Defensive Driving Management

Driving is a skill. At training camp, veteran football players start with fundamental drills: blocking, tackling, throwing, catching and running. Why? Didn't they learn that stuff in pee-wee ball? Professional athletes still get into poor habits. And so do your professional drivers.

Skills are honed, refreshed, updated, practiced and coached. Think about these words when discussing defensive driving.

Drug free, no cell phones, well-rested and physical fitness for the job are driver requirements to ready them to sit in the vehicle. These are company obligations for safe operations: assure the driver is ready to take the wheel, schedule deliveries with enough time to drive safely and assure the drivers are well-instructed and coached in defensive driving.

Standard operating procedures and company culture set the stage for safe driving. Set procedures and expectations which reflect safety as more important than on-time delivery. The best way to accomplish this goal is to allow plenty of time for delivery. Realistic driving schedules accounting for traffic and seasonal variations take management logistics skill, but they assure safe delivery of goods and services.

The company culture expresses the value of safe driving above delivery schedule. Checking driver fitness and logistical favor-ability towards safety lets the driver know it's up to his skill level to complete a do-able task.

On line products regarding safe driving can be useful as reminders, but direct monitoring and correction work better.

Catch the drivers doing something right. Whether it's a thorough pre-trip inspection of the vehicle, buckling up or turning off their cell phones, praise good behavior. Make a point of positive reinforcement for safe driving habits. Drivers tend to get negative criticism more often than positive reward. Like the left tackle who hears about his missed block causing a sack, the driver only hears about his one accident in ten years.

If praised regularly for safe driving, the driver is more willing to accept criticism or corrective action for poor habits.

Employ trainers to re-evaluate drivers at least annually on a ride-along. Small habits can cause large accidents. 

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