By CHARLIE HALFEN, a former fleet safety manager with United Parcel Service and current president of CNH Safety LLC
I formalized three rules at UPS that always held true when it came to safe driving:
1. If you hire a bad driver, you have a bad driver.
2. A bad driver will always be a bad driver, at home and work, unless they have a significant emotional event, like a crash, or unless they get constructive training on the hazards they face.
3. There is no substitute for behind-the-wheel training. Teaching experience through hazard recognition driving and holding drivers accountable to follow the safest methods will always garner the best results.
Because most commercial fleet drivers have had little, if any, driver training throughout their lives, it should be no surprise that driving is not one of their priorities. Yet for companies, auto crashes continue to be the No. 1 cause of fatalities.
Distractions, whether daydreaming or talking on the phone, will always be a major part of the problem, but learning how to drive safely and knowing when to focus on individual hazards should eliminate distraction related crashes.
April 1, 2011
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