There is a lot of talk about how businesses can improve the efficiency of their shipping services. After all, people want products overnight and if they are made to wait more than a few days, they will have a negative perception of the company. But efficiency and speed are not the only things you should be thinking about, you also need to consider the safety of your drivers.
Unfortunately, the focus on improving speed often means that businesses push their drivers to rush and they cut corners, so they make the job less safe. But you have a responsibility to manage health and safety, and that extends to the road. So, if you run a shipping business or you handle your own logistics, these are some of the best ways to improve safety for your drivers.
Hire Experienced Drivers
Hiring experienced drivers is the best way to reduce the chances of accidents. When you hire inexperienced drivers, they are more likely to make mistakes. If you are already working with an established business to move your products, be sure to ask them for experienced drivers.
Before hiring a new driver, always do the necessary checks like visiting their references and making sure they have the right license. If you are going to hire a driver from an agency, make sure that they give you a list of experienced people for you to choose from. If possible, you should also look for people with additional driving qualifications.
Teach Defensive Driving Techniques
It is very important that you teach your drivers defensive driving techniques. If they are well-trained in how to use the road, chances are they will avoid dangerous situations. This may involve teaching them basic things like avoiding high speeds and parking at night, but it might also mean additional training depending on the type of vehicle they are using. Defensive driving is all about proactive thinking, meaning that your driver will be able to predict changes in traffic conditions before they happen. They understand what other people are likely to do so can adjust their driving accordingly.
To teach your drivers the skills needed for safe driving, help them familiarize themselves with current rules and regulations, or maybe take a refresher course for experienced drivers. However, whether you provide training yourself or hire a third-party company to do it, make sure that your drivers feel comfortable with the material so they can actually apply them when they are on the road. These techniques can get people out of some very dangerous situations, so don’t underestimate them.
Install Black Boxes In Vehicles
Black box devices offer a ton of benefits, including making driving more efficient and safer. You have access to real-time data on drivers’ speeds and braking habits. With this information, it is very easy for you to identify dangerous drivers and take action before they cause an accident. If there’s an experienced driver who is speeding or braking too hard, which could indicate aggressive driving behaviors, then you can be prepared for an issue. Using black boxes to make sure that drivers are not swerving around all over the place will also help you to make sure products get to their destination safely.
Use Route Optimization Software
One of the things that experienced drivers are really good at is knowing how to find the quickest route between two points. But when you consider all of the factors, this can be a very complicated thing to do and most people cannot do it in their head. Therefore, you should look at using software tools like route optimization software so you can provide detailed instructions for your drivers.
If your business has particularly complex routes that need to be taken on a regular basis then this type of software will save them a lot of time and help prevent mistakes from being made. Route optimization software can also help you find alternate routes that avoid particularly busy and dangerous roads, reducing the chances of an accident.
Creating a simulation of the actual route that they drive is also a good way to predict and avoid potential dangers. You can contact a swept path analysis consultant to help you with your travel planning. They will be able to digitally model your routes and help you improve safety. By implementing these tech tools, you can create faster, more efficient routes but also drastically increase safety at the same time, so everybody wins.
Keep Up With Vehicle Maintenance
Poorly maintained vehicles are incredibly dangerous to drive. You can ask your driver to report on vehicle health, but it is much better if you ensure that vehicles are fixed before they become a problem. If you send an older rig out onto the road without fixing it first, chances are it will break down and create traffic problems or accidents. Instead, make sure that vehicles go through regular checkups so you can spot any problems early on.
When possible, try to find ways to reduce downtime by fixing things yourself as soon as they happen. Buying replacement parts and keeping them on hand so you can replace them immediately is a great way to speed things up. Being able to conduct repairs yourself will save you a lot of time and money. However, in the interests of safety, know your limits and take vehicles to a professional when necessary.
Make Shipping Promises More Realistic
Often, drivers are put in dangerous situations because the company over promises on delivery and they have to rush their routes to meet those promises. If your current supply chain cannot realistically meet next-day delivery, don’t offer it to your customers because you are just forcing your drivers into dangerous situations.
A lot of small companies worry that they cannot meet the delivery promises that big companies offer and this will impact their bottom line. However, most people are willing to wait a few days, so think about what you can safely achieve and change your delivery offering on your website.
Speed is important, but there is nothing more important than the safety of your employees. So, make sure that you implement these changes to keep your drivers safe.