A transport driver smiling behind the wheel

How to Enhance Safety for Transport Drivers

Jul 6 2022

When a commercial truck gets into an accident, the average cost is $148,000. The cost could rise even more if…

  • More than one person is injured by the accident;
  • The person or people involved suffer severe injuries; or
  • Most of the cargo is spilled or badly damaged by the accident.   

Furthermore, if the accident leads to a fatality, this could cost your business millions of dollars

Ultimately, there are also non-monetary losses that are even more important to avoid. Priority should be given to a person's life or quality of life. Businesses never want to be the cause of death, disability, or traumatic injury. 

Taking proactive measures to ensure trucker safety is a win-win for everyone. Here’s why:

  • The general public will be safer.
  • Your transport drivers will feel looked after (potentially reducing attrition). 
  • You can keep running your business smoothly with more peace of mind. 
  • Clients will have more trust in your company.  

At KASE Insurance, we are passionate about launching businesses toward a safe and successful future. With this comprehensive guide on transport driver safety, you can get a step closer to protecting your company and the community.

A transport truck that is maintained according to trucker safety standards

The Pillars of Effective Transport Driver Safety Protocols

Effective trucker safety protocols involve various factors. Taking a closer look at the following elements can give you an idea as to which areas need urgent attention. 

  • The condition of your vehicles;
  • The skill level of your transport drivers;
  • The complete, clear, and effective enforcement of safety policies;
  • The health and well-being of your drivers; and
  • The safety of the routes that you use. 

Who Do These Trucker Safety Guidelines Apply To?

If your company operates rented or owned vehicles that are listed below, then the upcoming tips on transport driver safety will be highly beneficial for your business. 

  • Box trucks
  • Freight trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Car transporter trucks
  • Tank trucks
  • Chiller trucks
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Towing vehicles
  • Cargo vans
  • And other similar vehicles used for transporting goods/materials

11 Way to Improve Truck Driver Safety

1. Make Sure your Drivers are Properly Screened

Ensure that anyone getting behind the wheel of your rented/owned transport vehicles has a good driving record. Check their driving records for the past three years at the very least. You may also qualify for lower commercial auto insurance (or fleet insurance) rates if your employees’ driving records are clean.

2. Keep Your Drivers Sharp by Providing Regular Training

Ontario was one of the first provinces to enforce mandatory training for truck drivers. Over the years, the number of training hours required to get into this line of work was defined across Canada. Through this setup, both new and seasoned drivers will benefit from ongoing training.  

With the help of a certified trainer, you can reinforce vital transport driver skills—as well as provide opportunities for upskilling. Training could focus on defensive driving, first aid, healthy living, responding to sudden harsh weather conditions, and so on.

Not only does this tip ensure trucker safety, but it also helps drivers feel more fulfilled, confident, and looked after.

3. Have Coaching Sessions and Reward Programs for Safe Driving

Good van or truck driving habits can be encouraged with coaching sessions and reward programs. Dashcams provide footage that can be used to show how to drive more safely. This footage can also be the basis for rewards. 

4. Instill Emergency and First-Aid Knowledge

Teach drivers how to respond to situations such as inclement weather, flooding, truck breakdowns, collisions, natural disasters, and encounters with criminal elements. In addition, make sure that the trucks or vans have a first aid kit, emergency snacks, water, a change of clothes, and blankets. 

5. Encourage Drivers to Avoid Distractions

Distractions like smartphone usage, watching videos, and eating while driving can cause road accidents. To enforce a distraction-free work ethic, you can use dual-facing dash cams that use artificial intelligence to detect distracted behaviour.

6. Have a Documented Set of Trucker Safety Policies

Establish a set of detailed and documented safety policies for transport drivers. Have your managers explain these to your drivers, and ask both the driver and their manager to sign the documents. You can also establish regular sessions for reviewing trucker safety policies with your drivers.  

Close-up of a binder that holds trucker safety documents

7. Set Up Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspections

Poorly maintained vehicles are more susceptible to malfunctions and breakdowns. That’s why it’s essential to be thorough with daily vehicle inspections. Don’t forget to adequately document pre-trip and post-trip inspections. It’s also recommended to create a preventive maintenance schedule for your vehicles.

8. Track Your Fleet with GPS

The best-known use for GPS tracking is preventing vehicle theft. This technology can also ensure that immediate help is sent to drivers following an accident, or if they get stranded somewhere. For routes that traverse uninhabited areas, coordinates are required for emergency response. Therefore, GPS tracking is crucial for trucks/vans that travel through such areas.

9. Consider Getting Software to Reroute Your Drivers To a Safer Path

There are certain software products that provide weather and traffic reports in real-time. This information can be used by your dispatchers to redirect drivers to safer and less congested routes, which will minimize the probability of road accidents.

10. Have a Healthy Shift Schedule and Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Given that there is a prevalence of truck accidents involving falling asleep behind the wheel, having healthier shift schedules can uphold trucker safety and positively impact transport drivers. Having happy and healthy employees can also lessen attrition rates.

11. Have the Right Insurance in Place

Unfortunately, despite following all of the safety tips mentioned above, it is still possible to encounter accidents. Criminal elements can also steal or vandalize the vehicles in your fleet. This is why having comprehensive transportation insurance is recommended. 

This insurance bundle can include fleet insurance (e.g. a commercial auto insurance policy for a fleet of vehicles) along with cargo insurance or freight forwarder insurance to ensure that your business is fully protected. 

Protect Your Fleet with Customized Insurance

This wraps up our guide on transport driver safety. If you’re looking to boost your trucker safety plan with the right insurance policies, we’re here to help! 

KASE Insurance is an award-winning insurance brokerage firm based in Ontario. Through the years, we’ve helped various businesses get the customized commercial auto insurance that they need to protect them. Whether you need fleet insurance, cargo insurance, or freight forwarder insurance, you can count on us to give your business exemplary, tailor-fit coverage. 

Contact us today!

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