Upholding a culture of responsible and safe driving is not just about a good company image, it’s absolutely vital to the safety and wellbeing of your staff, customers and the general public.
Few people know this better than NZ Trucking Association CEO Dave Boyce.
Dave has teamed up with Z Energy to share his top tips for establishing, growing and maintaining a commitment to responsible driving for your fleet and your drivers.
Everyone has a part to play when it comes to reducing road accidents, Dave says.
Dave points to road safety education schemes including Safety Truck NZ, a travelling classroom sponsored by Z Energy, which has seen 40,000 Kiwis take part in two programmes; Share the Road with Big Trucks (designed for all road users) and Trucking Along Let's Talk (designed for truck drivers).
Another ground-breaking initiative is SafeT360, a virtual reality exhibition run from the NTA Road Safety Truck. Visitors learn about where a truck’s blind spots are, how long it takes a truck to stop, the dangers of distraction, and other tips for keeping themselves and others safe around trucks.
Dave says investing in your staff and showing them you care not only makes you a good employer, but will also encourage staff recruitment and retention.
“It’s all about creating the right culture, support and environment for your drivers so they feel valued.
“And as a leader, you have to lead by example. Do the right thing and others will follow, ”
Driver training courses
One of the best ways to encourage safe driving amongst your staff is to invest in a driver training course for your drivers.
At the most basic level, the idea behind driver training is about perceiving or pre-empting hazards before they happen.
In turn, it will help you avoid collisions and accidents - by sharpening your observation and anticipation skills and spotting danger before it occurs.
Through driver training, drivers should be able to anticipate and control situations to reduce their risk of being involved in an incident - whether that’s the behaviour of fellow road users or inclement driving conditions.
And because the training promotes improved control, awareness and hazard perception, it allows drivers to effectively create a ‘safety bubble’ around their vehicle.
Driver training courses are available all over Aotearoa and have been proven to encourage good habits and behaviour behind the wheel.
Were more of us to adopt trained driving techniques there would be fewer accidents, injuries and deaths on our roads.
In short, driver training can save lives.
By investing in driver training courses for your team, you’ll reap a myriad of benefits. The biggest and most important of course, is reducing the risk of accidents and road deaths. But investing in training can also save your business money and time.
By improving drivers’ skills, drivers will become more fuel-efficient, and reduce the strain on your company vehicles. Studies have shown that uneconomical drivers use 30% more fuel on average, so teaching the fundamentals of fuel-efficient driving can have a big impact on your business. Maintenance costs will come down too, and with fewer accidents, insurance costs will also reduce.
There really is no worse advertisement than a branded company vehicle being driven dangerously or erratically on our roads. By ensuring your staff are responsible, careful and considerate, your company’s reputation will benefit, too.