Road safety is vital for the health and wellbeing of truck drivers. It also keeps other road users, vehicles, and cargo safe. Keeping drivers from being involved in accidents improves the bottom line, ensures shipments are not delayed, and keeps the insurance premium from skyrocketing. Even though the Department of Labor research reveals that trucking is the nation’s most dangerous occupation, the good thing is by encouraging a culture of safety and responsibility among truck drivers, you can significantly reduce the risks.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving encourages truck drivers to keep scanning the environment for potential hazards so that they can reduce the risk of accidents by making well-informed decisions. It helps avoid disruption in deliveries, injuries, costly repairs, hassles of insurance claims and payouts, and increases in insurance premiums. Some of the techniques include watching out for blind spots and keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Drivers should attempt to remain calm and collected and not get harassed by other drivers indulging in dangerous driving, honking, or indulging in road rage. Encourage your drivers to slow down when the driving conditions change so that they have extra time to respond to sudden changes. Signaling to change lanes or exit highways is a must, even if there are no other vehicles in sight.
Conduct Exhaustive Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspections
While the DOT mandates pre and post-trip inspections, a cursory exercise will not help. Rather, drivers should be trained to conduct comprehensive inspections using detailed checklists or one of the many truck maintenance apps available. These apps not only inform the trucking company of identified issues in real-time but also ensure that the inspections are documented properly. Click here to find local trucking jobs from Wynne Transport Service.
Develop and Follow Preventative Maintenance Schedules
Road safety starts with the safety of the vehicles in your fleet. Proper maintenance of your trucks and tractor-trailers will reduce the chances of the vehicles breaking down while on trips and delaying the consignment. In addition to the onboard diagnostics available on modern trucks, there are quite a few third-party telematics devices that offer information of the truck’s performance in real-time. By using them, you can create effective preventive maintenance schedules that can optimize your fleet maintenance.
Train Drivers to Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is the leading cause of truck accidents by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Distractions can be caused by anything that forces the driver to lose their focus on driving their vehicle. The distractions that cause an increasing number of accidents are due to the drivers taking their eyes off the road or taking their hand off the steering wheel. Typical activities include trying to read a map, having lunch or drinking water, using the cell phone to speak or text, or looking at a billboard. By training drivers not to indulge in distracted driving, you can drastically reduce accidents.
Road accidents can be deadly not only for your truck driver but also for other road users. By preventing them, you can significantly improve your profitability and reputation, not to speak of the often tragic consequences on human life.