When it comes to losses, a motor carrier that operates in a reactive mode is putting itself in a bad position. It is like closing the barn door after the horses get out. The damage is done, and the only hope is to minimize the loss. A better approach is to get ahead of a loss by taking steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. For this reason, successful motor carriers invest the time to evaluate their operations and identify the risks that could potentially force them to close their doors.
One high-risk exposure that all motor carriers face is “critical crashes.” These are rear-end, run under, loss of control, and lane change crashes. When a driver is involved in one of these types of crashes, the results can be catastrophic. To minimize risk, motor carriers can be proactive by targeting the hazards that increase the likelihood of a critical crash. Hazards can include identifying drivers with violations for excessive speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, and so on.
By acting proactively, senior management can spearhead efforts to prevent the losses associated with risky behaviors. Proactive steps include:
Planning - Gather the management team and discuss how a critical crash could negatively impact the department. With their buy-in, set goals and begin preparations to get the entire company involved in a targeted campaign.
Communication - Everyone plays a role in preventing losses, not only drivers. Communicate the urgency and necessity for a critical crash campaign throughout the company and share how performance will be measured and goals achieved. Use ELDs, email, and the free printed materials provided by Great West to get the word out on a regular basis and report the company’s progress.
Training - A valuable resource to aid your training efforts is the Learning Library. The library is free to all Great West insureds and contains over 150 online safety videos. Our most popular product is Value-Driven™ Driving, which specifically targets the four critical crashes. Incorporating this training into new employee orientation, safety meetings, and ongoing awareness efforts is ideal.
This list is not all-inclusive but is a good starting point. Get creative and tackle the problem from every angle, not only the driver’s. The risk of a catastrophic loss due to a critical crash is one that will never go away, but a motor carrier can reduce the likelihood of an occurrence if it is proactively trying to prevent such losses.
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