7 Strategies to Reduce Truck Driving Accidents in Commercial Fleets

As a commercial fleet manager, you know that a single accident can have a significant impact on your business. Not only can it result in property damage and legal costs, but it can also lead to a loss of service, which can be detrimental to your reputation. That’s why reducing accident rates should be a top priority. Here are seven accident reduction strategies that can help you keep your fleet safe on the road.

  1. Respect the Speed Limit

Speeding is a major cause of accidents on the road. By operating at a legal and reasonable speed, drivers have greater control of their vehicles and can make better decisions. Higher speeds lead to less control over the vehicles and more accidents. They also lead to significantly more damaging and costly accidents. By slowing down a few miles per hour, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of fatal accidents.

  1. Plan Every Trip

Drivers should never be distracted from their primary job, which is driving. Trip planning should become a habit that every driver uses before hitting the road. Before the engine ever starts, the truck driver needs to have a plan for where they’re driving, how they’re going to get there, and what they should expect from the road conditions. Planning gives them the tools to prepare and plan ahead to ensure the drive is safe.

  1. Be Thorough and Methodical

Commercial truck drivers should never think of driving as something that can be done without thinking. Before any trip, a commercial truck driver should complete a pre-trip inspection to ensure everything is functioning properly. As part of driver safety training, a checklist for pre-drive inspections can be established to double-check that everything is covered every time. On the road, a driver should be alert. Simple things like signaling on turns and checking blind spots help prevent accidents.

  1. Sleep

There are strict regulations on how long a truck driver can be behind the wheel and how long they need to take a break before driving again. It’s illegal to ignore these regulations, and it’s unsafe for truck drivers to push through and drive while tired. What a truck driver does during their time off can directly impact their performance behind the wheel. By encouraging drivers to use their time off to rest and prepare for their next haul, they prepare better for their time behind the wheel.

  1. Zero Tolerance for Drugs or Alcohol

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous. Even stimulants that some drivers use to stay awake, like energy drinks and caffeine pills, force your body to unnaturally stay alert. Stimulants increase the likelihood of risks like unsafe lane changes, speeding, and other risky maneuvers, leading to more accidents. 

  1. Know What You’re Driving and What You’re Hauling

Experience with different trucks and trailers makes truck drivers less likely to get into accidents. Some drivers are experts in driving one truck but struggle when they have to operate a different make or model with which they don’t have thousands of hours of experience. To help prevent accidents, drivers should have experience with every type of truck in the fleet and know the vehicle’s quirks, strengths, and weaknesses.

  1. No Distractions

A distracted driver is an unsafe driver. When a driver focuses on anything other than the road, the chances of getting into an accident increase. Drivers should never be on their cell phones in any way while driving. That means no streaming, no texting, or phone calls while driving. This assures drivers are focused on the road and safety rather than managing updates or scrolling through a playlist to find the right song.

In addition to these strategies, there are many other tools and resources that help fleet managers ensure their truck drivers are reducing the likelihood of accidents and saving the company money by avoiding these accidents. If you would like to get your fleet drivers more experience before hitting the road, use the L3 Harris driver training service simulator to help your drivers avoid accidents and get ready for the road.