Every day, your company drivers face a variety of risks while they’re out on the road. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every 10 seconds, an injury from a car crash occurs, and every 5 seconds there’s a driving accident of some sort. It’s important that your employees are aware of the risks they face on their daily or weekly drives so that they can be better drivers overall. A corporate driver training program is essential to help reduce the occupational risks company drivers face and lower the rate of accidents that occur on company time.
Risks Occupational Drivers Face
The majority of the accidents that do occur happen during working hours. However, the risks an occupational driver faces can occur at any time, under any circumstance. Some of the most common risks your company drivers may encounter are:
- Unrealistic delivery schedules or deadlines. We live in a fast-paced world where timing can be everything. If your company drivers are involved in delivery services, you need to make sure you’re allowing ample time for them to get where they need to be. If a deadline needs to be met, your driver may feel pressured to get to their destination as quickly as possible, which means they may drive over the speed limit, take unsafe back roads for shortcuts, or drive aggressive and erratic to get to their destination on time.
- Long hours or late night driving. The longer we’re behind the wheel, the more at risk we become for drowsy driving or distracted driving. Make sure your company drivers know that if they’ll be taking long distance trips or driving overnight, they should plan on making frequent stops to rest and refresh. One key to long trips is deciding on those stopping points, every two to three hours, before you even start your journey. This will help mental focus, and decrease the mental fatigue that driving causes. Secondly, it allows you to have a “game plan” for your journey.
- An unsafe vehicle. Your employees’ cars should be well maintained and safe. Employees should wear seat belts at all times! Your company should oversee the fleet of cars, even if employees are driving their own cars, to make sure the vehicle is providing the driver with the maximum safety possible.
- Driving distractions. Distracted driving causes over 25% of all motor vehicle crashes. Employees should know the dangers of texting or using cell phones while driving. If they must use their phones on the road, they should be using a hands-free device, or pullover to do so. If you are operating a commercial fleet (vehicles over 10,001 lbs.), there are heavy fines for both the driver and company for using a phone without a hands-free device. Also, make sure they know how to avoid other distractions, like fiddling with the radio or eating. A corporate driver training program will help ensure your employees know that when they are behind the wheel, they should avoid multi-tasking and simply focus on driving the vehicle.
- Inclement weather. While we can never predict what the weather is going to do on any certain day, corporate driver training will help your employees learn how to drive defensively under any condition. One of the biggest mistakes we see drivers make is operating their vehicle at sunny, dry speeds when the conditions just don’t allow for it. One of the easiest ways to decrease the chances of a crash in inclement weather is to SLOW DOWN, better to get to your destination a couple minutes late than not at all, your client will understand. They’ll also learn when it’s best to get off the road and not risk driving until the weather clears up.
Keep your employees safe on the road by investing in a corporate driver training program with Drive Team. They’ll learn the skills and knowledge they need to reduce occupational driving risks and make professional decisions on the road. Contact us for more information.