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Fleet Driver Training: Maximize Driver’s Performance and Safety

fleet safety training

Updated at: Mar 9, 2023

Do you ever wonder how your fleet drivers are really driving? When you have fleet vehicles on the road and drivers behind the wheel, it can be difficult to know exactly how your drivers are doing, unless you hear about an accident or incident. When fleet driver performance is lacking, it can lead to dangerous situations for drivers, can lead to more vehicle wear-and-tear, and can lead to logistical nightmares when it comes to customers and goods. But there’s an excellent solution: fleet driver training.

Fleet driver training is an incredible option for improving fleet drivers’ skills and significantly increasing safety on the road. Not only that, but fleet driver training can help your company’s bottom line and improve ROI, by optimizing driver routes and vehicle performance. Plus, when your drivers are well-trained, you’ll never worry if goods are going to arrive on-time again, or if they’re sticking to their routes.

Here’s everything you need to know about fleet driver training to maximize driver performance and safety.

Regular fleet driver training is an important route to safety

When it comes to managing a fleet, one of the first things that comes to mind is driver safety. The unfortunate reality is that fleet accidents can be all-too-common. Studies reveal that the accident rate for commercial vehicles is around 20%. Not only that, but data from the CDC has determined that more than 1 in 3 long-haul truck drivers have been in a serious crash, and that 22% of all work-related deaths result from driving or riding in a vehicle.

It’s not only drivers that are at risk from unsafe fleet driving. The CDC also reports that “heavy- and tractor-trailer truck drivers have the highest numbers of pedestrian deaths of any occupation.” So while fleet driver safety is crucial for drivers, goods, and your company as a whole, it’s also critical for overall road safety, and your company’s reputation.

Fleet driver training is critical when it comes to safety behind the wheel, because even if a driver is licensed to drive a fleet, they might be lacking certain safety skills. From speeding to distracted driving, all drivers are susceptible to risky driving behaviors, and your fleet drivers are no different. Fleet driver training helps sharpen your drivers’ safety skills, enables them to become more aware of safety needs and practices, and ultimately allows them to drive your fleet vehicles more safely.

Key elements of effective commercial fleet driver training:

What exactly does excellent commercial fleet driver training look like for your drivers? Here’s how you can get started:

Set training goals

When it comes to fleet driver training, an excellent place to start is with training goals. What specific improvements would you like to see in your fleet drivers, and how will you know if the training is successful?

When you’re setting training goals, it’s important to first know where your drivers are today. Are they often in driving incidents, do they brake sharply, or are they even in accidents? Training goals can include reducing incidents, improving driver performance, and optimizing routes, for example. You might need certain fleet analysis tools (using fleet management solutions) to get comprehensive insights into this information.

Select an effective training program for fleet drivers

Next, it’s time to select a great fleet training program. There are many fleet driver training courses to choose from, including online and in-person options. You can look at group sessions and workshops, which might allow you to train many drivers at once. Online solutions also allow drivers to complete the training on their own schedule, and from any location. Fleet driver training on-the-road is also an option, and it can be incredibly effective. This is when an instructor is inside vehicles with your drivers, working in a one-on-one fashion.

Ultimately, you’re able to choose a fleet training program that works best for you and your fleet drivers. Take into consideration what your training goals are, and what type of program might best help you reach them.

Control after the program

After your drivers complete their fleet training program, you can start to keep track of your fleet data and metrics, to see how performance is impacted. If you’re using a fleet management solution, you can monitor the same data as you did initially, before the training program, and compare the changes.

Common mistakes to avoid in fleet driver training

When you’re investing in fleet driver training, you want to ensure it’s as effective as possible. With that in mind, here are some common mistakes to avoid in fleet driver training, that could hinder the effectiveness of your training.

  • Not using metrics and data: When implementing a fleet driver training program, it’s crucial that you’re taking a data-driven approach, to ensure you’re getting the results that you want. This means you should be using all of the relevant data you have about your fleet and drivers prior to training, and should track and assess it after training. That way, you can see how your fleet training program is impacting the real-world performance of your drivers.
  • Choosing the wrong fleet training program: Every fleet is going to have different training needs, and it’s important you choose a program that meets those needs. For example, online training might be very convenient, but if you have drivers who need more hands-on coaching, it might not be as effective.
  • Not tracking driver performance in real-time: Keeping track of how your drivers are performing in real-time is crucial to successful fleet driver training. For example, let’s say you’re monitoring your drivers in real-time, and even after training, one driver is still making lots of hard brakes. You can use that real-time information to coach your drivers and address the issues, instead of waiting until a more dangerous incident occurs.

Measure the effectiveness of training with Nexar fleet dash cams

As we touched on earlier, in order for fleet driver training to be successful, you need to take steps to measure the effectiveness of it. While it might sound like a big undertaking, Nexar Fleets has you covered, and makes monitoring driver safety a breeze. Nexar Fleets is Nexar’s most powerful, connected fleet dash camera system that provides you with 24/7 tracking, crisp footage, live streaming, and automatic cloud uploads, so that you can stay close to your fleet at all times.

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of fleet driver training, Nexar Fleets can help you in several ways:

  • Live stream capabilities: With Nexar Fleets, you can tune into live streams of your dash cams, so you can see exactly how your drivers are performing in real-time.
  • GPS tracking: You’ll get full control of your fleet from anywhere, thanks to Nexar’s GPS tracking features. This means you can see where your vehicles are, optimize routes, and improve driver performance.
  • Incident alerts: Nexar Fleets comes with smart incident detection. This means that in the event of a collision or hard brake, you’re immediately notified, and videos of the incident are automatically clipped and saved to the cloud. You can use this information to inform training needs, and to personally coach drivers.
  • Easy-to-use dashboard: Easily find all of your vehicles, drivers and incidents in one place, on Nexar’s user-friendly dashboard. This means you can get a quick snapshot of where your drivers are, and how they’re doing.
  • Driver-vehicle assignment: Never wonder who went where again. When you assign drivers to vehicles, you’ll always know who is behind the wheel, and how they’re performing.

Final Thoughts

Just because your fleet drivers are licensed and behind the wheel every day doesn’t mean they’re always performing at their peak. But with fleet driver training, you can ensure your drivers are as safe as possible, that their routes are optimized, and that their performance is flawless, every time they drive.

But of course, fleet driver training alone isn’t enough to know how your drivers are really doing, and how they’re improving. With Nexar Fleets, you can always know what’s happening with your drivers, vehicles, and assets, and ensure that fleet training programs are helping you accomplish your fleet goals.
Interested in finding out how Nexar Fleets can transform the way you manage your fleet? Read more about Nexar Fleets here.