themselves in that position to begin with. Additionally, these companies often have a much lower risk profile than their peers and can leverage that fact in their negotiations with their insurance providers. This paper explores the added benefits of continuous driver-monitoring services.

¹ 2016 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, NHTSA, Oct. 6, 2017,

² Vehicle accidents cost companies $57B in 2017, FLEETOWNER, April 20, 2018,

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See also, 

The Legal Landscape of Continuous Driver Monitoring Case Study

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DS Services Customer Success Story

DS Services Customer Success Story


among compliance,

safety, and risk

How SambaSafety driver monitoring

keeps DS Services on the cutting edge

Project summary

DS Services originally turned to SambaSafety to help reduce paperwork and increase efficiency; however, by incorporating continuous driver monitoring into its safety program, DS Services is able to impact its business in other positive ways.

The Problem

DS Services, a distributor of leading beverage brands to residential and business customers, employs more than 3,500 drivers nationwide. Tracking its drivers – and ensuring they’re qualified to be behind the wheel – isn’t easy. “Reviewing motor vehicle records (MVRs) can take weeks, as every state reports violation information differently,” says Jason Gay, DOT compliance administrator for DS Services. “I was spending 12 to 15 hours a week on paperwork alone. It was time to simplify the process.”

Solution 1: Increasing Efficiency

SambaSafety programs have increased efficiency so that Gay no longer has to manually sort through stacks of paper, read and decide where to send each piece of information. “Now I spend about three hours a week checking the information, and if there’s an issue, all I have to do is download the information in minutes and send it to the front-line managers,” said Gay. “It’s been a real stress reliever.”

I believe in five years, we’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow, we’re not having anybody drive on a suspended license.’ That’s a game-changer.

Mark Clayton

Director of Safety, DS Services

Solution 2: Closing information gaps

Following implementation of SambaSafety, DS Services started seeing an interesting trend with driver medical cards. While DS Services had records showing its drivers with valid medical cards, they continued receiving MVRs that indicated some drivers had expired medical certifications. DS Services soon learned it wasn’t because its drivers were failing to self-certify; it was because state administrators failed to update those renewals in the system. In the past, DS Services pulled a non-compliant driver off the road immediately. Today, DS Services notifies them to contact the state before returning to the road. This is a win-win: Drivers don’t get paid if they’re not on the road – and DS Services doesn’t make money if it doesn’t have valid drivers. “More than ever before, we’re identifying non-compliant drivers and taking action before they get on the road,” explained Mike Belcher, Vice President, Risk and Safety, DS Services. “We know most of these people are not at fault and they would have been discovered before, but it likely would have taken six to seven months, instead of monthly.”

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See How DS Services Reduced Driver Turnover

See How DS Services Made Safety Smarter

The Results


There’s great value in the speed of information. Now, we can intervene sooner than we could before. That means catching – and correcting behavior – before there’s an accident or workers’ compensation claim.


People don’t always raise their hands and let us know that they did something they weren’t supposed to. Now we know virtually in real time, so we can take action accordingly and immediately.


We live by facts. Now we’re given relevant, timely information that we simply can’t argue with. That means we can make quicker, more accurate decisions regarding hiring, firing, and retraining.


Stress relieved, plain and simple. Not only does it drastically decrease the amount of paperwork we deal with, but it allows us to be more collaborative. We’ve eliminated the disjointed silos of information – and that makes us far more proactive and accurate.


Time Savings

Reduced time spent on documentation from 12-15 hours a week, to 3 hours.


Intervention Success Rate

Pulling a driver before reaching the final point, saves drivers.

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Startling Facts about Driver Safety

Startling Facts about Driver Safety

Is Your Company at Risk?

Employees who drive are costing organizations resources, time and money. Traditionally organizations have manually tracked driver behavior with infrequent use of static driving records. Too often, this left organizations without adequate visibility into which drivers were at risk resulting in escalating costs and liability concerns. 

Driver Risk Management continuously monitors for negative changes, automates risk analysis and presents a proprietary Driver Risk Score in an easy to use Driver Dashboard. Now in real-time, an organization will know who the high, medium, and low-risk drivers are with a single platform.

You Must Know Your Drivers

  • Know their past and present incidents in personal and business vehicles.
  • Be aware of driving behaviors on and off the job.
  • Recognizing past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.


Accidents are Caused by Drivers

FACT: People Cause Accidents

94% of all accidents are caused by people

In 2016, 94% of crashes were found to be a result of human behavior as opposed to vehicle or environmental causes.

