Keep Drivers Safe with Cognitive Testing

semi truck driving down highway

When it comes to the safety of commercial drivers, fleet managers have a lot to consider. They need to know their drivers are up to speed on current driving laws, that they are getting proper rest and staying alert on the road, and managers need to be certain drivers are tack sharp when it comes to making split-second decisions behind the wheel.

According to the Federal Department of Transportation, 400,000 trucks are involved in motor vehicle crashes each year. Accidents can cost a company millions in damages, not to mention the risk of injury to its drivers or others. Taking every precaution to ensure the safety of commercial drivers, as well as others on the road, is an important responsibility for a conscientious fleet manager.

What is Cognitive Testing?

There are plenty of valuable online courses available for commercial drivers. I DRIVE SAFELY offers courses for fleet drivers that can help with everything from aggressive driving to safe driving in winter. In addition to these valuable safety-focused lessons, drivers’ abilities to think and react quickly and appropriately should also be accurately evaluated.

That’s where a cognitive test like Brainscreen can help. This unique, 15-minute web-based screening tool was developed by the University of Toronto and is the only test of its kind that can accurately identify cognitive risks. Choosing the gas pedal instead of the brake, or failing to maneuver carefully in a dangerous situation – these types of behaviors could be due to a psychiatric disorder.

I DRIVE SAFELY has partnered with Hemisphere Center for Mental Health and Wellness to offer the Brainscreen test to fleet managers through their website.

Brainscreen’s assessment of cognitive deterioration  includes:

  • Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and early-onset dementia
  • Post-Concussive Disorder following a traumatic brain injury
  • Psychiatric disorders such as major depression

Who Should Take This Test?

While a test like this might not seem necessary for all drivers, you’ll be surprised to know that early signs of dementia can be detected in drivers as young as 45. Medications, learning impairments, and the lasting effects of concussions can also negatively affect driving skills.

Assessing a fleet driver’s abilities will help prevent risks, and Brainscreen can serve as an early warning system for fleet managers. By asking their drivers to complete this test, they may have an opportunity to avoid risky driving behaviors and encourage drivers to seek further testing or treatment if necessary.

How Does It Work?

Fleet managers can sign their drivers up for this test through the I DRIVE SAFELY website. Their drivers can then access the web-based test by logging in from a home or office computer, tablet, iPad, or smartphone.

Once complete, the driver’s results are emailed directly to the fleet manager and will include one of 3 safety outcomes:

  • No Risk—Safe to Drive
  • At Risk—Seek Medical Advice
  • High Risk—Unsafe to Drive, Medical Treatment Advised

The Brainscreen program measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning, including:

  • Orientation
  • Working memory
  • Learning
  • Retrieval (memory)
  • Sustained and selective attention speed and accuracy
  • Visual spatial skills
  • Problem solving
  • Reaction time
  • Information processing speed

Make Safety a Priority

Finding effective and efficient ways to keep commercial drivers safe is should be a top priority for fleet managers. To avoid risks and encourage responsible driving, Brainscreen is one inexpensive way to keep commercial drivers safe.

About the Author:

Robyn  Lass is a writer for I DRIVE SAFELY, the industry leader for online driver improvement and driver’s education courses in the U.S. For over 10 years, I DRIVE SAFELY has provided convenience and affordability to drivers nationwide, offering teen and adult Driver’s Ed, Defensive Driving and Traffic School courses, and Insurance Reduction courses. For more fun articles, plus helpful tips and How-Tos, check out I DRIVE SAFELY’s blog, The Express Lane.

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