On-the-job crashes are not only potentially deadly for your drivers and others on the road — they are also expensive and can expose your company to potential lawsuits and liabilities.
When it comes to improving driver safety and the performance of your fleet, there is no secret to success. Establishing safer driving habits for your fleet requires hiring the right drivers, implementing advanced driver training, and consistently monitoring and correcting driver performance.
Encouraging drivers to take a driver safety course online can be an excellent way to introduce your drivers to new concepts, as well as reinforce or refresh information and skills drivers have already learned in the classroom or behind the wheel. E-learning also enables you to train drivers across multiple or remote locations.
Though e-learning is not a substitute for behind-the-wheel training, taking a driver safety course online does have some advantages. Primarily, online courses are incredibly convenient and allow students to learn at their own pace.
With all of the online driver safety courses to choose from, how do you select the right online course for your fleet? Here are three things to consider:
#1: Ease of Use
When selecting an online driver safety course, choose e-learning content that is 100% web-based and does not require you to download or install software to access.
Courses should be accessible anytime and from any device. All your drivers need is a connection to the internet. This enables drivers to have access to world-class training whenever and wherever they need it, and everyone in your fleet gets the same lesson in the same format.
#2: LMS Integration
Select an online driver safety course that can be integrated directly into your learning management system (LMS) course catalog. This provides managers with real-time tracking capabilities so that they will know when drivers have completed training or when they are due for a refresher course.
Drivers can register and enroll online, so course completion and testing data are automatically delivered to managers. Supervisors can view reporting and data on student courses and testing around-the-clock, providing real-time insight into drivers’ individual strengths and deficiencies.
Real-time tracking and reporting makes it easy to measure driver safety training throughout the company to ensure your fleet is up-to-date on certifications and training and is always in compliance. It also makes it easy to report compliance data to senior leadership and federal compliance agencies.
#3: Designed Specifically for Fleets
Always ensure online training courses are specifically designed to address the unique challenges faced by commercial fleets.
Think about it: Most people believe in their driving skills and abilities and consider themselves to be very good drivers who don’t necessarily need driver training. In order to be effective, online driver safety courses must speak directly to the challenges faced by commercial drivers and must convince them that what is being taught is relevant and that it really works.
The course material should be based on simple, straightforward concepts that are easy to understand and apply. Trainers presenting the material also should be able to relate to your drivers and have extensive experience specifically working with fleets.
Typically, the most effective online driver safety courses are under one hour and require students to answer questions throughout with an exam at the end to ensure they have learned and retained the information.
No Substitute for Behind-the-Wheel Training
Ultimately, the goal of advanced driver safety training is to improve the safety of your drivers so that your fleet is in compliance and lives are saved on the roads.
The most effective way to teach your drivers a new safe-driving methodology is always through a combination of classroom training and behind-the-wheel instruction that combines the physical realities of traffic, weather and dynamic uncertainty with the continuous reinforcement of an instructor or certified trainer.
However, online driver training courses can be an effective way to reinforce the concepts that will ultimately reduce crashes, lower liability costs to your company and save lives. Though behind-the-wheel training is always best, online courses are available anytime, anywhere and do not require additional class materials or instructors.
Drivers can move through the material at their own pace, the message is always consistent and the courses are often less expensive than classroom and advanced behind-the-wheel training. In the end, the goal of online driver training is to help your drivers adopt long-lasting habits that will protect your company from liability and save lives.
Smith System offers an extensive catalog of interactive SmithE-Learning courses based on the proven Smith5Keys® to safe driving. SmithE-Learning resources are available in 15 languages and are compatible with all web browsers, as well as iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.