You have a group of drivers beginning their orientation this week. They have all passed their written tests and have been cleared to get started. Some of them will be involved in accidents, perhaps even a fatal one. The statistics show it is impossible to discern who or what type of driver will be most likely to be in an accident; it could be anyone.
There are roadblocks to put up for this: obvious measures like wearing a seatbelt and utilizing modern technology. But what you really need is truck driver training to teach new drivers how to be safer.
It’s one thing to expose drivers to safety videos and written rules. Actually driving on the road is quite another. A fact of life for new truck drivers is that they have no real-world truck driving experience. Maybe they have a certain number of hours in the cab with a veteran driver and that is great - but on their own, that's another matter.
A lack of experience means that a driver will lack confidence on the road. It’s just that simple. The most confident person in the world could still waffle or panic when faced with an unfamiliar situation in a truck. It’s up to you to give your drivers that confidence. Confidence leads to better decisions and quicker thinking, and this helps make drivers safer on the road.
There are a lot of ways to try and generate confidence in your new drivers. Make your orientation as extensive and hands-on as you can. Have your drivers that are more charismatic and friendly teach the newcomers. A little positive reinforcement never hurts, and it can be affirming for a new driver to hear they did well from a professional.
But orientation can’t last forever. Trucking is a busy industry and you’re pressed for time. It’s important to make the most of the time you have with your new drivers. So you need a quick and efficient training program like the A-Fleet.
The advantage of a program like this one is that it's an orientation to professional driving, broken down into easy to digest videos and quizzes, that drivers can go through at their own speed. The A-Fleet also has the added benefit of a focus on safe and defensive driving practices, which not all programs spend a great deal of time with.
Knowledge is power and essential to building a new driver’s confidence. But they have to be able to take that knowledge out on the road. While it does require some extra time to test drivers out on the road, it’s worth the investment in terms of accident prevention and perhaps even driver recruiting. If you show you’re so invested in the driver and their success in their new job, they will not only have more confidence on the road but also pride in their work as part of your company.
Take the time to build the confidence of your new drivers. They will be safer on the road and appreciate the effort to make them better professional drivers.
Click on the image below to gain access to AvatarFleet Founder Mark Gardner's Safety Leadership presentation