Sep 1, 2005 12:00 PM
TRUCK driver training should emphasize that many of the non-commercial vehicle drivers on the road are unaware of truck mobility — and truckers should beware of those drivers accordingly.
For example, many non-commercial vehicle drivers don't understand how long it takes to bring a truck/trailer rig to a stop.
“Truckers have to practice defensive driving all the time to avoid accidents with these drivers,” said Scott Wichmann of DFA/Haylor LLC. He discussed ways to reduce accidents, and subsequently reduce insurance premiums, at the International Milk Hauler Association annual convention April 24-26 in Nashville, Tennessee.
He pointed out that drivers of passenger cars are responsible for accidents in 70% of auto/truck incidents.
Nevertheless, if the investigating law enforcement officer finds a truck violation, such as an inaccurate driver log, the truck driver/carrier may become liable.
The largest number of truck accidents that produce insurance claims involve rollovers and rear-end collisions, he added. He advised carriers to keep track of all incidents, even if no claim is necessary, to determine if an unsafe trend is developing with their drivers.
Other ways to reduce accidents include evaluating routes to determine if they are unsafe and then changing to other routes with safer driving conditions. If routes can not be adjusted, drivers should be warned of the hazards on the routes they are traveling.
For example, loading product at a farm often involves backing onto a highway if there is no in/out access at the barn. Drivers should understand the dangers and be trained to exercise caution in those situations, he said.
Driver training should emphasize wearing seat belts and carriers should include the procedure as a requirement in their company policies.
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