Your drivers know they have to monitor numerous risk factors while on the road, from other motorists and unexpected roadwork to inclement weather and beyond. Even seasoned drivers can find themselves in sticky situations, which is why all commercial drivers can benefit from safety training. Fleets should focus safety meetings on the most pressing safety concerns.
The following reminders can prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities:
- Pre-trip inspections. Drivers know they have to perform these inspections. It can be tempting to rush through it for the sake of time, but a hasty inspection can result in preventable accidents due to equipment failure, not to mention costly fines for non-compliance.
- Driving distances. Commercial drivers know how long it takes their vehicle to come to a complete stop, but they may forget several factors that increase the stopping distance. For example, the greater the truck’s load, the longer its stopping distance. Wet roads can also add several seconds to the truck’s stopping time.
- Driver health. Keeping drivers healthy has always been important, but the pandemic has put a spotlight on this issue. The risk of a collision increases if drivers are suffering from any of various medical conditions, illnesses, or fatigue. Fleets should emphasize the importance of adequate exercise, eating healthy, and getting a good night’s sleep. These objectives can be challenging to achieve while on the road, so fleets should provide several examples to help drivers achieve those goals.
- Bad weather. Now that spring has arrived, drivers can expect a lot of rain. Fleets should remind drivers to dramatically reduce their speed and increase their following distance when they encounter bad weather.
- Defensive driving. The average motorist has no idea how long it takes a commercial vehicle to brake. If a passenger vehicle cuts too closely in front of a truck, the truck driver needs to slow down and back up until they restore a safe following distance. Other defensive driving tactics include checking mirrors often and scanning the horizon for potential issues such as construction zones.
- Distracted driving. Even before smartphones became commonplace, drivers had plenty of things to distract them. Eating while on the road, reaching to change the radio, or checking the GPS all increased the risk of a collision. Smartphones have greatly increased the incidence of distracted driving. Fleets must emphasize the importance of avoiding distractions and paying greater attention to the behaviors of others on the road.
Safety training can refresh all drivers on best safety practices while on the road. Safety meetings also give experienced drivers a chance to share their knowledge with newer ones. This can build team cohesion while reducing the likelihood of driver injury, truck damage, failed inspections, and more. Contact the experts at Interstate Motor carriers to learn more about reducing risk within your fleet.