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Fontana: Focus training on defensive driving

June 18, 2024
While there will always be some drivers who engage in risky driving behavior, when your drivers are trained to identify these bad drivers and to drive defensively around them, the roads become safer for everyone.

A few recent studies provided information on U.S. cities and states with the worst drivers. Among the things they looked at were alcohol-related accidents, distracted driving, drowsy drivers, the number of fatal accidents, and drunk driving.

The Real Estate Witch study focused on the 50 states with the largest population, and Forbes Advisor indicated that the following 10 states have the worst drivers. I won’t go into detail about which cities and states are on the various lists, but I will say they might not be where you expect them to be. You can read survey results from Real Estate Witch here and the ones from Forbes Advisor here.

While it might not be possible for your trucks to avoid operating in these areas, knowing where the bad drivers are can help your drivers be more diligent about their safe driving practices.

See also: Driver and fuel data reveal the best freight corridors nationwide

If your fleet operates in these areas, you might consider adding defensive driving education to your driver training. The National Safety Council is one source of such training. It offers both online and classroom training for professional truck drivers and has defensive driving classes for passenger car drivers. The other option is to develop your own defensive driving training focusing on recognizing hazardous driving behavior in other drivers, the impact of speeding, lane management, and techniques for dealing with bad drivers.

During the training, you can use aggregated data from your telematics devices to discuss unsafe driving habits that some of your drivers are exhibiting and provide tips on how to overcome them.

During peak driving times, you might consider rerouting around these high accident areas. Driving in traffic is stressful, and accidents in high-traffic areas are more likely to involve multiple vehicles.

Whether you can reroute or not, regularly reminding drivers of defensive driving techniques should keep them and others on the road safer. While there will always be some drivers who engage in risky driving behavior, when your drivers are trained to identify these bad drivers and to drive defensively around them, the roads become safer for everyone.

About the Author

Gino Fontana | Chief operating officer and executive vice president at Transervice Logistics Inc.

Gino Fontana, CTP, is COO and EVP at Transervice Logistics Inc. Prior to this recent promotion, he was VP of operations at Berkeley Division and Puerto Rico. His operational expertise emphasizes cost savings, process efficiency and improvement, superior quality, and people management skills. He has more than 35 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry with both operational and sales experience.

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