Driver Training Curriculum
Training content designed to address specific driver-related tasks.
Provides an overview of the “S.M.A.R.T.” decision driving method, which stands for Scan, Measure risk, Anticipate action, Reach a decision, and Trust your decision. The lesson stresses hazard identification, active assessment, and measuring risk factors to improve driver perception and reaction time. The S.M.A.R.T. method, combined with fundamental speed and space management skills, helps drivers stay safe on the road.
Covers the four major types of defensive driving techniques: visual search, communication, space management, and speed management. Visual search includes mirror adjustment, a discussion of blind spots and hard to see areas, the important of head and eye movement, and how to develop an effective scanning pattern. Communication topics include when and how to communicate with other drivers using your headlights, turn signals, four-way flashers, and horns.
Introduces drivers to the concept of distracted driving and explains why it is so dangerous. It covers several types of distracted driving including cell phones, text messaging, and other electronic devices; multi-tasking such as trying to read a map or GPS or eating and drinking while behind the wheel; and mental distractions such as “micro-sleep.” Techniques for reducing, eliminating, and overcoming distractions while driving are described in detail.
Close Quarters Maneuvering
Reviews the hazards commonly associated with slow forward and backward maneuvers in close quarters. Numerous examples of close-quarter environments are covered including truck stops and loading docks. Emphasis is placed on managing the space on all six sides of the vehicle and applying the Get Out And Look (G.O.A.L.) principle when necessary.
Reviews the risks associated with changing lanes under different conditions such as merging traffic, diminishing lanes, and erratic behavior by other drivers. Proper lane change execution using the “Take 10 Method” is stressed and a review of the FMCSA Move Over Law is provided.
Reviews the key risks associated with controlled and uncontrolled intersections and explains the proper setup for left and right hand turns in single and multi-lane intersections. Emphasis is placed on hazard identification in different types of intersections.
Reviews speed management principles and then delves into vehicle dynamics when making a sharp turn or driving around a curve. Emphasis is placed on how to recognize conditions that could lead to a rollover and make adjustments preemptively to prevent it from happening.
Reviews the key skills that can be used to improve fuel efficiency including proper tire inflation and other maintenance considerations, speed management, idling time management, and progressive shifting. The lesson includes interactions to practice progressive shifting with before and after feedback.
Adverse Conditions: Winter Driving
Describes the winter weather conditions that can be hazardous to drivers due to slick roads and reduced visibility. It also gives tips for driving safely in those conditions, such as how to increase traction and control on wet and icy roads. In addition, this lesson provides a refresher on how to correctly install tire chains.
Adverse Conditions: Night and Fog
Reviews the special concerns associated with reduced visibility in night and fog. It also provides fatigue management tips and a review of speed and space management principles in reduced visibility conditions.
Describes the different types of fatigue and their causes, as well as ways to prevent or manage fatigue. Covers topics include: circadian rhythm, sleep debt, micro-sleep, and sleep apnea. In addition, the lesson explains the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Hours of Service rules that are designed to keep people safe on the road, including the 11, 14, and 70 hour rules.
Discusses on-the-road emergencies such as skids, tire blowouts, and brake failure. Then describes emergency handling techniques and countermeasures such as evasive steering, emergency braking, skid control and recovery, and off-road recovery.
Describes the federal regulations related to Commercial Motor Vehicle inspections and provides a correct, safe process for inspecting a tractor-trailer before, during, and after a route. It identifies the components that must be checked during an inspection and also covers Trailer Integrity Verification (TIV) and air brake test procedures. How to complete a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) and know what to do in the event of a violation are also covered. There are different versions of this course for Van, Bulk, and Intermodal trailers.