Building a Driver Training Program
If you employ drivers, there is a massive responsibility on your shoulders to ensure that your fleet is operating safely. You also need to ensure that your drivers are being safe and are knowledgeable of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration's (FMCSA) rules and regulations.
Drivers are constantly facing new challenges and obstacles when operating a commercial motor vehicle, which is why it is imperative to address concerns and reinforce your safety programs. This is where effective and efficient driver training programs comes in.
In a report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 90% of all crashes can be attributed to human error. According to statistics from the Department of Transportation (DOT), the top reasons for CMV accidents includes speeding, distracted driving and fatigue. This is where the need for an effective training program comes into play.
Developing an effective driver training program isn't an easy task, and often requires hours of research and planning to get the program where it needs to be for each company. Due to this, many companies outsource their training programs to seasoned training providers such as Front Range Compliance Services to create and manage their training program.
Whether you are in the market for a third party service to come in and develop your company's training program or not, here are a few steps you can take to start your training program.
Identify Areas of Concern:
The first step in building an effective training program for your drivers is to identify concerns. These could be from numerous roadside inspection reports, Safety Measurement System data, accidents, navigating difficult terrain, adverse weather conditions, or even managing fatigue. If your SMS data is showing frequent violations with cargo securement, it might not be a bad idea to implement cargo securement training into the program. This goes for all violations, and can potentially save your company thousands in fines.
Tailor Your Training to Your Drivers:
It is always a good idea to speak with your drivers and learn about their on-the-road experiences or challenges. You can tailor the training directly to what each driver has experienced, especially if multiple drivers are experiencing the same challenges. Seeing what the drivers want from training will also help them be involved and excited about the training and take more from it, rather than sit through and data dump the information the second its done.
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DOT University brings relevant compliance training directly to you, ensuring that you and your team are able to train properly without the added hassle of bringing someone in. Certificates provided upon completion of courses.
Today's technology has exploded in every industry, and unfortunately the trucking industry has drug its feet with adapting to the new-age way of doing things. That being said, incorporating technology can be a great way to enhance the learning experience and allow drivers the opportunity to complete the training at their own pace, rather than the tried and true "death by powerpoint" style training. Tools such as online training platforms, like DOT University, or in-cab camera systems provide feedback and interactive learning experience for your drivers.
Open Communication Channels:
Encourage open communication between drivers and management to discuss concerns, share experiences, and provide constructive feedback. Talking with the drivers will not only ensure they are getting the training they want and need, but can identify potential safety problems before they become major problems. Open communications between drivers and management will also foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning.
Safety needs to be the number one goal of any driver training program, and needs to be addressed at every level in your organization. Training specifically for drivers should include defensive driving, fatigue management, safe driving practices, and DOT compliance regulations and requirements. Ensuring your drivers are operating safely and in accordance with the rules and regulations will help protect others on the road and ensure success for your business. Safe business practices will also save you in potential fines.
According to a study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), carriers that implemented a driver training program saw a 30% reduction in accidents and a 20% reduction in out-of-service violations. Operating a safe company that values training can improve job satisfaction and driver retention within your organization.
Ready to take the next steps in creating your driver training program? Front Range Compliance can help! Together we can create a training program that promotes a culture of safety, enhances efficiency on the road, and contributes to the long-term success of your business.
Make sure to check out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing DOT Compliance Essentials and Appendix A.
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