Changing driver behaviors: expert gives pointers at Lytx conference

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Updated Feb 28, 2016
The DriveCam program from Lytx shows driver managers a ranked list of drivers by priority for coaching and intervention.The DriveCam program from Lytx shows driver managers a ranked list of drivers by priority for coaching and intervention.

Lasting behavior change among fleet drivers is attainable, but there are key ingredients that can accelerate the ability to change, according to BJ Fogg, Ph.D., director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University.

Fogg, an expert in creating systems to change human behavior, addressed the Lytx User Group Conference (UGC) on Feb. 22, to help lay context to the importance of coaching for success when seeking improvement in safe driving behavior.

Lytx UGC attendees use the Lytx DriveCam safety program, a video-based driver safety system that identifies root causes of risky behavior and data analysis of those incidents, and personalized coaching insights.

“Changing behavior depends on many variables, from the behavior you’re seeking to change, the person’s skill level, and available resources to facilitate change, among other things,” said Fogg in an interview with Lytx prior to giving the keynote address. “But lasting behavior change won’t occur unless the person has the ability to feel successful.”

Fogg recommended the following techniques for coaching drivers:

  1. Set clear expectations: “To start an effective behavior change effort, it’s important to be extremely clear about exactly what you want the person to do, and that must be expressed in a way that inspires the desire to change,” he said.

For example, if a driver is habitually distracted, “they’ll need to understand the expectation that they need be more engaged while driving, explained within the context that slowing down means they are more likely to come home to their family safely.”

  1. Recognize successes: Fogg explained that following coaching, it’s critical to recognize the driver’s successes to reinforce a belief that he or she can continue to be successful.

“When someone feels successful, this is where the magic begins,” said Fogg. “Very simply, change leads to change, and people will shift their identity in a positive way. A driver who is improving his or her behavior, and feels successful in the changes – even if they’re small and incremental – is more likely to accumulate more and more good driving behavior.”