Driver Personality Factor
The third factor our exam measures is called "trucker
personality", which represents a variety of driver attitudes and habits. It
includes five test sections:
WORK ETHIC reflects an enjoyment of hard physical work and a habit of using work
time efficiently. This section is helpful in predicting how productive a driver
will be. For flatbed drivers in an unstructured long-haul environment, those who
have higher scores on Work Ethic (as well as on General Knowledge and Flatbed
load-handling) tend to drive more miles per day than those with lower scores on
these test sections.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS are at a premium in difficult situations which may arise at
loading/unloading sites. The driver who can politely talk other people into
helping get the truck unloaded and loaded quickly and properly saves time and is
assured of a safer trip.
PERSONAL LIFE problems can affect a driver's job performance. The consistently
reliable driver has a stable, happy personal life, good mental and physical
health, enjoys his trucking career and avoids drug and alcohol abuse. Note: this
test section is no substitute for a complete physical exam, including drug and
SAFETY attitudes, not knowledge, determine whether a driver will use the safety
devices and information available to him. For example, a driver may know how to
make a safe turn in city traffic, but his safety habits or attitudes will
influence whether he actually does make safe turns on a given day. A safer
driver will likewise be more cautious when feeling tired or when visibility is
poor. While factual knowledge can be taught, it is more difficult to instill in
a driver safe attitudes. The safety section measures
LOYALTY is an important employee characteristic. A loyal driver takes direction
well and respects both employer rules and policies as well as State and Federal
regulations. He or she values honesty and dedication to company goals.
Some of these traits roughly parallel the Big Five personality traits, which are
Conscientiousness (Work Ethic), Agreeableness (Communication Skills), Emotional
Stability (Personal Life), Extroversion and Intellect or Openness.
This Test Differs from State and Federal Tests
Oriented toward public safety, State and Federal licensing exams only tap
technical knowledge which includes facts, as can be measured with True/False
questions like: "Many accidents occur when trucks make right hand turns because
of traffic trying to squeeze through on the right," or "A warning device should
be placed 100 feet to the rear of a stalled truck."
A driver can score high on tests of technical knowledge and still be an unsafe
driver due to personality characteristics unsuitable for the job of driver. In
addition, general intelligence can be expected to influence safety, because it
aids a driver in many ways, such as recognizing and understanding changing road
conditions that require added caution.
Note: Research with many different tests by various researchers has revealed
that motor vehicle accidents are caused by several different intelligence and
personality traits but not by deficiencies in factual knowledge of driving.
Thus, in order to be a safe driver, a person must have the right personality
characteristics, adequate intelligence, and appropriate technical knowledge.
Our exam measures intelligence and relevant personality
characteristics in addition to the technical knowledge measured by State and
Federal exams. Also, the exam measures a wide variety of
load-handling skills not currently measured by State or Federal tests.
A further important difference between
our exam and State and
Federal tests (including the CDL exam) is that such government licensing tests
are designed only to eliminate minimally qualified drivers. By design, to
accomplish this task reliably, these tests consist of relatively easy questions
and a passing score near the high end of the score range (e.g. 26 out of 30 to
pass). The result is elimination of drivers who are grossly unfamiliar with the
technical knowledge such tests measure. However, they do not reliably
differentiate degrees of skill -- low, average or high -- in drivers who do
our exam is designed to reliably differentiate
along the entire range of the traits it measures, providing low to high scores
for all drivers.
Importance of Intelligence and Personality
General evidence from the field of psychology indicates that intelligence and
personality traits do not change dramatically in adults, even with training.
Our research reveals that persons with no prior trucking
experience can score well on test sections measuring intelligence and trucker
Thus, the test provides a means of screening for those individuals who have
sufficient intelligence and appropriate personality characteristics to succeed
in heavy trucking, given adequate training in the necessary technical skills.
Our research has also revealed that intelligence and
personality, as measured by the test, change little or none as a result of
training in truck driving schools, whereas factual knowledge increases
noticeably. Thus, one must screen for school and job applicants whose
intelligence and personality scores are adequate, and not expect such traits to
increase dramatically with training.
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