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Like it or Not - Your Light Duty Vehicle Drivers Need Safety Training

Like-it-or-not-your-light-duty-vehicle-drivers-need-safety-training

FleetSafetyTrainingBlog

If your employees drive in order to complete vital job duties, they’re professional drivers. And without the proper training, they’re putting themselves, others, and your company at risk.

According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States. This has cost companies millions of dollars. Worse yet, it’s caused thousands of people to suffer injuries or even lose their lives. It’s not just truck drivers either. These numbers include light-duty vehicle drivers.

Whether your employees drive to a construction site, visit customer homes to spray for pests and rodents, or pick-up dry cleaning, they face tremendous risk out on the road. By investing in light-duty vehicle safety training, you can save lives while saving money in the process.

What Risks Do Your Drivers (And You) Face?

Driving is the most dangerous thing your employees do - we guarantee it. Even if you have linemen fixing downed telephone poles, driving is more dangerous because they’re more likely to have an accident while behind the wheel.

The CDC has shared some valuable statistics to back-up these claims. Consider the following:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the 1st or 2nd leading cause of death in every major industry group.
  • Work-related motor vehicle crashes are not just an issue for truck, bus, or taxi drivers. 57% of workers who died in 2018 were not employed in motor vehicle operator jobs.
  • From 2003-2018, nearly 30,000 workers in the U.S. died in a work-related motor vehicle crash.
  • In 2018, over one thousand U.S. workers driving or riding in a motor vehicle on a public road died in a work-related crash (that’s 24% of all work-related deaths).

The fact is, these accidents happen to workers in all types of industries all over the country. It could happen to one of your people any day. This isn’t to scare you - it’s just a fact. Driving needs to be treated as serious for every company.

The risks don’t stop at the people behind the wheel, though. Companies face tremendous financial risk from their light-duty vehicle drivers. Consider the following facts from the CDC:

  • In 2013 alone, work-related crashes cost employers $25 billion. Here’s how that number breaks down further:
    • Companies spent $65,000 per nonfatal injury
    • Companies spent $671,000 per fatal accident

When it comes to an accident, you face the possibility of lost-time from workers, rising insurance claims, large fines from court, and a bruised reputation. The costs of accidents are wide-spread and severe.

How Can You Protect Yourself And Your Employees?

If you’re reading this, chances are that accidents are common, costly, and deadly in your industry. The good news is, accidents are entirely preventable. You just need to educate your drivers on safe defensive driving habits.

Effective safety training reduces your drivers’ unsafe behaviors. The less unsafe behaviors, the less chances they have an accident.

You’re probably wondering: where do I begin with driver safety training? You more or less have two options:

  • Make it yourself. Invest time and resources into creating homemade powerpoints, safety resources, and lectures. This option saves you some money up front, but it takes up a lot of your time. Your results will vary depending on how effective you are at creating your materials.
  • Invest in professionally-made safety training. For many companies, the upfront investment in professionally-made safety training is worth it. It saves you time and resources, plus it’s guaranteed to reduce your accidents and injuries. This means the training will quickly pay for itself and then some.

If you want to learn more about our professional light-duty vehicle training, check out The Fleet Safety Course.

When Should You Use Safety Training?

All of your drivers need safety training - newbies and veterans alike. So, what’s the best way to implement safety training, and when should it happen?

It’s important to remember that safety training isn’t a single event. It must be a continually part of working for your company. It allows you to make safety an integral part of your company culture.

That said, one of the best opportunities to implement safety training is when you first hire a new employee. Safety training as part of new-hire training sends the message that being a safe driver is one of the most important job responsibilities. We recommend that you assign online defensive driving training to new employees right after orientation.

With new-hire safety training down, follow-up with re-training and monthly safety meetings. This ensures that your employees will put essential defensive driving practices to use through their entire career with your company.

Don't Wait For Your Big Accident - Invest in Safety Training

Whether your drivers are behind the wheel of a big-rig, a pick-up truck, or a sedan, they face serious risk. Accidents are common, costly, and deadly in nearly all industries. But that doesn’t have to be the case for your company.

Investing in defensive driving training now could save you tons of money on insurance premiums, workers’ comp, and court visits later. Most importantly, it could save your employees from pain and suffering. By investing in defensive driving training, you’re protecting both your bottom line and your employees.

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