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Why Driver's Ed Isn't Enough: The Importance of Professional Driver Training

Posted by John Kuder on January 6, 2021 in the category Training, Light-Duty Vehicle Safety Training

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Do your employees drive in order to fulfill vital job duties? If the answer’s yes, you have professional drivers.

Most companies that deliver goods, provide in-home services, or work on job sites such as construction don’t view their employees as professional drivers. The reality, though, is that these folks are paid to drive. As a result, they have lives in their hands, and you need to expect more out of them than the average person behind the wheel.

It may seem like we’re splitting hairs, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Truck drivers, motorcoach operators, and the people picking up your kids for school go through weeks and weeks of professional driver training. Your employees face just as much risk when they get behind the wheel, so shouldn’t they receive the same amount of training?

Without proper defensive driving training, you face the risk of:

  • Your people getting hurt
  • Your people hurting someone else out on the road
  • A major lawsuit if one of your employees causes an accident

On the other hand, if you invest in a non-cdl fleet safety training program like The Fleet Safety Course, you can sleep well at night knowing you’re reducing your cost of loss, minimizing your liability, and protecting your people.

Driver’s Ed Ain’t Cuttin It

Many companies and organizations will hire anyone with a license and a clean record. That won’t cut it from a risk mitigation standpoint. Here are three reasons why you can’t rely on the basic driver’s ed class and an accident-free driving record if you have professional drivers.

1. We Don't Remember What We Don't Use

Do you remember how to calculate the radius of a circle? Do you remember the steps to the scientific method? Can you recite any facts about the Mesoamerican cultures and civilizations?

These are all things we learned in middle school. Today, most of us don’t have a clue about any of them, and it works the same with driver’s ed classes. By the time you hire a driver, even if he or she has a clean record, everything they learned is long gone. They won’t use hardly any of it while they’re on the road.

Equip your drivers with the knowledge of safe, defensive driving. Use a professional driver training program to make sure safety stays top of mind for your employees.

2. Learning About Rules Isn't Safety Training

Driver’s education courses most often focus on laws and regulations related to driving. This of course is vital information for being a safe driver, but it’s really just compliance. And compliance is NOT the same thing as safety.

You want your drivers to see and avoid risk. You want them to see the things that can cause them problems before it’s too late. You want them to be attentive and defensive. In short, you want them to prevent accidents. 

Knowing the specific rules for an uncontrolled intersection or the exact tread-depth for their tires isn't enough to prevent accidents. You need professional driver training if you want to impact your safety numbers.

3. Unsafe Behaviors Will ALWAYS Lead to an Accident

This seems like a bold claim, but it’s actually supported by scientific studies. It goes back to Heinrich’s theory of 300:29:1. The theory goes like this:

  • For every 1 major, life changing accident
  • There were 29 identical near misses or minor accidents related to the big accident
  • For each of those 29 minor accidents, there were 300 identical unsafe behaviors that went unchecked or unnoticed

Here’s an example. If you have a driver that routinely fails to maintain a safe following distance (that’s the 300), they are going to have some close calls, some panic stops, or maybe even a minor fender-bender (that’s the 29). Eventually, though, that driver will cause a major collision, potentially ending someone’s life (that’s the 1).

This theory has serious implications on driver training. You can’t tell if someone’s a safe driver just by looking at their record. They might have been getting away with murder their whole life. Then, once you hire them, you’re taking on the risk of them causing a collision in your vehicle. Without proper driver training, it’s only a matter of time before an unsafe driver causes a serious accident.

Protect Your People (And Yourself): Invest in Driver Training

Like any half-decent human, you care about the safety and well-being of your employees. As a company that requires their employees to drive, part of caring about their well-being is professional defensive driving training. It’s not enough to rely on driver’s ed and a clean record. 

When you invest in professional driver training like the Fleet Safety Course, you will:

  • Have out-come based training that’s proven to reduce accidents
  • Encourage safe, productive behavior from your employees
  • Save yourself time and resources otherwise spent on creating your own training materials
  • Have access to a learning management system to host all your training content
  • Reduce your company risk, prevent accidents, and save lives

Better yet, when you schedule a demo with us for the Fleet Safety Course, you get free access to all of this for 30 Days.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you prevent accidents, protect your people, and protect yourself from cost of loss.

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