Running a fleet for your small business gives you a lot of freedom. It’s important to train your staff and drivers to understand your company’s expectations when it comes to driving any of the fleet vehicles. It’s also important to train them on good driving habits, personal care, and even how to protect themselves on the road.
When you’re designing training for fleet safety in your business, look to best practices in the industry, as well as company-specific safety needs.
1. Theft Prevention
One of the most important topics to include in safety training is theft prevention. Do the drivers know how to prevent theft when they pull out their fleet fuel cards to get gas? Do they know how to lock their truck when they need to take a break? Do they know how to defend themselves against an attacker? Including this in fleet safety training can protect your drivers from harm and can also protect your fleet assets.
2. Driver Exhaustion
Many accidents are caused due to sleepy drivers. There are plenty of subtopics to cover under this umbrella. Drivers should be taught about the different signs that they are too tired to drive. Some of these include yawning, head nodding, and trouble focusing on the road.
They should also be taught ways to prevent exhaustion and what to do if they find themselves feeling this way.
3. Safe Driving Habits
Many driving habits that people have can be changed. Driving for a fleet means drivers represent your company when they are on the road. Safe driving habits include learning the appropriate braking timing, signaling enough in advance, driving the right speeds around curves, and even when to pass.
Drivers who use good practices can save your business a lot of money in the long run. They are less likely to be involved in costly accidents, they are less likely to be injured, and they are less likely to harm someone else on the road.
4. Technology Use on the Road
Using smartphones and other devices on the road is a big no-no when it comes to fleet driving. It’s okay to use GPS devices to help your fleet drivers get to their destinations, but it’s not okay for them to hold their phones to talk or text. You can use technology devices to monitor your drivers’ behavior if you expect consistent adherence to your company policies. Texting and driving are illegal in most places.
Incorporating the appropriate use of technology into your training materials also shields your company from liability if the driver is involved in an accident caused by their distracted driving.
5. Safe Driving Through Construction
Over time, many people develop dangerous driving habits. These habits can cause a lot of problems in high-traffic areas and in places like work zones.
Part of training your fleet drivers means helping them re-learn good driving habits. Teach them the appropriate ways to drive through work zones. It will not only protect them, but it’ll keep the workers safe, along with other drivers.
6. Install Fleet Safety Devices
Developing good fleet drivers sometimes takes the addition of technological devices. Installing cameras in your vehicles helps to keep drivers safe if there is an accident. They also ensure that drivers are following your company policies around technology use. You can even offer incentives to drivers who use good safety habits.
7. Teach Drivers How To Handle Accidents
There are certain procedures that should be followed by your fleet drivers after an accident that help protect them. Setting up flares, safety cones, and other road signals can protect them from further injury. Showing them where to find these in the vehicle and making sure you include all these road safety devices can help fleet drivers in the long run.
The Value of Fleet Safety Training for Small Business Owners
Too often small business owners make a lot of assumptions about the skills of their drivers. While many of these safety things should be taught, time, poor habits, and forgetfulness can cause problems.
Fleet safety can protect your assets, lower your operating costs, and more. Additionally, focusing on training your employees to be safer can set your company apart.
You may get a few eye rolls in your training classes, but the repetition can help solidify the new material to ensure your staff has the skills they need to thrive, and their habits can save you money on insurance, fuel, and potential litigation.