  • Distracted driving increases accident likelihood by 64%, with increasing distractions behind the wheel now over 6% of accidents are directly caused by texting while driving
  • 41% of crashes in 2016 were determined to be due to recognition error including driver inattention, internal/external distractions and inadequate surveillance as opposed to decision error like running a red light or performance error like over compensation on ice.

FACT: Speeding Kills

27% of auto fatalities are related to speeding

  • A recent study from the National Transportation Safety Board declares speeding is what’s killing American drivers. In 2016 alone, speeding killed 10,111 people, accounting for more than a quarter (27%) of all traffic fatalities that year.
  • The consequences of speeding are many:
    • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
    • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;
    • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
    • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
    • Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
    • Increased fuel consumption/cost.


Fatalities are speeding related

FACT: Companies with Fleets DO NOT monitor Drivers


Do NOT Monitor drivers

70% of companies with automotive fleets DO NOT monitor drivers as standard practice

Ironically enough, fleet vehicle accidents are among the most expensive injury claims for business. The average cost of a loss related to fleet vehicle accidents is approximately $70,000, which is almost twice the cost of the average workplace injury.

Driver Risk and Safety Management Survey Results

  • Do NOT have a safety program 59% 59%
  • Do NOT pull annual MVRs 66% 66%
  • Use an electronic MVR system 26% 26%
  • Say driver safety is priority #1 80% 80%

FACT: Risky Driving is Costly to the Community

In 2010, there were 32,999 people killed, 3.9 million were injured, and 24 million vehicles were damaged in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The economic costs of these crashestotaled $242 billion. Included in these losses are lost productivity, medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs (EMS), insurance administration costs, congestion costs, property damage, and workplace losses. The $242 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $784 for each of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.6 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for 2010.


The economic impact of motor vehicle crashes


Economic cost to society for each fatality


Average cost of each critically injured survivor


Cost of lost workplace productivity

1 in 5

Drivers will be involved in an auto accident annually

1 in 2

Drivers will be involved in an auto accident annually

3 in 5

Personal injury lawsuits are won by the plaintiff

FACT: Employers’ Motor Vehicle Costs Crush the Bottom Line

Motor vehicle crash injuries on and off the job cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses which include medical care, liability, lost productivity and property damage.  Almost one half of this cost resulted from off-the-job injuries to workers and their dependents.

What Companies Can Do About It

Start with a comprehensive baseline MVR that scores drivers against your safety policy on day 1 – identifying the best ones or those who need training

Continuously monitor drivers’ MVR records going forward and receive automated alerts when a change occurs

Intervene with remedies to maintain a team of drivers who are consistently safe on the road


  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts.” Feb. 2015.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Quick Facts 2015.” 2015.
  3. Driver Risk and Safety Management Survey. Automotive Fleet magazine. 2014.
  4. The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes. 2010 (Revised May 2015), NHTSA.
  5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2013 Motor Vehicle Crash Study. The Legal Finance Journal. Aug. 2011.
  6. “Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes to Employers – 2015.” Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. March 2016.

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Best Practices for Driver Risk Management

Best Practices for Driver Risk Management

White Paper

Best Practices for Driver Risk Management

Do you know who’s behind the wheel for your company?

Employers lose an estimated $60 billion a year and nearly 3 million workdays to motor vehicle accidents. Of that total, nearly $40 billion is directly attributable to on-the-job crashes involving employees.

Let’s begin with a question: Do you know who is behind the wheel? The reality is that for many enterprises with employees who drive as part of their job, the answer is, “I think so,” or maybe, “no.” Driver risk management has recently become a top issue for many organizations since it directly affects budgets and the bottom line. The fact that there are more than 100 million people driving for work-related activities on U.S. roads and many of them have invalid, suspended or no driver’s license at all should be cause enough for concern. But combining this with the facts that: 1) most organizations’ budgets are at best fl at 2) P&C insurance rates are rising 14% every 2 years 3) 90% of crashes are due to human error 4) there are fewer qualifi ed drivers available today 5) the number of lawsuits around negligence are skyrocketing and it becomes clear that understanding exposure to driver risk is imperative for every organization. What you don’t know can hurt your bottom line.



Incidents involving a motor vehicle


Falls, trips and slips


Contact with objects or equipment

For more stats and facts, download the white paper and see how you can increase your driver safety ROI.

