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Accident Reduction Strategies for Commercial Fleets

A single accident can seriously impact and debilitate a commercial fleet. Consequences of an accident include property damage, legal costs, and loss of service. Here are seven accident reduction strategies to help commercial fleets reduce accident rates. 

1. Respect the Speed Limit

The speed limit is the fastest you can legally drive. It’s not a minimum required speed. By operating at a legal and reasonable speed, drivers have greater control of their vehicles and make better decisions.

Higher speeds lead to less control and more accidents, and they also lead to significantly more damaging and costly accidents. There’s an exponential correlation between speed and the damage caused during the accident. A driver significantly reduces the risk of a fatal accident by slowing down only a few miles per hour.

2. Plan Every Trip

Drivers need all their attention on one thing at a time. A driver who has to focus on driving, navigating, and locating their delivery destination is a distracted driver. Even if the responsibilities and tasks are important to their overall job, drivers should never be distracted from their primary job. 

Trip planning should become a habit every driver uses before hitting the road. Before the engine ever starts, the driver needs to have a plan for where they’re driving, how they’re going to get there, and what they should expect from the road conditions. Planning gives them the tools to prepare and plan ahead to ensure the drive is safe. 

3. Be Thorough and Methodical

For most people, it’s easy to drive; you grab your keys and go. A commercial driver should never think like that. Before any trip, a commercial driver should complete a pre-trip inspection to ensure everything is functioning properly. As part of driver safety training, you can establish a checklist for pre-drive inspections to double-check that everything is covered every time. 

Meticulous attention to detail doesn’t end once a driver leaves the yard. On the road, a driver should be continually alert. Simple things like signaling on turns and checking blind spots help prevent accidents and must be second nature. 

4. Sleep

There are strict regulations on how long a driver can be behind the wheel and how long they need to take a break before driving again. It’s illegal to ignore these regulations, and it’s unsafe for drivers to push through and drive while tired.

What a driver does during their time off can directly impact their performance behind the wheel. By encouraging drivers to use their time off to rest and prepare for their next haul, they prepare themselves better for their time behind the wheel. 

5. Zero Tolerance for Drugs or Alcohol

Drivers should never be behind the wheel while under the influence. Even stimulants that some drivers use to stay awake, like energy drinks and caffeine pills, force your body to unnaturally stay alert. Stimulants increase the likelihood of risks like unsafe lane changes, speeding, and other risky maneuvers leading to more accidents.

6. Know What You’re Driving and What You’re Hauling

Some drivers are experts in driving one truck but struggle when they have to operate a different make or model with which they don’t have thousands of hours of experience. To help prevent accidents, drivers should have experience with every type of truck in the fleet and know the vehicle’s quirks, strengths, and weaknesses.

The material and weight distribution of the trailer can also change the feel and responsiveness of a truck. Experience with different trucks and trailers makes drivers less likely to get into accidents. 

7. No Distractions

We need to stress this—a distracted driver is an unsafe driver. When a driver focuses on anything other than the road, the chances of getting into an accident increase. Drivers should never be on their cell phones in any way while driving. 

That means no streaming, no texting, or phone calls while driving. It may seem strict, but this assures drivers are focused on the road and safety rather than managing updates or scrolling through a playlist to find the right song.

Help Train Drivers with L3Harris Driver Training Services

Driving simulators allow drivers to broaden their skills with hands-on experience. With the safety of a driving simulator, fleet drivers can experience challenging circumstances and risky scenarios without any risk to themselves, others, or property. Time in a simulator helps drivers get the experience and knowledge they need to be safe drivers on the road. 

Learn More about L3Harris’ Driving Simulators

Simulation-based training can be paired with driver training programs to reduce accident rates. Training allows fleet drivers to face risky situations in a controlled environment with the rare opportunity to repeat and learn from their mistakes. Driver training programs improve critical driving skills, enhance decision-making abilities, and can significantly reduce accident and incident rates across your fleet. 

Discover more about L3Harris driving simulators or contact us for a quote to help you manage your fleet with safer drivers. 


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