How Companies Keep Their Truck Drivers Safe

There is a misconception that all trucking companies are huge companies that hire drivers only after extreme testing, training, and background checks.  But, this cannot be farther from the truth.  The size of a trucking company can vary widely, ranging from small operations with just a few trucks to large corporations with hundreds or even thousands of trucks according to a truck accident lawyer. The trucking industry in the US is diverse, comprising a mix of small, medium-sized, and large carriers. Small trucking companies often play crucial roles in local and regional transportation, serving niche markets, specialized freight, or providing personalized services.

  • Small Trucking Companies: These typically have fewer than 10 trucks in their fleet. They might be family-owned businesses or startups focusing on regional or local transportation.
  • Medium-sized Trucking Companies: These companies usually have between 10 and 100 trucks. They may operate regionally or nationally and often serve specific industries or transportation niches.
  • Large Trucking Companies: Large trucking companies have fleets of over 100 trucks, and some can have thousands of trucks in operation. These companies often have a national or even international presence and may offer a wide range of transportation services, including long-haul, regional, and dedicated freight services.
  • Mega Carriers: Mega carriers are the largest trucking companies, with fleets consisting of thousands of trucks. They often have extensive networks, advanced technology, and substantial resources. Mega carriers typically operate on a national or international scale and provide various transportation and logistics solutions.

Because a trucking company can literally be a company owned by one person with one truck, it is likely that if you are in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the tractor trailer driver may just be the friend of the company owner and no formal background check was completed at all, which is very surprising to many people.

Ensuring the safety of truck drivers is paramount for trucking companies, not only to protect their employees but also to maintain compliance with regulations and minimize liability. Here are several steps a trucking company can take to promote driver safety as shared by Kiefer & Kiefer:

  • Comprehensive Training Programs: Implement thorough training programs for new drivers and ongoing training for experienced drivers. This should cover defensive driving techniques, cargo handling, vehicle maintenance, fatigue management, and adherence to traffic laws.
  • Safety Policies and Procedures: Establish clear safety policies and procedures that outline expectations for drivers, including hours of service regulations, vehicle inspection protocols, and reporting procedures for accidents and near misses.
  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure that all trucks undergo regular maintenance checks and repairs to address mechanical issues promptly. This includes routine inspections of brakes, tires, lights, and other critical components.
  • Use of Technology: Utilize technology such as electronic logging devices (ELDs), onboard cameras, and telematics systems to monitor driver behavior, track vehicle performance, and provide feedback for improvement.
  • Driver Wellness Programs: Offer wellness programs that support drivers’ physical and mental health, including access to healthcare resources, nutrition guidance, exercise programs, and stress management techniques.
  • Encourage Rest and Breaks: Encourage drivers to take regular breaks and prioritize adequate rest to prevent fatigue-related accidents. Ensure compliance with hours of service regulations to prevent driver fatigue.
  • Safety Incentives: Implement safety incentive programs that reward drivers for adhering to safety protocols, maintaining clean driving records, and achieving accident-free miles.
  • Regular Performance Reviews: Conduct regular performance reviews to assess drivers’ adherence to safety policies, identify areas for improvement, and provide constructive feedback and training opportunities.
  • Driver Support Services: Provide access to support services such as counseling, employee assistance programs, and peer support groups to help drivers cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
  • Promote a Safety Culture: Foster a culture of safety within the organization by leading by example, promoting open communication, and empowering drivers to raise safety concerns without fear of reprisal.

By implementing these measures, trucking companies can demonstrate their commitment to driver safety and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on the road. However, if your drivers do get into an accident, contact a lawyer near you.