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Continuous Driver Monitoring: The Legal Landscape

Continuous Driver Monitoring: The Legal Landscape

 Case Study

Continuous Driver Monitoring: The Legal Landscape

Scopelitis law firm explains the legal environment surrounding driver risk exposure and the advantages of driver monitoring. 

“As a general rule, employers are vicariously liable for any motor vehicle accidents caused by their employees.”

In 2009, Eduardo Delgado, an employee of Xerox, was driving a company vehicle when he struck and killed 63-year-old Elvira Gomez in California as she crossed the street on her way home from church. Delgado was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time and had a history of at least two prior DUIs. Mrs. Gomez’s adult children and husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Xerox, arguing among other things that Xerox was negligent in allowing Delgado to drive a vehicle without first checking his Motor Vehicle Report (“MVR”)—a fact admitted by Xerox—which would have revealed his prior DUIs. In fact, had Xerox checked Delgado’s driving record, it would have discovered that his license was actually suspended due to his DUIs. After a lengthy trial, the case ultimately settled, with Xerox agreeing to pay Ms. Gomez’s family $5 million for their loss.

“The most common direct-liability theories in highway-accident cases are negligent hiring, negligent selection, and negligent entrustment.”

Unfortunately, the Xerox case is not an outlier; it is one of many in which companies have been forced to pay millions of dollars in damages due to accidents caused by the employees or contractors they put behind the wheel. The legal theories upon which these companies are held liable vary from case to case and from state to state, but they share some common themes.

As a general rule, employers¹ are vicariously liable for any motor vehicle accidents caused by their employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which imputes the conduct of the employee to his/her employer under agency principles. Of course, there could be exceptions to the rule, including, for example, if the employee is operating the vehicle outside the scope of his/her employment when the accident occurs. But generally speaking, employers—and their insurers—will be held responsible for any damages stemming from their employees’ accidents.

At the same time, an employer could also be directly liable to the injured party(ies) if the employer’s own independent negligence was the proximate cause of the injuries.² This liability is distinct from vicarious liability in the sense that the latter is premised on the employer’s master/servant relationship with its employee, whereas the former is premised on the employer’s own actions or inactions. This type of “direct” liability is at the heart of this paper, and it’s precisely the issue that Xerox faced in its lawsuit. It is also the type of liability that can open the door to punitive damages (i.e., those meant to punish the company for its egregious conduct) on top of compensatory damages already awarded to the injured party. The most common direct-liability theories in high-way-accident cases are negligent hiring, negligent selection, and negligent entrustment. Under these theories, the injured party alleges that the company was negligent in allowing its employee/subcontractor to operate a motor vehicle, and, but for that decision, the accident would never have occurred.

“Companies should be doing something to ensure the individuals who drive vehicles in connection with their employment are safe.”

Often, the company’s alleged negligence is premised on its failure to adequately vet the employee’s driving history before allowing him/her to operate a vehicle on the company’s behalf. In Xerox’s case, for example, the plaintiffs alleged that the company was negligent in failing to check its employee’s MVR, which would have revealed his prior DUIs and the fact that his license was suspended. What precisely is a company’s duty with respect to vetting its drivers before allowing them to operate a vehicle? Unfortunately, that’s a question with no definitive answer—one often left to the judge or jury to decide what a “reasonable” company would have done under the circumstances. What’s clear, however, is that companies should be doing some-thing to ensure the individuals who drive vehicles in connection with their employment are safe. And the most prudent something involves verifying the driver has a valid license and checking his/her MVR for prior violations/accidents, at a minimum. As addressed in the next section, for companies that are subject to federal and/or state motor carrier safety regulations, this is a legal requirement. But even for those who are not, it is best practice.

¹ Companies that engage independent contractors to operate motor vehicles on their behalf rather than employees may not be vicariously liable for the contractor’s operation of those vehicles, but this depends on a number of factors, including, for example, whether the state law at issue considers the operation of a motor vehicle to be an “inherently dangerous” activity and whether companies have “non-delegable duties” with respect to their operation. Additionally, pursuant to federal and state leasing regulations, motor carriers who contract with independent-contractor owner-operators are generally vicariously liable for any accidents caused by those owner-operators as a matter of law. And regardless of whether companies utilize employees or independent contractors to operate vehicle, the companies could still be directly liable for damages stemming from the companies’ own negligence.

² Some state laws, but certainly not all, provide that an employer who is vicariously liable for its employee’s conduct cannot be separately liable to the injured plaintiff under a theory of direct liability.

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The Benefits of Continuous Driver Monitoring Services

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