Delivery Driver Safety Tips to Protect Your Drivers and Business
May 3, 2022
Delivery drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs. They spend their days on the road where motor vehicle crashes occur every 5 seconds. As the delivery services industry continues to grow, so will accident risks and costs, which is why it’s important to know these delivery driver safety tips.
As a business owner, you should want to protect your employees as well as other motorists. You also want to protect your business. Recent data from the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety found U.S. crashes cost employers $72.2 billion in direct crash-related expenses, such as medical care, liability, lost productivity, and property damage.
Following these tips will help decrease accidents, which will keep your delivery drivers safe and reduce costs to your business.
In this article, you’ll find:
Delivery Driver Safety Tips for Business Owners
As a business owner, you can take steps to reduce potential accidents among your delivery drivers and protect your business’s bottom line.
1. Hire safe drivers
One of the first steps to prevent delivery driver accidents is to hire safe drivers.
- Check their license. Because your business could be liable for accidents caused by employees, you want to make sure candidates have a valid driver’s license and safe driving record. You can verify this information by ordering a candidate’s motor vehicle report from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Look for experience. Hire candidates who have previous delivery experience and understand what the job entails.
- Check references. Reference checks can help you find the best person for the job and keep you from wasting time and money on a candidate who won’t last.
- Conduct a road test. If you want to look for potential safety red flags like forgetting to wear a seat belt or following other cars too closely, you can include a road test as part of the final interview process.
2. Use route optimization software to improve efficiency
OptimoRoute helps improve delivery driver safety. Our software reduces the number of miles drivers have to travel with more efficient routes and schedules, provides balanced workloads to keep drivers from working over, and provides turn-by-turn navigation to keep drivers’ eyes on the road.
- Reduce miles driven. Upload your list of all delivery customers, and our software will automatically calculate the most efficient routes and schedules for your drivers. This will reduce the number of miles and help your drivers get to destinations faster, so they don’t feel like they need to speed to stay on schedule. Hardie’s Fresh Foods reduced mileage across its fleet by 20% with OptimoRoute.
- Send routes straight to drivers’ phones. With our Mobile App, drivers get efficient routes with turn-by-turn directions sent straight to their cell phones, so they don’t need to search for directions while driving.
- Decrease driver hours. Calculate allowed working hours, so drivers aren’t working overtime when they’re tired. Driving in the late afternoon is one of the top times for crashes.
- Distribute work evenly. Workload balancing ensures deliveries are equally distributed among your drivers. T’SAS was able to perform the same amount of deliveries with two fewer trucks because of better delivery distribution.
- Schedule deliveries to a specific area. Driving to a different area of town increases driver fatigue and the possibility of accidents due to longer time spent in traffic . Our software lets you match stops to drivers in specific delivery area.
- Realtime Order Tracking keeps customers informed in case of delays. With delivery volumes increasing as a result of COVID-19, delivery delays have become a common occurrence. Our Realtime Order Tracking feature will keep customers informed about delays, giving them more control and making their buying experience more enjoyable while preventing your employees from hurrying to meet an earlier ETA.
- Prevent redelivery with Proof of Delivery. With our Proof of Delivery feature, you can let customers know their package has arrived. And you won’t have to repeat a delivery if the items are stolen.
- Know where drivers are at all times. In case an accident happens, our Breadcrumbs feature lets you see the exact route your employee has traveled, so you can locate them quickly.
You can try OptimoRoute for free to see how it improves your route planning and scheduling.
3. Teach employees defensive driving
As part of new employee training, you can enroll your delivery drivers in defensive driving courses. The National Safety Council offers online courses employers can purchase for their organization. The courses help:
- Improve driving safety while employees are on the road
- Decrease their risk of collisions and traffic violations
- Minimize your exposure to liability risks and costs
- Lower your insurance company premiums and accident and workers’ compensation claims
- Lower your vehicle repair bills
4. Adopt a company policy that promotes safety
Create an official company policy that encourages drivers to prioritize safety. Here is a sample policy you can reference to help you craft your own. Some basic tips include:
- Don’t penalize employees when they fall behind schedule through no fault of their own. This will promote speeding or reckless driving in an attempt to make up time, which can increase accident risk.
- Add a code of conduct that outlines what your employees shouldn’t do while driving, like texting, driving over the speed limit, or driving under the influence.
- Communicate the employee’s responsibility as well as the employer’s responsibility so everyone clearly understands their role.
Make sure you share these policies with each new hire as part of their safety training before they hit the road.
5. Maintain your delivery vehicles
If you own the delivery vehicles, keeping them in good working order through regular maintenance will help prevent breakdowns and potential accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 2% of crashes can be attributed to mechanical issues. The most common culprits are tires, brakes, and steering, transmission, suspension, or engine issues.
Make sure you track your delivery vehicle’s maintenance to ensure you know the condition and needs of each vehicle.
Delivery Driver Safety Tips for Drivers
As an employer, you can provide resources and tools to improve your drivers’ safety on the road, but ultimately, they’re in control. Here are tips your drivers can follow to decrease accident risks.
1. Avoid distractions
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. According to the NHTSA, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds while driving 55 mph is the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
To reduce distractions:
- Don’t talk on the phone or text while driving
- Don’t search for music
- Don’t eat and drive
- Make sure your directions are ready before you start driving
2. Practice defensive driving techniques
Whether you’ve taken an employer-provided course or learned defensive driving on your own, put the techniques into practice.
- Familiarize yourself with your route
- Check road and weather conditions
- Don’t keep changing lanes
- Don’t drive in another vehicle’s blind spot
Additional tips can be found here.
3. Communicate with your employer
If you aren’t feeling well or are too tired, let your employer know you need to take a day off. On average, there are 100,000 motor vehicle accidents each year related to driving while drowsy.
If you’ve fallen behind schedule, see if deliveries can be delayed or redistributed among other drivers, so you don’t feel you need to speed to catch up.
4. Inspect your vehicle
Make sure your vehicle is in safe working order before you get started. When 2% of crashes are caused by mechanical problems, it’s important to catch issues before you hit the road. Before each shift, check your tires, blinkers, windshield wipers, headlights, and brakes.
Ensure you avoid larger issues by getting recommended maintenance every 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles.
Delivery Driver Safety Is Good Business
Workplace safety is important to every business. When you put these delivery driver safety tips into action, your drivers will be safer and have fewer accidents, and you’ll protect your business financially.
OptimoRoute can help you keep your employees safe, protect your business from crash-related expenses, and boost your bottom line with improved efficiency. Give it a try to see how it helps your business.
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