According to the United States Bureau of Statistics, over 953 truck drivers were killed on the job in 2020. That is a rate of about 22 per 100,000 workers. 7% of fatal trucking accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Risk management and safety are important factors to consider when reviewing the overall success for any trucking company.
Operations with a strong safety program receive the best insurance premiums. Because drivers are the most essential factor in contributing to accidents we have provided you with three suggested actions to help reduce the likelihood of claims.
Hire the right person- Make sure they have the skills to do the job. Did you put them in the vehicle to see if they could drive it safely? Do they know how to safely load the vehicle? Complete background checks. Make sure they speak and read English well enough to converse with the general public, understand highway traffic and signals, respond to official questions, and be able to make legible entries on reports and records.
Manage fatigue- The critical item here is to educate and make drivers aware of fatigue. Some of the warning signs are drowsiness, yawing, head nodding, lane deviations, and more. Make fatigue awareness part of safety training or pre-shift meetings. Prevention tips for fatigue; stop and walk around, change your routine, open a window, talk to passengers or stop and take a break.
Understanding the road conditions- Wind, heavy rains and heavy traffic conditions pose extra safety threats for truck drivers. Poor weather including rain, snow, or hail, increases the time required for trucks to stop on slick roads, can impede visibility and can cause the truck to sway erratically due to wind gusts. Truck drivers should know how to drive in rainy conditions when to stop driving due to danger, emergency procedures, and how to limit the impact of poor conditions on their driving.