Promoting a safety-first culture is one of the top ways fleet managers can protect their bottom lines. Implementing a safety incentive program is a good place to start, but it’s also important to champion training — both for new drivers and seasoned veterans.
Fortunately, initial training for inexperienced drivers is now standardized nationally thanks to the Entry-Level Driver Training Rule (ELDT), which took effect on Feb. 7, 2022. Under the rule, prospective drivers are required to train at a federally registered location before they’re eligible to test for their commercial driver’s license (CDL) or any additional endorsements. Previously, standards for CDL training were varied and regulated by states.
The ELDT rule helps make roads safer, but it might also help reduce the industry’s driver shortage and retention concerns. Setting national standards is a step toward improving driver satisfaction and increasing career longevity. New drivers now know what’s expected of them. Additionally, fleet managers know the potential hiring pool is now better qualified.
The potential industry-wide adoption of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is another opportunity for fleets to focus on safety training, regardless of drivers’ years of experience. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Authority (FMCSA) has teamed up with several leading trucking industry organizations to create Tech-Celerate Now. The program provides outreach materials for fleets to implement ADAS and training materials for drivers related to ADAS operation, inspection, maintenance and troubleshooting.
ADAS technologies — active braking, active steering, active warning and camera monitoring systems — have the potential to dramatically decrease the likelihood of crashes occurring. Fewer crashes, of course, equate to better safety scores.
Furthermore, many fleets are now choosing to adopt event recorders to help mitigate their risk. With the available camera technology, drivers and fleets don’t have to second guess what happened on the road. These tools can not only be used to exonerate the driver or the fleet, but also as robust training tools to promote safer driving behaviors.
Focusing on ongoing safety training doesn’t just protect drivers and the public. Prioritizing a safety-first mindset could mean the difference between a fleet thriving financially and having to close its doors.
If you want to learn more about the safety resources from TVC, check out this recent webinar with Shahbaz Chaudhary, Regional Sales Director of telematics company Spireon. You can contact email@example.com for information on how TVC can help your fleet promote safe driving behaviors.
By Nick Hillesheim, TVC Pro-Driver Chief Sales Officer