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5 questions fleets should ask to reinforce safe driving

May 31, 2022
As traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels, crashes are increasing. Fleet owners must ask questions if they are to convey the safe driving message to their drivers.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently announced that the Biden administration will provide $5 billion in federal aid to cities over five years to address road safety. This aid is in response to a 10.5% spike in traffic deaths in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Crashes resulting in fatalities when at least one large truck was involved rose by 13%.

Miles traveled also increased as pandemic conditions have improved. According to the federal highway administration, vehicle miles traveled increased 11.2% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Regardless of who is behind the wheel, safety should be a top concern for all drivers. Those of us in the trucking industry must do our part to reinforce the safe driving message. Now is a good time to review the safety policies throughout your organization and ensure safety is a core value for everyone. 

Drivers can see if you are really committed to road safety based on how you address it in areas like your shop, administrative offices, yard, etc. These five key questions are important to ask: 

  1. Are you continuously reminding drivers about safe driving policies, including reinforcing the issue of distracted driving? 

  2. Do you address issues such as driver fatigue and substance abuse? 

  3. Do you remind drivers about the importance of defensive driving? 

  4. Are you investing in the latest technologies—lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation—that are designed to assist drivers in driving safely?

  5. Do you have a program lauding safe drivers reaching milestones, including at public driver meetings or in company communications? 

While fleets cannot control the behavior of passenger car drivers, they can instill a safety mindset in their drivers to reduce the number of roadway accidents.

You don’t have to look too far to see that many fleets have been successful in their efforts. Since 1987, the National Private Truck Council has been inducting drivers who achieve 3 million miles, 20 years, or 50,000 hours of consecutive driving without a preventable accident into the Driver Hall of Fame.

Look at what fleets with excellent safety records are doing to see what you can incorporate into your own operations to do your part to make the roads safer for all of us.

Jane Clark focuses on managing the member services operation at NationaLease as vice president of member services. She works to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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