02 Oct Safety First – 8 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Drivers Safe
Parcel delivery can be a very dangerous job. Drivers not only lift, load, and carry sometimes heavy or bulky parcels; they also drive many hours and often in densely populated or undesirable areas.
According to 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data, transportation accidents caused 40% of all workplace deaths in 2016. Here are 8 things you can do to keep your drivers safe.
Written Safety Plan
A written safety plan is the best way to establish clear policies. It should outline what’s expected from drivers and your company’s requirements. For instance, you may insist drivers use a turn-by-turn navigation app like Google or Apple Maps, or MapQuest that provides directions and real-time traffic alerts. These apps help drivers focus on the road, instead of struggling to find an address.
Also spell out who’s allowed to drive, who’s allowed in a vehicle, what to do if there’s an incident, and the repercussions if they fail to adhere to policies. Distribute your safety policy to all delivery drivers and update it regularly.
Provide Driver Training
Drivers trained in defensive driving habits, hazard recognition, and how to handle a robbery are less likely to suffer accidents or injuries. Safe driving techniques lead to fewer incidents, less insurance claims, and safer employees. Train new employees and conduct regular refresher courses for seasoned drivers.
Allow Ample Time
Parcel delivery is a fast-paced business, but rushing drivers has unwanted consequences. It greatly increases the chances of an at-fault accident which can lead to serious injuries, property damage, or death.
Hold Drivers Accountable
Drivers can lapse, even after providing training and following your company safety policies. Many companies choose to ensure driver accountability by instituting fines for at-fault accidents. They may also run annual motor vehicle reports (MVRs) or perform a ride along with a driver.
These measures make drivers more aware of the company’s commitment to safety and that they’re continually focused on driver performance.
GPS is a great tool, because a distressed driver can ask for immediate assistance. It pinpoints the vehicle so emergency personnel can respond.
If a vehicle’s stolen, law enforcement can also use the GPS to track the vehicle quickly. Plus, you always know where your drivers are if a customer asks about their parcel.
Install Dash Cams
Dash cams are now a common addition to parcel delivery vehicles. They’re inexpensive and a great training tool to monitor driver performance.
Criminals are less likely to rob or assault a driver when there’s a camera clearly recording ongoing events. Drivers are less likely to use their cellphone or have a bout of road rage when they know they’re recorded too.
Finally, dash cams can protect a driver from unwarranted claims and lawsuits since everything’s on camera.
Push for Cash-Free
Luckily, most parcel deliveries are by debit or credit card today, but sometimes you can’t avoid cash. If your drivers must carry it, limit the amount and display it clearly on the vehicle. When possible, avoid late night deliveries too.
Invest in Proper Insurance
If your drivers use their own vehicles to make deliveries regularly, their auto insurance may exclude coverage because it is for business use. Even if their insurer provides coverage, you’re dependent on their policy limits. If it’s not sufficient to cover expenses after an accident or injury, you’re on the hook. You may be able to add a personal vehicle to your insurance policy, but it doesn’t happen automatically.
Commercial auto insurance provides superior comprehensive, property damage and liability coverage than a traditional auto insurance policy. Discuss your insurance needs with an independent agent or broker. They work for you – not the insurance companies. They can create a custom parcel delivery service insurance package for you, ensuring good coverage, and meet your budget.
As an employer running a parcel delivery service, you’re responsible for employees working on your behalf. Driver safety has a direct impact on your business, so follow these 8 methods to reduce risk and protect your business and employees.