<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=230571734344618&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Smith System Blog

Whether you’re a fleet manager, compliance officer, executive, sales director or delivery driver, you’ll find helpful information on the Smith System blog that you can immediately put to use. Learn about driver safety, new technology impacting our roadways, the latest safety stats, tips to make your fleet more efficient, changes in regulations and much more.  

Top Three Reasons It's Essential to Train Your Drivers

March 23, 2018

Driver Safety Training

When it comes to your fleet, efficiency, compliance and the ultimate safety of your drivers and other drivers on the road are your top priorities.

Providing drivers with the advanced driver training they need to make better driving decisions is paramount to the safety of the community and your company’s long-term success.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), implementing the right driver-training program can significantly reduce the number of employee-involved crashes each year. This not only improves the safety of your drivers and everyone else on the road — it also has a positive impact on your bottom line.

There are many reasons why an advanced driving school and training program is essential to your fleet. Here are the top three:

#1: Advanced driver training saves lives.

When drivers learn real-world techniques to more safely navigate traffic, they are able to look ahead more effectively to assess upcoming road conditions and avoid the most common types of crashes. The result is fewer crashes overall — and fewer fatalities.

Thousands of people are injured or killed in on-the-job crashes in the U.S. each year. Most of these crashes could have been prevented with better-trained drivers. Implementing the right driver-training program is a proven way to significantly reduce the number of employee-involved crashes on the road each year.

#2: Advanced driver training saves money.

On-the-job crashes not only result in injury, loss of life and lost productivity. There is also a significant monetary cost associated with each incident. Motor vehicle crashes cost U.S. employers almost $60 billion each year in medical and legal expenses, insurance claims and other liabilities.

The average cost of a nonfatal vehicular crash is around $24,000. When an injury is involved, the cost per crash jumps to around $74,000. For fatal incidents, the cost increases to more than $670,000. Advanced driver training improves your drivers’ behavior and everyday habits so that they can avoid crashes that make your company vulnerable to lawsuits and liabilities.

#3: Advanced training leads to better fuel economy and lower maintenance costs.

When drivers are better trained and have more advanced defensive driving skills, they are able to anticipate the actions of other drivers on the road and better position themselves in traffic. As a result, they don’t have to stop and start as harshly or as often, which translates to less wear and tear on company vehicles.

Consistently adhering to the speed limit and driving less aggressively also enables vehicles to get better overall gas mileage.

Advanced Driver Training That Works

Research shows that advanced driving schools that use a combination of behind-the-wheel driver training and classroom instruction are the most effective at improving driver behavior and helping drivers create safer, long-lasting driving habits.

Unlike basic parking lot simulations or online training, advanced driver training combines the physical and dynamic realities of traffic with the constant reinforcement of an instructor. Instructors are able to observe and correct drivers’ actual behavior and habits in real time.

Ultimately, your drivers and employees are your company’s greatest asset. By engaging drivers in an advanced driving school, you are letting your drivers know that what they do every day is valued and important to the company's bottom line. When implementing a formal driver training program, make sure to position training as a benefit that can help your drivers become better — not as a punishment for bad driving or a lack of skills.

It is also important to choose the right advanced driving school or training program for your fleet. Instructors should be experienced working with fleets specifically and should understand the unique challenges faced by commercial drivers on the road every day.

Remember: The success of your training program ultimately depends on the instructor presenting the material. Instructors or certified trainers have to be able to convince experienced drivers that what they are teaching is relevant, useful and that it really works.

Training should also be based on simple, straightforward concepts that are easy to understand and apply. The goal of any advanced driving school or program is to improve driver performance and safety and ultimately save lives out on the roads.

To learn more about what to look for in a world-class driver safety program for your fleet, contact our team of experts today.

SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL UPDATES