7 minute read

7 Safety Messages for Your Delivery Team

Learn how to keep your delivery drivers safe and responsible while on the road with these seven tips.

safety-messages-for-drivers

Reduce the need for your drivers to speed with route optimization from Circuit for Teams.

If you travel by US roadways, you know how congested they can get. 

In fact, over 284 million vehicles operate on US roads — that’s a lot.

This surplus can lead to frequent traffic, vehicle accidents, and fatal crashes. 

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 43,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the US in 2021.

But if you have a delivery business, you’re not just looking after yourself. You also have to keep your team of commercial drivers safe

You have to worry about more than injuries when it comes to accidents. 

They can also put a dent in your delivery schedule and damage packages.

And if deliveries are late or turn up in rough condition, you could piss off customers — leading to loss of business. 

Of course, your drivers should always wear a seatbelt and slow down in work zones. 

But you should also pass along some other safety messages. 

I’ll offer some safe driving tips to share with your delivery team to protect them and save lives. 

Circuit for Teams is a simple software for optimizing routes with multiple drivers. Click here to start your free 14-day trial.

Plan routes ahead of time 

Planning drivers’ trips ahead of time has several advantages.

Of course, it can help your drivers reach their destinations quicker. 

But the benefits go beyond just that.

A well-planned journey keeps your drivers safe and helps them stay within posted speed limits. 

That’s because your drivers are less likely to get lost — only to realize they messed up and rush around town trying to make up for lost time. 

But what about unexpected traffic? 

Routing software like Circuit for Teams helps your drivers avoid that, too. 

The optimization tool works alongside your favorite GPS to consider traffic and other road conditions and develop the fastest sequence of delivery stops.

Limit in-vehicle distractions 

When your drivers spend hours on the road, it’s easy to lose focus for a few seconds. 

But this can be dangerous.

Distracted driving caused over 8 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the US in 2020. 

A driver may get distracted for many reasons. 

These include adjusting the radio, calling or texting on a mobile phone, eating or drinking, or turning to speak to other passengers.

Here are some tips to help limit in-car distractions:

Put your phone away

Cellphones are one of the biggest distractions for drivers.

Texting while driving is especially risky. 

Sending or reading a single text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds

And if your driver is moving at an average speed of 55 mph, that means they’re driving a distance equal to a football field without looking.

This makes easy-to-use navigation apps without too many buttons all the more important. 

For example, Circuit for Teams comes with a hands-free mode so drivers don’t have to touch their phones at all. 

They can update addresses and so on just by using their voice. 

Our routing software also makes it easy to track drivers in real time. 

This way, you don’t have to call and disturb them whenever you want updates.

Don’t multitask

When they’re driving, it’s important that your drivers pay attention to the road. 

Trying to multitask while behind the wheel can lead to collisions.

Common forms of multitasking while driving include eating, reading, or reaching across the seat to grab something.
Help your drivers avoid multitasking by giving them time to eat outside their vehicle and not calling them continuously.

Reduce noise and movement inside the vehicle

Your drivers should avoid playing music too loudly, as it can decrease their reaction time, making them less likely to brake in time or notice a red light or stop sign.

Music, podcasts, or other distracting sounds can take the drivers’ attention away from the road. 

When long drives get too boring, recommend calming music to keep your drivers occupied. 

Of course, make sure the music isn’t so calming that it puts them to sleep.

Practice defensive driving 

Your drivers should focus not only on their actions but also those of drivers in other cars.

After all, they’re human and likely to make mistakes. 

Some drivers speed, while others swerve without using turn signals. 

Being proactive in spotting hazards can help keep your drivers safer on the road.

Defensive driving is a practice where drivers consciously try to reduce the risks of driving. 

They do this by being aware of potential risks and being attentive to other vehicles and motorists. 

While they can’t control other people’s driving, your drivers can improve their skills to prevent the chance of accidents.

For example, they can leave extra space between them and the vehicles in front, follow the speed limit, and always brake early. 

They should also slow down well ahead of time, especially in bad weather if the road is wet or slippery. 

This can give them enough time to stop if someone brakes suddenly.

On top of that, make sure they avoid offensive driving and don’t give in to road rage. 

It’s important that they keep their cool and don’t let another person’s poor driving or annoying calls from customers let them lose their temper. 

Always check blind spots 

Your drivers should also be aware of blind spots (areas that the driver can’t see through the side or rearview mirrors).

There are two ways to check blind spots before changing lanes.

The first is to physically look at the area with a quick shoulder check.

The second is by using a blind spot detection monitor.

If their vehicles have a blind spot detection system, they should take the time to learn how it works. 

