10 tips for avoiding crashes, litigation

Ten tips for avoiding crashes, litigation

Every trucking and transportation organization wants to ensure the safety of all vehicles on the road. The Department of Transportation reports that commercial truck crashes are on the decline, but in 2013 there were more than 92,000 crashes involving large trucks and more than 3,500 fatalities, at a cost of $99 billion.

According to Michael Nischan, vice president, transportation & logistics risk control at EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, “Collisions can be devastating for a commercial motor vehicle operation, so it’s crucial to understand ways to prevent crashes and costly litigation. By implementing 10 basic practices, carriers can enhance safety, reduce crash risk, reduce costs and avoid potentially costly litigation.” Here is a checklist:

  1. Have an accountable, knowledgeable team for risk management, compliance and safety. A team can successfully implement risk and operational process throughout your organization when it understands the role risk plays in daily operations.
  2. Create and utilize a customized transportation management program. Educate everyone—executives, managers, drivers and support staff—on safety issues in a standardized process. This ensures everyone understands what’s expected.
  3. Communicate policies to drivers; provide a driver handbook. Regulations don’t require management programs, but it’s difficult to administer policies, procedures and expectations without one. Start with the minimum—a handbook for every driver.
  4. Utilize a training program for management and drivers. Just because someone has transportation experience doesn’t mean they know how you expect them to do it. Indoctrinate everyone so your policies and procedures are clear.
  5. Keep management and training programs current. Keep your content up to date as regulatory changes occur.
    Operating under current regulatory requirements and staying current with trends and best practices is a must.
  6. Use standardized processes to hire and retain the best drivers. Good drivers are in short supply. Standardized processes will help you attract and retain the best drivers by demonstrating they work for a company that cares about them, their safety and their equipment.
  7. Require initial road tests for drivers; evaluations after events/collisions. Initial road tests give visibility into a candidate’s driving performance and an opportunity to identify crash risk. If your driver is involved in a collision or near-event, always conduct a post-event road test to identify where additional training is needed.
  8. Utilize a pre-employment screening program. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s PSP provides additional crash and inspection data on driver candidates. An FMCSA study found that companies using PSP have 8% lower crash rates and 17% lower driver out-of-service rates.
  9. Educate drivers on health and wellness. Keeping drivers healthy means an efficient, productive workforce. Programs on smoking cessation, exercise and healthy weight control can make for better drivers and lower healthcare costs.
  10. Implement a solid post-crash response plan. We all dread a catastrophic crash, but without a plan there’s no ability to manage it. Have guidelines on preserving the scene, communicating with media and post-crash drug and alcohol testing. Clearly outline what the driver, company and management should do following a crash.

“These ten practices, on average, will deliver ROI of over three to five times your investment—directly impacting the bottom line,” Nischan adds.

Controlling costs is always a major concern for fleets. But most appreciate the fact that responsible procedures such as those mentioned here are the key to helping protect motorists, drivers, cargo and equipment, and demonstrate a commitment to responsible operation and safety.

You May Also Like

ACT Research ups 2024 Class 8 production and sales expectations

Looking at demand, activity, orders and backlogs, ACT Research expects an Class 8 production and sales to rise for the first time since last July.

Trucking-Market-Industry-Report-Generic-sales-production-act-research

After holding steady on the forecast since last July, ACT Research has pushed 2024 Class 8 production and sales expectations up in February, as published in the latest release of ACT's North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook.

“In addition to an improving economic outlook, the decision to boost the forecast, despite near-term inventory risks, reflects the industry’s ability to more aggressively sell into Mexico and export markets, while maintaining strength in domestic vocational,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “The 2024 market is atypically bifurcated: considerable strength remaining in U.S. and Canadian vocational markets and Mexico helps offset otherwise weak demand in U.S. and Canadian tractor markets, LTL excluded.”

Beyond standard TPMS: The crucial role of customizable tire health alerts

Delving into the shortcomings of standard TPMS and why customizable tire health alerts are crucial for commercial vehicle fleets.

Driving for Alabama: A family affair

The stories of two truck drivers for ’80s country hitmakers Alabama.

Photos by Amazing Grace Photography
So you want to write for Fleet Equipment?

Of course you do. As the premiere online publication for the heavy-duty truck market, charting the latest in trucking equipment, technology, and service trends, Fleet Equipment has a knack for digging up the stories behind the stories (while having a lot of fun along the way). Now you can be a part of it! But

Write for Fleet Equipment
Babcox Media mourns the passing of Tim Fritz, longtime editor and friend

Babcox Media Editor Tim Fritz passed away on Feb. 23 from a heart attack. He was 53 years old. Related Articles – Debating the merits of ethanol – Why isn’t a truck’s appearance part of the PM process? – Change is coming to U.S. energy policies Tim joined Babcox Media in 1990 and spent 31

Tim-Fritz-1400x700

Other Posts

Model year 2025 engines: What you need to know

Building on 2024 designs, heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturers remain focused on improving efficiency when looking at the 2025 model year.

cummins-volvo-detroit-engine-group-2024-2025
Daimler delivers two Freightliner eCascadia trucks to Goodwill

These are the first zero-emission, Class 8 trucks in Goodwill Industries of New Mexico’s fleet, and the first eCascadias operating in the state.

Daimler-Freightliner-eCascadia-Goodwill
ELFA data suggests strong start for new business volume in 2024

December’s new business volumes were up both year-over-year and month-over-month.

ELFA-MLFI-dec-23-strong-start-to-2024
When will the 2027 diesel engine pre-buy start?

Volvo Trucks’s Magnus Koeck shares his prebuy thoughts, talks 2023 market share and provides a 2024 industry outlook.

Volvo-Trucks-Market-VNL-1400