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With ELD Tech on the horizon, common sense is still a critical component to transport driver safety

Canadian transport companies are gearing up for big changes coming in 2019 with the Electronic Log Device (ELD) Mandate. The major reduction in paperwork and the associated costs aside, fleet managers and drivers alike should be impressed with the ELD’s projected safety benefits and can expect to see a significant reduction in accidents, injuries, and loss of life in the not too distant future. The ELD is remarkable technology, but there’s something to be said for good, old-fashioned common sense regarding transport driver safety.

According to TJ Bumby, Manager, Commercial Auto Division at Reliance Insurance, driver safety is paramount for all companies who operate fleets. Drivers are part of the solution when they are on the road; they can be a big contributor to cost savings related to insuring a fleet.”

Rest stop safety

One objective for fleet managers is to keep drivers and shipments safe while on the road, departure to arrival and everything between. The time spent at a rest stop should not be overlooked when preparing drivers for the job. Longer trips often involve evening rest breaks and fuel stops in rural or isolated settings. Keep safety and security at the forefront when dispatching drivers with the following useful tips:

  • Pre-schedule break times and plan the route to include the rest stops with the most ideal conditions for safety and efficiency. Choose stops with well-lit, spacious parking areas that are equipped with the necessary facilities.
  • Drivers should plan to gas up, take a meal break and use the restroom, making efficient use of the time spent on a break. Taking advantage of all the rest stop amenities will help reduce the number of unscheduled stops during the trip.
  • Before exiting the vehicle, drivers should remember to lock up all personal valuables out of sight. Once outside the vehicle, double-check that all doors are locked. Unfortunately, rest stops and gas stations are targeted areas for burglaries. Closing the window of opportunity for thieves reduces crime and stress.
  • Emergency preparedness is another essential point to cover with fleet drivers. Just as every airline flight has a safety demonstration prior to take-off, so should every shipment. Ensure drivers are aware of and understand company policies and procedures to follow in the event of accidents, vehicle breakdowns and crimes such as robberies and assault.
  • Schedule parking practice time for drivers to improve their skills when parking in tight spaces and next to other vehicles. This would also be a good time to remind drivers to always engage the parking brake before performing maintenance checks on the vehicle.

Safer transport in Canada

For Transport Drivers, taking the preventive steps listed above will go a long way in keeping drivers, vehicles and cargo safe during rest stops. Common sense, soon to be coupled with ELD technology will make for a safer transport experience on and off the road for Canadian drivers for years to come and will help fleet managers keep insurance costs and claims to a minimum. For expert advice on fleet insurance call TJ Bumby at Reliance Insurance.

Safety for transport drivers resources:

Canadian Electronic Logging Devices

BC Chamber of Commerce

Reliance Fleet Insurance

Commercial Automotive Insurance  

Discount Forecast tool for transportation industry  

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