Blind spot monitors use a series of cameras to check for cars in areas not visible through in-built mirrors.

fatigued-driving

Stop driving when fatigued 

Driving when tired can be very dangerous. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is responsible for over 6,400 deaths in the US every year.

So, how can you prevent this? 

The simplest way is by letting your drivers rest. 

They should get at least seven to nine hours of sleep before getting behind the wheel. 

Also, try to limit driving between midnight and 6 am.

And it might sound obvious, but they can’t drink and drive. 

Even small amounts of alcohol — combined with fatigue — can lead to increased drowsiness and impairment while driving. 

Your drivers should also check the side effects of any medication they’re taking to check if it can cause drowsiness.

Here are some common signs that they might be too tired to drive:

  • Difficulty keeping eyes open
  • Frequently yawning
  • Missing turns and road signs
  • Drifting from their lane
  • Trouble keeping their head up
  • Not maintaining a consistent speed
  • Nodding off for a few seconds

Whenever they feel one or more of these signs setting in, it’s time to pull to the side of the road.

Understand your stopping distance 

Stopping distance is the length a vehicle travels to come to a complete halt after the driver applies the brake. 

The formula to calculate stopping distance is the thinking distance (the time it takes them to realize they need to brake) plus the braking distance (the time it takes for the vehicle to stop after the driver applies the brake).

Whether it’s a slow and planned stop at a stop sign or an abrupt halt to prevent a crash, braking in time is a key skill of a good driver. 

You drivers need to be prepared to stop at a safe distance and avoid tailgating other vehicles in case of sudden stops.

Stopping distance can increase due to:

  • Their speed
  • Poor weather conditions like rain or snow
  • If the driver has consumed drugs or alcohol or has poor eyesight
  • If the vehicle is old or hasn’t had its brakes checked recently
  • If the road conditions are greasy or slippery, such as after an oil spill

Conduct frequent safety inspections 

All vehicles experience wear and tear with regular use. 

To help prevent any serious issues with delivery vehicles, it’s important to complete routine safety inspections.

During an inspection, expert mechanics will check all parts of your vehicle, like windshield wipers, fluid and oil levels, braking and steering systems, and tire conditions. 

They’ll also replace worn-out parts like air filters and spark plugs.

Regular safety inspections have many benefits, including:

  • They make sure your delivery vehicles comply with local regulations and help extend the life of your vehicle.
  • They keep insurance costs low, reduce workplace injury, and prevent your drivers from operating faulty vehicles.
  • They reduce the risk of frustrating breakdowns that can disrupt your entire day’s schedule — delaying deliveries and reducing customer satisfaction.
  • They identify minor problems before they turn into major issues. Check out our post on understanding DTC codes.
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How can you enforce safety practices within your delivery team?

It’s one thing for you to understand and implement safe driving practices. 

But how can you make sure your team follows your guidelines?

From the moment a driver considers joining your team, they should understand how much you value safety. 

Do this by including safety training workshops during the hiring and onboarding process.

You should also hold regular seminars and talks to remind employees of safety tips and best practices while driving.

Safety training doesn’t need to be boring! 

Get creative and use skits, eye-catching signage, and team exercises to teach your team about safe driving habits while keeping them engaged.

Employees should also have an active role in safety programs. 

Make them understand that their safety directly impacts the safety of their co-workers and other drivers.

It’s not enough to just talk about safety policies once a year and then forget about them. 

Safety training is an ongoing exercise.

Keep tabs on incident reports and use them when evaluating employees. 

Make additional safety training a must for employees with below-average safety records.

Learn how to understand and improve CSA scores.

You can also use positive reinforcement to encourage drivers to be safe and responsible. 

For example, you can award the driver with the safest driving record with a gift card to a popular local joint. 

This also boosts employee satisfaction.

Circuit for Teams helps keep drivers safe on the road

Road safety is serious. 

If you have a delivery team, it’s important to put in the time and effort to make them safe, alert, and cautious drivers.

Apart from holding training workshops and sharing driving safety tips, you can also use technology to create a more efficient and secure experience for your drivers.

Circuit for Teams allows you to create and allocate schedules for multiple drivers at a time. 

This means your drivers have a planned route to follow — helping reduce stress and delays while on the road.

It also improves efficiency, allowing your drivers to deliver more packages daily without resorting to speeding or rash driving.

Circuit for Teams is a simple software for optimizing routes with multiple drivers. Click here to start your free 14-day trial.
Published2 November 2022
Updated2 November 2022
AuthorHeather Reinblatt
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About the author

Heather Reinblatt
Heather ReinblattContributor

Heather Reinblatt is a managing editor currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. She spends her free time reading, trying new recipes, and cuddling her cat Paisley. You can find Heather on LinkedIn.

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