TargetSolutions has recently updated a pair of driver safety online training courses with more on the way. Check out this infographic to learn more about behind-the-wheel negligence and how you can protect your employees while limiting liability.
Think about the saying “get me from point A to point B.” For most it’s not even worth an afterthought, making it such an accurate reflection on our mobile society’s dependence on motor vehicle transportation. But it’s so much more than that. As our highways continue to clog and our roadways persistently crater with potholes, the dangers of behind-the-wheel negligence are always on the rise. Although the numbers are alarming, establishing a workplace driver safety program in your organization can help increase safe driving practices and limit liability.
When it comes to the impact of such negligence and workplace roadway incidents, 2015 saw its highest totals of such events and fatalities since 2008. In fact, of the 4,836 total workplace fatalities in 2015, one-quarter of those were because of roadway incidents. The financial costs incurred by companies due to driver negligence incidents can top $16,000 per wreck and skyrocket to $74,000 if injuries are involved. If a fatality occurs, such as the more than 1,200 that perished in 2015, costs can amount to more than $500,000.
Roadway safety is everyone’s responsibility, from the individual in the driver’s seat all the way to the organization employing the services of a fleet. Likewise, behind-the-wheel negligence can take on numerous forms of driver distractions including texting, adjusting dials, chatting with a passenger, eating, and even daydreaming.
The Department of Motor Vehicles classifies distractions into three categories:
- Visual distractions that take your eyes off the road: Searching for items in your car, checking GPS, changing radio stations, doing your makeup, or simply enjoying the view.
- Manual distractions that take one or both hands off the wheel: Eating, drinking, smoking, adjusting your own or your child’s seat belt, adjusting knobs.
- Cognitive distractions that take your focus off the road: Talking to a passenger, road rage, daydreaming, being under the influence.
The above classifications identify causes of distracted driving, but it’s important to fully understand the consequences of the problem to its maximum extent. A recent study examining police report data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) found that an estimated 62 percent of distracted driving fatalities are the result of at least one driver being described as “generally distracted” or “lost in thought.” Compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a nationwide census of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes, the top 10 distractions for drivers were as follows:
Cell phone use, specifically texting, is classified by the DMV as visually, manually, and cognitively distracting; a trifecta of detraction since it requires the collective use of hands, eyes, and focus. The reality is that most, if not all, of these occurrences are preventable and measures can be taken to reduce the amount of interference they cause.
TargetSolutions Client Services Manager Jennifer Jones, who regularly advises clients on these matters, sees behind-the-wheel negligence as a continuous problem but advises that there are numerous solutions, starting with common sense.
“Controlling the distractions in your own vehicle is very important, that’s the first thing,” said Jones. “Establishing a training program to set your employees up for success on the road is the second.”
Jones cites TargetSolutions’ vast library of driver safety training courses that tackle all forms of driving safety, as well as custom activities that can ensure employees are up-to-date on all compliance-related documentation and necessary forms. Tracking license renewals, delivering policies, and setting alerts, for example, are just a few simple options that can keep administrators apprised of where employees stand on current driving requirements and can serve as the backbone for a healthy workplace driver safety program.
“Making sure that you employ licensed drivers who are fit to drive and exercise good driving practices can avoid negligence,” added Jones. “Staying on top of license renewals and safe driving practices is a good way to ensure your employees are fit to drive. When companies keep their employees safe, they keep the public safe while reducing claims and liability.”
“We’re always striving to deliver the most engaging training possible which is why our Fleet Program courses are undergoing a number of updates this year,” said TargetSolutions Content Manager Bryan Fitzgerald. “Our goal is to bring a new multimedia format to these courses to deliver the key points in a way that students will enjoy learning while retaining critical information.”
In total, TargetSolutions offers more than 75 hours of versatile motor vehicle safety training which amassed more than 100,000 total student completions in 2016. In fact, to provide an ongoing superior learning experience, TargetSolutions is in the process of updating a collection of driver safety courses that feature an assortment of enhanced interactions and select lessons even include video-based instructor-led training.
TargetSolutions’ Fleet Program training courses that have received updates so far in 2017 include:
- Adjusting to Changing Conditions
- Distracted Driving
- Distracted Driving for Emergency Vehicle Operators
- Driver Safety Orientation
- Driver Safety Orientation for Large Vehicle Operators
- Fleet Program Driver Safety Orientation for Emergency Vehicle Operators
- Safe Backing for Large Vehicle Drivers
To see safe practices in action, look no further than Goodwill Industries of San Diego County, which has been a TargetSolutions client for more than six years and takes full advantage of the Fleet Program training courses.
“We feel that the ability to raise awareness among our Fleet Department and easily train our drivers has played a part in decreasing the number of accidents,” said Asset Protection Director Marco Guizar. “The platform has been a great way to reach out to the masses because it is difficult to congregate all supervisors in one area…when it comes to training management, TargetSolutions has been a great benefit to us.”
Behind-the-wheel negligence is a problem that we are all responsible for and, likewise, are more than capable of fixing. Whether it’s through simple self-awareness or establishing a workplace driver safety program, the obligation belongs to all of us. Getting from point A to point B may be your primary objective, but doing so safely is your ultimate responsibility and goal.
Check out TargetSolutions’ complete library of motor vehicle safety courses or contact us today at (800) 840-8048 to learn more.