In its third annual safety report, alternative student transportation platform HopSkipDrive heralds about 99.7% of its more than 400,000 rides ending without safety-related concerns – and all rides ended without a critical incident.
The company’s “CareDrivers” have logged more than 20 million miles, covering 13,000 schools in 20 markets in 10 states and Washington, D.C.
“With the pandemic introducing a number of significant new challenges for us all over the past year, one unexpected outcome was the increase in the number of fatalities that occurred across U.S. roadways as a result of a surge in distracted driving,” the report states. “With riskier driving behaviors like speeding and phone use becoming an even more prevalent issue across the country, HopSkipDrive reviewed our safety data and found that CareDrivers have continued to be safer on the road even as the roadways around them have become increasingly unsafe with each passing year.”
Overall safe driving scores for drivers on the HopSkipDrive platform rose 1% from 2020, according to the report.
“This increase year over year confirms that CareDrivers are not only safer on the road than average drivers, but continue to show safety improvements even as the roads get more dangerous every year,” the report states.
Qualifying criteria for would-be CareDrivers include:
- At least five years of caregiving experience.
- Comprehensive search of county, state, and national records, global watchlist, and sex offender registries.
- Fingerprint-based background check.
- Child abuse and neglect scan.
- Proof of a valid driver’s license.
- Minimum three years of driving experience.
- Initial motor vehicle history search and ongoing monitoring for new driving infractions.
- At least 23.
- Own or lease a vehicle no more than 10 years old, seating four to seven passengers.
- Proof of vehicle registration.
- Proof of insurance consistent with state law.
- Annual vehicle inspection by certified mechanic.
- Live orientation with a member of the HopSkipDrive team.
- Adopt the HopSkipDrive Community Guidelines.
- Adopt the HopSkipDrive Zero Tolerance Policies.
In the report, CEO Joanna McFarland wrote: “I’m also incredibly proud of our safety data: 100% of rides were completed without a critical safety incident. This update continues our perfect record: There has never been a critical safety incident in the eight years HopSkipDrive has been in business. I consider this, more than our expansion, more than any funding we receive or awards we win, to be HopSkipDrive’s greatest accomplishment.”
The company also indicated that it is positioned to help fill the gaps in school transportation caused by bus driver shortages and other hurdles to mobility within school districts.
“Countless students were left without a safe and reliable way to get to school at a time when in-person learning and efforts to recapture learning loss resulting from COVID-19 school closures is most critical,” the report states. “This has led to more policymakers and school administrators thinking about the barriers to standing up transportation programs that better meet the needs of their communities and help alleviate the impacts of the bus driver shortage.”