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Like any employer, commercial truck insurance companies are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of their employees. There’s no way of removing the risks entirely, but there are numerous things you can do to improve driver safety.
Improve Safety by Informing Drivers of the Dangers
Trucking can be a dangerous profession. While truckers and their employers can do plenty of things to keep drivers safe, there’s no getting around the dangers involved. In just one county in Texas, Harris County, trucks cover a total of 3.2 million miles every day. Many of these trucks drive on public roads where they encounter ordinary drivers.
According to the US Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, more than 4,000 people have died in multiple-vehicle crashes involving trucks. This number has increased by 52 percent since 2009.
To help improve these safety statistics, make sure all your drivers understand the dangers of driving a truck and the damage they can do to other drivers.
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Provide Proper Orientation for Better Driver Safety
Drivers who haven’t received proper training can be dangerous to themselves and others. It is vital that you train every driver working for your business in accepted safety standards. Not only should they be comfortable with their rigs, but they should also know how to operate them safely.
Statistics show that trucks are most likely to crash between midday and 3 PM. In fact, 19 percent of all truck accidents occur during this period, so drivers need to be extra cautious during these times.
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Maintain Vehicles Properly
A poorly maintained vehicle can soon become a hazard for drivers, pedestrians, and other road users. For example, the most common cause of truck accidents is deficient tires, responsible for around a third of all truck-related accidents.
Many people assume that truck drivers’ safety is at risk because of the freeway driving they do. However, the fact is that 52 percent of all truck accidents occur away from these major roadways. Meanwhile, interstates and freeways only see 32 percent of all accidents.
Explain the Financial Consequences of a Serious Truck Accident
If one of your drivers’ irresponsible driving leads to a crash, you could both be on the hook for the related damages. However, a good truck accident lawyer will get to the root cause of an accident and ensure their client receives an appropriate payout. But if their investigation reveals lax safety practices within your business or with your drivers, the injured party will have a much stronger case against you.
Encourage Drivers to Take Regular Breaks
Federal regulations mandate that drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours in any 14-hour period. Since that regulation came into effect, accidents due to tired drivers have decreased. Additionally, according to the Insurance Information Institute, the addition of electronic stability control to vehicles has saved around 7,000 lives.
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Take These Important Steps to Improve Driver Safety
Trucking is an inherently risky activity. Truckers have to cover long distances through all weather conditions. They also share the roads with other drivers. However, there are plenty of things trucking businesses can do to keep their drivers safe. The steps above are a great starting point.