April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and while you should always remind drivers about safe driving practices, this month you might want to consider putting extra focus on the issue.
If you don’t already have a written manual covering safe driving practices, now is the time to develop one. It should include things like your policy on cellphone use, speeding, seat belt use, following distances, etc.
Not only should you lay out what those rules are, but you also need to spell out the consequences of ignoring those policies, especially when it comes to unsafe driving practices that are more likely to be contributing causes of accidents. Make sure the “punishment” is severe enough to discourage the behavior.
You should begin sharing your fleet’s safety values as early as the job interview so prospective hires will know that safety is one of your core values. During the onboarding process, make sure to spend time explaining your safety policies to the new hires and reinforcing your commitment to being a safe fleet.
Safe driving should be talked about on a regular basis during driver meetings, and consider having dispatchers remind drivers occasionally about expected safe driving practices.
It’s also a good idea to publicly acknowledge drivers who have a demonstrated record of safe driving. Some fleets reward drivers after a certain number of accident-free miles of driving. Make sure all the drivers in your fleet know about the accomplishments of these drivers and encourage them to emulate the driving practices of these super-safe drivers.
Drivers are not the only ones responsible for your fleet’s safety. Ensure that dispatchers are not pushing drivers to get loads delivered in an unrealistic timeframe, one that could require drivers to exceed posted speed limits.
Engage your maintenance department, or that of your outside service provider, in your safety efforts. Make sure they spend time reviewing DVIRs and making repairs as necessary to ensure that trucks leaving your facilities are in safe operating condition. Monitor PMI compliance to ensure that all your trucks and trailers are brought in for their scheduled maintenance service.
Safety should always be on your mind, but Distracted Driving Awareness month is a good time to review your safety policies and make any changes that will ensure your drivers and others on the road are as safe as possible.