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If your drivers spend a good chunk of time in neighborhoods making deliveries, house calls, etc., here are two important stats they should know. According the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration

- 1 in 5 crashes occur within a one-mile radius of the driver’s residence

- 52 percent of crashes occur within a five-mile radius

Zombie Drivers: The Biggest Residential Driving Danger

The biggest danger in a neighborhood is the people who actually live there. When drivers are in a familiar environment, they go on “auto-pilot.” They've driven their own neighborhood a million times. So they're physically behind the wheel, but their mental focus is elsewhere. They're zombie drivers! They're still moving but with very little brainpower dedicated to it. Braaaaaaaains! Worse, because they feel comfortable in their neighborhood, they often drive faster!

Distracted residents are just one of several hazards awaiting your associates in residential areas. Do your drivers have the skills and knowledge to safely navigate local neighborhoods?

The Dangers of Driving the Last Mile

If your fleet does a lot of final mile deliveries, or if your drivers frequently visit customers’ homes, defensive driver training can significantly reduce collision-related expenses and reputation-ruining neighborhood incidents. That said, enrolling drivers in any old training isn’t enough to prevent your company’s good name from showing up in a screed on NextDoor.

An average defensive driving program reminds drivers to slow down and keep their head on a swivel. While that’s good advice, an effective defensive driving course tells drivers what to look out for and how to drive strategically. For example:

When you see a vehicle driving slowly, the driver may be lost.

  • If the vehicle is coming towards you, be prepared for the driver to drift into the middle of the road (to get a better look at house numbers).
  • If you’re following the slow vehicle, expect the driver to stop suddenly or make a K-turn. In other words, give them plenty of space.

Create a Pre-Trip Checklist During Appointment Setting

Be proactive. If your drivers make house calls (plumbers, electricians, framers, pest control, etc.) a quick chat with the customer can prevent problems and delays.

Create a checklist of questions to ask when making the appointment, such as:

  1. Where is a good place to park?
  2. Do I need a gate code?
  3. What landmarks can help me easily locate your home?
  4. If your fleet includes taller vehicles, such as box trucks, ask about clearance issues such as low-hanging trees.

Common Neighborhood Driving Hazards

ITI’s ClearDrive™ provides convenient, comprehensive online safety training for your fleet. Short lessons, accessed via laptop, computer, or mobile app, teach drivers how to deal with common hazards such as:
  • Hidden driveways
  • Obscured street signs
  • Construction and school zones
  • Driving at night
  • Vehicles blocking the road
  • Distracted drivers and pedestrians
  • Kids or pets darting into the roadway

Choose from more than 70 courses to create a training program tailored to your fleet’s specific needs. Ensure drivers know how to walk defensively in bad weather, or include a lesson on The 5 Steps to Safe Lifting. There are many upgrade options, or you can start with our defensive driving for commercial fleets.

ITI can also create custom training for your fleet. Household names like Ryder, JB Hunt and some very, very large online and offline retailers have turned to us for custom training to reduce risk and prevent incidents.

Let us know what questions you have and what problems you’d like to solve. Contact a knowledgeable ITI training consultant online or by phone (360-576-5976 option 4).

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