People refer to the year-end holiday season as ‘the silly season’ for many reasons, but truckers and trucking companies know that at this time of year people on the roads, as they speed off to their holiday destinations, can be more than just silly – they can be downright dangerous!
The road accident and death toll statistics at the end of every year are alarming and seldom seem to improve despite whatever warnings are repeatedly given prior to this period. ‘Buckle up,’ ‘don’t speed,’ ‘keep a safe following distance’ – all seem to just disappear from the mind as many drivers, impatient to reach their destination, throw caution to the wind.
Sadly truckers, even those who have been well trained and on the roads for many years, sometimes overwhelmed by the sudden influx of vehicles on the road, become a part of these statistics too.
We would like to just give a few prudent points to trucking companies and Drivers alike that just may prevent accidents and keep truckers also looking like professionals amongst all the poor drivers.
In many cases, trucking accidents are the direct cause of neglect or lack of responsibility on behalf of trucking companies themselves. Certainly, it is more common amongst smaller ‘fly by nights,’ but all could heed a little of this advice…
Don’t just assume your drivers will sail through what is a difficult period for them. They feel they have to meet the same deadlines but are suddenly seriously held back by the volume of traffic. Prepare drivers for what they are likely to face. Ensure that deadlines are reasonable and schedules adjusted according to these extenuating circumstances.
Remember sleep is always the driver’s enemy, so ensure safe shifts are arranged, and it goes without saying, that vehicles need to be in top roadworthy shape, but at this time it is more important than ever.
Perfect brakes for emergency stopping and excellent tyres for swerving out of danger could save many drivers and others lives. This responsibility, including adequate Driver insurance, rests squarely on your shoulders, so always consider that your driver can only represent you well if you have planned well.
Speaking of representing the company well, remember this is part of your duty. Be responsible and courteous on the roads. You are going to have cars full of irritable drivers lining up behind you at times, so pull over only whenever it is safe to do so and let people pass.
Indicate to other drivers when it is safe to pass and be courteous too at loading and offloading depots and even at truck stops. You always represent your company, so do so proudly.
Become a part of the ‘triple A.’ In trucking terms this means be Awake, Alert and Aware. Drive, like everyone else on the road, is a bad driver, always looking out for the worst. Of course, there are plenty of good drivers, but this is a simply safer way to go!
Finally, regardless of deadlines or however, people treat you on the roads, always put safety first. Never drive yourself or your vehicle too hard just to make deadlines. If you drive well the goods will arrive and so will you – safe and sound.
Let us help
At FAW we not only offer an incredible range of some of the best and most affordable new and used trucks on the road, but we offer solid warranties and additional after-sales support like our Driver training for example.
Find a dealer near you – take advantage of our year-end specials and start the new decade as one of the proudest fleet owners in the country. We hope this article has been of some help to you and your Drivers and don’t hesitate to contact us to learn everything you need to know about FAW – Trucks that are “Built in South Africa, for Africa’’. HAPPY HOLIDAYS – drive carefully!