As the term “safety culture” gains more traction in the industry, what is your fleet doing to stay cutting edge? While technology plays a supporting role, fleet safety begins with the driver. A carrier focused on effective driver coaching and training stands the best chance to build a great safety culture. Here are a few simple tips to jump start your driver safety program.
1. Understand different learning styles
Get to know your drivers and their learning styles. Whether visual, auditory or hands-on, provide training materials and experiences that work for their specific style. Mix it up with the following training methods to make sure you’re keying in to each driver’s learning preference.
- Visual – Learns best by seeing. Use color coding, checklists, flashcards, displays, diagrams and as many pictures as possible.
- Auditory – Learns best by listening to words, sounds and noises. Read manuals and checklists aloud and have drivers listen to informational webinars.
- Tactile/Hands-on – Learns best by actually experiencing and doing it themselves. Have drivers move around, write on a whiteboard or incorporate movement into lessons.
2. Technology training is crucial
Make sure your drivers know how to use all the fancy, new tech you are putting in their trucks. Drivers must understand and be able to use an ELD, including how to annotate, edit, and certify RODS. They must also know how to display and transfer data to safety officials upon request. Roadside inspections are easier for both enforcement and drivers if they are well-trained on their technology solution.
The more they understand about their tech tools, the easier the transition will be. Focus on the value-add nature of their new ELDs and/or cameras. Showing a case-study about how an in-cab camera helped a driver prove his innocence in an incident can be all it takes to change a driver’s mind about technology.
3. Explore and learn from your data
Technology has given us greater insight to business operations. Use and share your data to help your drivers be successful. Driver behavior data, such as harsh braking and speeding can be helpful for coaching and improving safety overall. Fleet technology equipped with proactive monitoring tools like the EROAD Overspeed Dashboard can show you the number of speeding events by vehicle or driver over a period of time. For each driver, you can view the areas where they frequently speed and coach them individually.
4. Spice up safety meetings
Make your safety meetings work for you by creating dynamic content that relates to your drivers. Go beyond the status quo by bringing in guest speakers, using new presentation methods and even YouTube videos to break through the noise. Looking for a new idea? Add some healthy competition and make driver safety fun with a tool like the EROAD Driver Leaderboard. The Leaderboard ranks your drivers, benchmarks their performance against other drivers and highlights key risk areas. It’s a great way to incentivize and promote healthy competition amongst your drivers to be the safest in your fleet. Print out the results to hand out at your next safety meeting, or post it up on the break room bulletin board for easy viewing.
Take fleet safety to the next level
Training isn’t easy, but it certainly pays off. If you make and take the time to implement training your drivers properly, you’ll be more likely to stay compliant out on the road while keeping your drivers happy. Take your driver coaching and safety meetings to the next level by watching our fleet safety improvement webinar.
Susan is responsible for the development and execution of EROAD's robust training program in the U.S. With over 10 years’ experience in the regulatory environment, Susan brings knowledge from both carrier and driver perspectives. Susan’s main objective is bridging the gap between customers, product developers, enforcement and regulators to ensure compliance and safety is achieved quickly, easily and with lasting results.