The Health & Safety Side Of Managing Your Drivers

Health and safety are vital for the workplace, no matter the type of workplace. However, the specifics of where your team works, and what kind of work they do, are naturally going to influence where your attention should be when it comes to keeping them safe. For any drivers that you have in your business, be it doing deliveries, managing freight, or otherwise, keeping them safe on the road should be your primary concern. Here, we’re going to look at considerations to take, be it with a single delivery driver or a fleet’s worth.

Invest in the right safety tech for the vehicles

One of the biggest contributors to the safety of the team on the road is going to be the vehicle itself. As such, you should ensure that your vehicles are equipped with the best road safety tech that you can reasonably invest in. There are plenty of car safety features that have already been popularized, many of which can be installed on vehicles that do not have them as standard. This includes things like antilock braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, blind-spot detection, rearview cameras, and more. Which of these you can invest in will naturally depend on the type of vehicles your drivers are driving, as well as how much you are willing and able to budget towards driver safety.

Don’t forget to invest in the vehicle itself

Adding new safety features to a vehicle to ensure that it’s less likely to get into accidents isn’t the only way to make it safer out there. Ensuring the mechanical integrity of the vehicle itself is going to play just as large a role. You should be investing in routine and preventative maintenance in your professional vehicles no matter what, whether it means training your drivers in maintenance or maintaining a working relationship with a local garage. Aside from being much more likely to prevent small problems from becoming big issues (and thus more expensive) over time, it also highly reduces the likelihood of incidents on the road, including collisions and breakdowns, due to parts failure.

Support them with the right software

You might think that there’s little that someone on a computer can do when the rubber meets the road. However, that simply is not true. Equipping your drivers with hands-free headsets that they can use to connect to dispatch easily is one way to make sure they’re not endangering themselves by picking up the phone when they need updates. However, with fleet management software, you can have them connected to a backup team that is able to update them on factors such as road conditions so that they can better prepare for some of the risks that they are likely to face while out there, rather than leaving it up to them to adapt on the fly. 

Dealing with the legal liabilities

There are two kinds of collisions that can happen on the road: the kind that your company is responsible for and the kind that other motorists or actors are responsible for. For that former, you need to ensure that you are investing in adequate insurance, not to mention worker’s compensation, needed to pay for any damages incurred by your driver, vehicles, or others involved in the incident. For the latter, your best bet is to have access to legal professionals, such as professional motorcycle accident attorneys if you have delivery drivers on bikes. Don’t hope that accidents won’t happen, be prepared for the likelihood that they will and that you will have to deal with the question of who is legally liable.

Keep training your drivers

Just because your drivers are licensed to drive the vehicle that they operate does not mean that they are the safest drivers that they could be. One of the rules of training in any professional environment is that we begin to forget it as soon as we have learned it. As such, aside from looking at additional training opportunities such as defensive driving for motorcyclists, you should also address safety hazards on the road and how drivers can handle them on a regular basis. Broaching topics like drowsy driving, adverse conditions, and certain dangerous driving situations can help you keep the knowledge fresh in the driver’s mind so that they’re more likely to handle such situations better.

Roads are inherently dangerous. Vehicles are inherently dangerous. It’s your responsibility to make sure that you as an employee account for the dangers inherent to them, not to leave it up to your employees.

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