How can we make driving safer for truckers?

How can trucking companies ensure their truckers have the best possible chance of arriving at their destination securely?

The National Safety Council launched National Safety Month in 1996 to increase awareness of the leading safety and health risks and decrease unintentional injuries and deaths.

Given the volume of freight traveling U.S. highways and passenger vehicles out and about as the country returns to traveling, the theme of safety is spot on for truckers and trucking companies in June 2021.

Tips for keeping truckers safe

Since this year’s theme is road safety, LoadOps would like to share some best practices for keeping drivers safe en-route.

A great place to start is to integrate hours of service (HOS) restrictions when planning routes. By incorporating HOS data into your routing plans, you know which drivers are close to their HOS limits and which have more time available to drive. And by making sure your truckers don’t violate the HOS restrictions, you’ll ensure they are well-rested and able to drive more safely.

You’ll also want to be sure to track preventive maintenance on your vehicles. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are a great way to track how far and how well—or poorly–a driver is driving by measuring driver behaviors and stats like heavy braking, hours on the road, and incidents of driving over the speed limit. Most ELDs also supply mileage driven so that you can develop a preventive equipment maintenance program for oil changes, tire rotation, and the like. ELDs also offer benefits like saving time and money by cutting down on paperwork, reducing administrative costs, increasing fleet efficiency, and providing real-time access to information. But more importantly, they also help improve safety ratings. Unique high-end ELD capabilities include remote programming, which can assist fleets with service scheduling even more since a fleet knows when a driver will be going off duty and can schedule over-the-air software updates during less-busy times.

Finally, you’ll want to think about route optimization and optimize your dispatch. When you practice route optimization, you help your drivers find the optimal route—not necessarily the fastest route–to move a package from a transportation hub to the end recipient, minimize total driving time, and factor in problems like traffic congestion and accidents.

Avoid highway congestion

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) reports that 91% of all freight slowdowns occur in metropolitan areas. So avoiding highway congestion has become very much of a strategic move for trucking companies. Some firms plan times and routes to avoid the worst traffic, change shipment size and configuration, consolidate freight or attempt to avoid common choke points, alert drivers of slowdowns ahead, or integrate customer delivery demands into the fleet and daily operations planning process. When drivers avoid heavy congestion, they can speed up their driving times, reduce fuel usage and increase their driving safety.

LoadOps can optimize a route by making sure you choose the right truck driver and the right truck for the right job. LoadOps wishes every truck driver a safer driving experience in this National Road Safety Month. Keeping trucks at optimal performance will help. Also, making sure that truckers are well-rested and ready to go will improve safety numbers.

Check out LoadOps for more safety features.

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