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How to Implement a Driver Safety Training Program


A professionally-made driver training program can drastically reduce your accidents and injuries. In fact, some have such an impact that the cost of loss reductions is often greater than the price of the training program. So, why are companies often hesitant to invest? It’s because people think it’s difficult to implement a driver training program.

We have good news – implementing driver training doesn’t have to be complicated. There are high-quality driver training programs out there that are straightforward, easy to use, and incredibly cost-effective.

We’ll show you how to save yourself time, headaches, and frustration when it comes to implementing a new program.

Why Do You Need a Company Driver Safety Training Program

While this seems like a complex question, the answer is simple. You need a safety training program for your company drivers because accidents are costing you money and hurting you people.

The average non-fatal fleet accident for a company is $16,000. If it’s a fatal collision, you could be paying $500,000 or more. That would put most companies out of business. And worse yet, accidents are common.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, vehicular accidents were the number one cause of fatal injuries for employees in 2021. The bad news doesn’t stop there. Accidents are getting more and more common each year.

So, accidents are common and costly, but you’re not helpless. Accidents are also easily prevented when you implement a safety training program for your company drivers. And best of all, you’ll save way more money than you spend on the program by reducing your cost of loss.

The Steps to Implementing Effective Driver Safety Training 

We’re going to share six key steps you need to take in order to make your company drivers safer. However, before we do so, let’s make one thing clear: you do not have to do it on your own.

Many companies try to create their own program from the ground up. Unless you have a team of dedicated industrial organizational psychologists, instructional designers, and media producers on your team, we do not recommend this approach. In fact, this approach will actually cost you more time and money in the long run.

There are many off-the-shelf and plug-and-play options available. These will guarantee you success while providing a positive return on your investment. The six steps below will help you decide how to choose your programs and get the most out of them.

1. Decide on Your Training Cycles

One of the first steps to take is deciding what your training cycles will be.

Always remember that driver training is not an event. It’s a process. If you don’t make driver training a continuous part of working for your company, you won’t see the results you’re after. That’s why we recommend following this training cycle:

Make sure you choose a safety training program that will meet all of these needs. A program like The Fleet Safety Course makes it easy to conduct online, in-person, and follow-up training. 

When you follow this cycle, you’ll have a world-class training program that drastically reduces accidents and injuries.

2. Focus on Preventing the Top Causes of Accidents

In the section above, we mentioned the term “loss leading indicators.”

Loss leading indicators are the unsafe behaviors that lead to your most common and costly accidents. The best safety training programs for company drivers focus on preventing loss leading indicators for your company.

Many loss leading indicators are universal from company to company. These include:

  • Failing to maintain a safe following distance
  • Failing to properly Look Ahead and Look Around as you approach an intersection
  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Distracted driving

However, there may be loss leading indicators that are specific to your company. You should use telematics solutions such as drivecams to uncover these. Then, focus your training on preventing those specific unsafe behaviors.

3. Choosing The Right Program For You

For obvious reasons, this is a crucial step. You need to do some research to make sure you invest in a training program that makes sense for your company.

First, you need to focus on training programs that meet the needs for your desired training cycles, but it doesn’t stop there.

There are many factors that go into this decision. We’ve written a free ebook called “How to Choose a Defensive Driver Safety Program,” and we think it’s a great place to start. However, there are a few key considerations we’ll point out in this article:

  • How many drivers do you have?
  • What types of vehicles do your drivers operate?
  • What is your cost of loss per year?
  • How many accidents do you typically have per year?
  • What types of accidents are you having?

All of these factors affect whether you should create your training program yourself, implement an off-the-shelf training program, or invest in a custom training program specific to your company.

Here’s one more important question to consider: what topics does the program cover? As discussed earlier, you’ll need to address your loss leading indicators. However, there are some universal defensive driving courses that we believe every driver safety program needs to cover:

  • Following distance
  • Navigating intersections/performing safe turns
  • Safe backing
  • Changing lanes, merging & passing
  • Attentive driving/avoiding distracted driving
  • Preventing pedestrian & cyclist collisions
  • Adverse conditions
  • Preventing personal injuries such as slips, trips & falls

4. Assign Training Management to One Employee

When training belongs to everyone, it belongs to no one. Nothing gets done until one person is singularly responsible for the outcomes and implementation of training.

You need to assign training management to one person at your company. It could be you, it could be another executive/manager, or you could hire someone new altogether. 

Of course, this person can lean on other members of your company for help, but your training manager should be responsible for:

  • Overseeing and scheduling all parts of your driver training cycle
  • Setting and tracking safety/training goals
  • Implementing safety training

When you have someone who “owns” your company’s driver training program, you will experience fewer challenges in your implementation process.

5. Change Management Campaign

People hate change. Just like your company might avoid the pain of switching to a new driver training program, your drivers might resist a new training process.

However, it’s possible and crucial to get buy-in from your drivers. It’s all about how you pitch it to them.

You need to run a change management campaign with your managers and drivers before rolling out the new initiative. This campaign should focus on how the new training program will make life better for your employees. Get them to see what’s in it for them to go along with the new plan.

You need to send out communication in the weeks leading up to the new training roll-out. This can include:

  • Emails
  • Texts
  • Posters
  • Meetings

Not only do you need to explain why the training program is going to make life better for your employees, but you also need to explain what the process looks like. Transparency is key. Be upfront about what is expected of them, when training will happen, etc.

6.  Do a Trial Run

As a final piece of advice, if possible, it’s wise to roll out new training with a test group. Implement your new training program with just a few locations, drivers, managers, etc. See how the process works and if there are any issues that come up.

Once you’ve completed the trial run, collect feedback. Ask the end-users what worked, what didn’t, and how it could be improved. Make appropriate changes before implementing it company-wide.

Don't Do It All Yourself

Implementing a driver training program seems like a daunting task. In reality, it can be extremely simple. 

Find a cost-effective off-the-shelf option that takes the burden off your shoulders. You can save yourself time while reaping the benefits of lower accident numbers and reduced cost of loss. Remember, every moment you delay implementing safety training, your company drivers are at risk. Be proactive. Take action now rather than reacting to an accident that should have been prevented.


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