Fleet managers face many challenges, but choosing the right fleet driver training program should not rank among them. Advances in today’s training programs allow managers to more easily find the specific type of training that best suits their needs.
Those needs may span a wide variety of issues, including coaching new drivers, providing additional training for at-risk drivers, enrolling veteran drivers in courses to freshen skills, and using driver training as a way to better manage risk and reduce costs associated with crashes and collisions.
Some fleet managers may want a complete reboot of their safety program. If so, they can address fleet driving training with end-to-end superior fleet driver training that offers a complete, advanced defensive driver methodology.
Identify Fleet Driver Training Needs
For fleet managers, the place to begin the journey toward finding the best courses for their situation is to determine the reason why they want driver training in the first place. Some of the most common reasons include the following. It’s often a combination of more than one.
An increase in crashes. The number of crashes on the nation’s highways has increased in recent years, underscoring the fact that fleet drivers present the top risk for fleets. For example, distracted driving led to 3,142 fatalities on the road in 2020, according to federal data, and thousands more suffered injuries. It’s more important than ever for drivers to know the best practices for defensive driving.
Coaching new drivers. It’s a smart practice to have all new fleet drivers go through training so they understand best practices for driving, as long as the training adheres to the four principles of effective driver training programs.
Risk management. Even without injuries, crashes prove costly to fleets. The average cost of a fleet vehicle crash ranges between $16,000 and $75,000. Those numbers increase quickly if an injury or fatality is involved. Fleet training can greatly reduce financial risks by improving drivers’ behind-the-wheel performance.
New vehicles. Even veteran drivers may require coaching on what modern vehicles can and cannot do. This includes understanding the latest innovations in advanced driver assistance systems.
New territory. The more miles driven, the higher the chance of a crash. A fleet that is expanding its service area can reduce the inherent risk in driving more miles by enrolling drivers in training courses that keep their skills updated.
Choosing the Right Training Approach
Some fleet managers must start from scratch when it comes to putting a driver training program into place. Others might want to know how to switch fleet training providers because they are unhappy with the results from their current provider. For the best results, It’s recommended to look for companies that provide the following
- Instructor-led online courses that allow drivers to learn from wherever they are while also getting the chance to interact with trainers
- Virtual training courses that allow drivers to quickly update their skills by watching informative videos from an online training library
- Behind-the-wheel instructor with a trainer
These options allow fleet managers to use the training that works best for each individual situation.
Putting the Plan into Action
With the risk that poor driving skills present to fleets, and with more high-risk drivers on the road than ever before, it’s important for fleets to take steps that ensure their drivers know the best practices for safe driving. While developing a plan is a wise move, it only works if it’s put into action.
Fleet managers can create safety plans that include communicating to everyone why the fleet is requiring training and what is expected of them. These plans should also include a clear schedule and deadlines for completing training. It’s important to have support for the training across the organizations, including drivers, managers and top executives.
By engaging drivers from the start with why training is taking place and how it can benefit both them and the fleet, managers can make the process much smoother. It’s also critical to work with a company with a proven track record of providing training that improves driver performance and fleet risk management.