The most hazardous part of an employee’s workday is when they are on the road. One work related accident could affect your company’s finances, and furthermore the safety of your employees.
Driver training adds an additional layer of safety for your drivers and protection for your assets. Ensuring drivers have proper training can reduce accidents, improve morale, and promote greater productivity.
Identify Training Needs
Before initiating any training, gain insight into the risks associated with your drivers. Historical data can be pulled from telematics, prior accident reports, and driving records. These can help management better understand where drivers need training. Refresher driver training is recommended for even the most skilled and experienced drivers. Develop driver profiles highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Basic overall training can benefit everyone, but its good to have some specific initiatives as well.
Develop a Plan
Driver training should be introduced early on, during the onboarding process, when a new driver starts. This training can be customized to fit the needs of your organization. It can be as simple as having guidelines and checklists that should be adhered to with on-site demonstrations. Or, this training can be administered by a 3rd party partner who specializes in driver training such as NTSI’s: Safer Driver Challenge Program. With this program there is the option to do on-site training, and/or online training. Driver training can be simple to complex, depending on the needs, time constraints, and budget allotted for driver safety and training.
Key Initiatives can include but are not limited to:
Vehicle Accidents cause a domino effect that impacts not only the driver, but the company and its customers. When a vehicle is in the shop, drivers are not on the road. This leads to a decrease in productivity that can translate into decreased profits. Increased maintenance costs add up each time an accident occurs. Avoiding accidents by encouraging safer driving habits that are administered and adhered to can help reduce the amount and severity of accidents. This protects your company from lawsuits, unnecessary repairs, and increased insurance premiums.
By providing driver training, a more cohesive team will emerge. Plus, a positive atmosphere where employees feel like key stakeholders becomes routine. The commitment from management to its drivers correlates to them feeling more appreciated and valued. Managers do not 100% know what is going on in the field. Having drivers be that extra eyes and ears on the road, is so valuable. These drivers can let management know how their routes are working and increase efficiencies within the fleet. Also, having good drivers rewarded for good driver behavior will only increase the program’s effectiveness.
* It is good practice to run a Motor Vehicle Report on each driver prior to them being hired. An MVR will provide history of accidents, traffic tickets, and status of driver’s license. A bad driving record might prohibit a potential employee from getting hired and behind the wheel of your company vehicle(s).
Bring it all together
Telematics, paired with updated vehicle safety features, provide a safer environment for those on the road. And, driver training is like the glue that will hold it all together. If your company would like some guidance on the best place to start, give us a call or email us. We lease vehicles and help maintain them but offer insight and guidance on all things related to fleet vehicles, including driver training and safety.