Motor Vehicle Accident Tips for Your Trucking Company
Did you know motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States, and truck drivers are some of the most vulnerable drivers on the road? Owning a truck company, it is important to take proactive steps to help reduce the risk of an accident involving one of your vehicles and to keep your drivers safe. This is why it is imperative that all trucking companies have a comprehensive safety program in place that ensures that their drivers are aware of all risks and dangers on the road and are properly trained to handle each and every one of them.
A well-established safety program not only keeps your drivers safe, but it can also help protect your business financially. It should be of no shock that motor vehicle accidents can be some of the most costly incidents for any business. Damaged equipment, worker compensation payouts, legal fees, and insurance can pile up against you and your business, so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. This blog will cover why you need a safety plan, tips you can take to help prevent accidents, and how to respond in the event of an accident.
Create a Safety Program
The first step to protecting and/or preventing your drivers from a motor vehicle accident is to create a clear and executable safety program. This safety program should include clear guidelines and expectations for all employees at the company. The whole premise of this plan should be to make sure everyone is trained and understands the rules of the road and policies of your company.
Your safety program should bring a uniform understanding of how to prevent accidents and how to respond in the event of an accident. There should be several action steps in place that will hold employees accountable and make sure they are equipped to operate safely on the road.
Here are 4 Tips To Help Prevent A Motor Vehicle Accident:
1. Monitor Drivers Closely
One actionable step you can add to your company’s safety program is monitoring your drivers while on the road. Monitoring your drivers while they are on the road is one way to ensure that they are maintaining safe driving practices. Many companies, not just in the trucking industry, have systems in place that allow them to track their drivers’ speed, location, and other metrics. Systems like TextLocate. This data can help indicate if a driver is following proper safety procedures or if they are at a higher risk of an accident. Having a tracking/monitoring system in place and having access to this data can help you prepare any necessary intervention with your drivers. This allows you to be proactive and address safety issues before an accident happens.
2. Train Drivers Regularly
Another key part of a well-planned safety program is regular safety training. As the owner, it is important that your drivers are properly trained in all aspects of trucking. New and veteran drivers both will benefit from regular training on motor vehicle safety and defensive driving techniques. These training sessions should cover topics such as proper speed control, lane-changing protocols, and how to recognize potential hazards on the road. Regular refresher courses will also help keep these lessons top-of-mind for your drivers and can help prevent accidents from occurring due to driver error or negligence.
3. Utilize Technology
One of the great things about operating a business in this technology-driven era is having unlimited access to so many amazing systems that can not only improve your business but keep your drivers safe. As mentioned, lots of trucking companies already use monitoring technology to track driver performance. They then can use the data to identify drivers that are at higher risk of accidents and need possible intervention. There are several other technologies that are worth mentioning that could be of value for your safety program.
A fleet performance tracking system could be another great addition to your safety protocols. This system can supply valuable performance data on each truck in your fleet. It can alert you of potential issues with your trucks and can more accurately track maintenance needs before they become serious problems. By more accurately tracking maintenance needs, you can ensure all necessary repairs are completed in a timely manner. This helps guarantee your drivers are operating well-maintained trucks and will be able to drive, stop and react to changing conditions more effectively when they arise.
The utilization of cameras and face-tracking software has also seen an increase in popularity over the past decade. Implementing cameras in the driver’s cab can be a great safety tool. These cameras can record the driver’s route and provide valuable evidence if an accident does occur. This footage can be accessed by each party, and liability can be determined quickly and accurately. No more relying solely on witness testimony or other uncontrollable factors. Also worth mentioning is face tracking software has seen an increase in use in the trucking industry. This software has value in the fact that it can track a driver’s facial movements in the cab and identify if they are experiencing fatigue, one of the leading causes of accidents. Using this software can be yet another layer of protection you and your company needs.
4. Maintain Vehicles Properly
Regular maintenance is essential for keeping fleets running smoothly and efficiently with minimal downtime due to mechanical issues or breakdowns. Proper truck maintenance can also help reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents due to equipment failure or other mechanical problems, such as tire blowouts or steering malfunctions which could lead to an accident if left unchecked.
Your trucking companies should have a system in place for tracking maintenance schedules and ensuring that all necessary inspections and repairs are completed in a timely manner in order to keep fleet vehicles running safely at all times.
What To Do When Your Truck Gets in an Accident?
If an accident does occur, it’s important that your trucking company has a plan in place for how to handle it. Having a clear accident policy that makes sure all employees are trained in how to respond is crucial.
One of the first things all employees should know is who they should contact if necessary (such as dispatchers, brokers, police officers or insurance representatives). Make sure this is clearly stated in your policy and accessible to everyone. Another crucial step is marking the scene after an accident. Make sure your drivers are trained in how to properly mark the scene and set up all emergency warning devices correctly to notify oncoming traffic and ensure safety for all involved.
Lastly, make sure all drivers know what information they need to collect from all parties involved, such as names, pictures of the damage, policy information, phone numbers, and license plate numbers, if applicable. Also, it can be helpful to collect the names and badge numbers of the responding authorities at the scene.
Once you have collected all necessary information at the scene of the accident, it is important to create a permanent record of the accident. Creating an accident register should be a part of your company’s safety program. In fact, the FMCSA requires all companies to keep an accident register for three years after the date of any accident.
This document should include information about each incident, such as date, time, location, vehicles involved, injuries sustained (if applicable), damages incurred, etc. Having this information readily available can be invaluable if there is ever a dispute over liability or other related issues stemming from an accident. It also serves as a reminder of why safety must always remain a top priority when operating trucks within your organization.
All in all, keeping your trucking company safe on the roads requires preparation and awareness at every level. A comprehensive safety program will go a long way.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause significant losses both financially and emotionally; therefore, it is important for companies who rely on their fleets of trucks to take proactive steps toward preventing them from happening.
These steps can include closely monitoring your drivers’ performance, providing regular training courses, utilizing technology, and keeping up with your fleet’s maintenance.
With these tips in mind, your trucking company will be well-prepared to navigate the roads safely!
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