Corporate driver training is one of the most important aspects of fleet management, given the fact that safety for your drivers and for your fleet is a top priority for any company using a fleet of vehicles in the conduct of its business. There are quite a few benefits that accrue to any company which provides corporate driver training to its employees, the first of which is that drivers will have a more thorough understanding of the rules of the road, and that will contribute to them making better driving decisions.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that safe driving habits are just as big a contributor to the company’s success as proper maintenance of vehicles, and a good customer service program. The best way to improve driver skills and promote safe driving habits is to combine classroom instruction, behind-the-wheel training, and a body of follow-up instruction. This approach is much better than online training with simulators because nothing can really approach the reality of physical traffic situations and the need to react to them. Here are some of the other important benefits of corporate driver training.
More Satisfied Drivers and Employees
By establishing and administering a program of corporate driver training, an employer tacitly conveys to employees that they are valuable and that their daily service is important to the company. As drivers increase their road skills and become more compatible with traffic, rather than fighting it every day, they become more comfortable and far less anxious on the road.
The result of all this is that they’re much more content and satisfied with their jobs, and that results in greater employee retention. If you’re working with a third party to have your employees trained in proper driving techniques, make sure that the company has had experience working with fleets, and that they understand the challenges that fleet drivers are presented with daily.
Keep in mind that the success of your corporate driver training program will depend largely on the effectiveness of your instructors. That means they should be able to convince even the most experienced drivers that their system is really workable and that it will ultimately make their jobs easier. The better your instructors can relate to a wide range of personality types and drivers, the more effective will be their instruction.
Keeps your Fleet and your Drivers in Compliance
Corporate driver training programs are an excellent way to make sure that you stay in compliance with the Department of Transportation’s complex system of regulations. Every now and then, the DOT will conduct a compliance review of an organization, generally a random type of review, in order to ensure that the masses are adhering to departmental requirements.
This makes it doubly important that you hire the right driver instruction school, so they can ensure that drivers are aware of all current regulations, and have proper certification in areas where it’s necessary. You’ll also have to demonstrate that your fleet is being managed efficiently, and has a regular program for vehicle maintenance, for every vehicle in the fleet.
Improves Fuel Economy
Fuel costs are one of the major expenses for any fleet management operation, especially given the fact that fuel costs are constantly rising and seldom slide back down the scale. When drivers have been trained to make better decisions on the road and during traffic, this can help conserve fuel and lower costs. For instance, by avoiding jackrabbit starts and by traveling at posted speed limits, a great deal of fuel can be conserved and that will help lower the overall cost of fuel purchases.
Good driving practices can also result in less wear and tear on all vehicles in the fleet, and that can contribute to reducing maintenance costs necessary. Drivers who have been in instructed about the value of keeping tires properly inflated will be aware of the impact that can have on fuel management and can help to keep fuel costs more manageable. A better driver on the road will always be an important factor in managing both maintenance costs and fuel costs, so if your corporate driver training program can emphasize these points, it will be highly beneficial to your company.
Driver Training Saves Lives
One of the most important aspects of corporate driver training is that it will help to save many lives. Every year in this country, thousands of people are killed on the roadways, and thousands more become injured as a result of crashes which occur while drivers are on the job. If there’s any good news about this, it’s that most of these crashes are preventable when drivers are taught the principles of advanced training, which include avoiding collisions and accidents.
Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), agree that by implementing an effective program of corporate driver training, the number of crashes your employees might be involved in will be dramatically lowered. This, in turn, will save lives and reduce the number of injuries that your employees and others are involved with.
Corporate Driver Training Saves Money
Any time company employees are involved in accidents or crashes, it’s the employer who is responsible for paying all the damages. It is known that vehicle crashes amount to something like $60 billion of expenses to employers each year, including property damage, medical and legal expenses, lost productivity, and insurance claims. Statistically, the cost of a non-fatal crash is approximately $24,000, and when there are injuries involved that number jumps to $74,000. When there’s a fatality involved in the accident, the total cost comes to $670,000. By instructing your employees in the best methods for avoiding car crashes, you will be able to save your company a ton of money, and that will have a big impact on your bottom line.
From all the reasons listed above, it should be clear that implementing a program of corporate driver training can be highly advantageous to your business, and that you should establish such a program at the earliest opportunity if you haven’t already done so.