If you’re not protecting your delivery drivers from accidents, you could be jeopardizing your entire business.

Vehicle accidents cost employers more than $50 BILLION in a single year. Consider money to fix damaged vehicles or to pay hospital bills when people are hurt; decreased revenue due to lost production time; and eventually increased annual car insurance rates. The debt can add up quickly.

Final-mile delivery training is protection more companies are investing in now that there’s been a chance to process the effects of the global pandemic. When COVID-19 struck, many customers didn’t stop buying. They instead channeled their buying towards e-commerce.

In fact, e-commerce sales rose significantly over the last year with final-mile delivery rising 25 percent by some accounts. In this article, we’ll explore what it means to protect your last-mile drivers.

What is Final-Mile Delivery?

Final-mile delivery, also called last-mile delivery, refers to the trip from the final shipping point to the endpoint, or the business or customer where the package is to be delivered. Examples of final-mile delivery include:

  • Grocery deliveries
  • Prescriptions
  • Restaurant and fast-food orders
  • Deliveries of washers, dryers, televisions, and other appliances
  • Any product delivery from a brick-and-mortar store to the final destination

Final-mile delivery companies can have one to 100 or more delivery vehicles.

Why Final-Mile Delivery Training is Essential

Final-mile delivery drivers may operate passenger cars, vans, or larger box trucks that can be challenging to maneuver in and out of traffic. Of course, no matter what type of vehicle is used, delivery drivers must obey the rules of the road just like any other driver.

After all, your drivers represent your company when dealing with the public. Poor or careless driving is not only dangerous to your drivers, but also to anyone else on or near the road they share. Proper training is essential to protect your investment, which includes your employees, your delivery vehicles, the products being delivered, and your business.

Drivers are perhaps the most effective safety feature you can put in your fleet vehicles. And an online defensive driving course is the best—and most affordable— tool you can offer your employees to keep them safe on the road.

Driver Safety Tips Every Final-Mile Delivery Driver Should Know

Unsafe drivers create liability issues for your business. They can put lives in danger. They can hurt the reputation of your company. And they can cost you a lot of money when they’re involved in accidents.

Training your drivers to develop a defensive driving mindset is the best thing you can do to protect them, other motorists, and your company. You can do that by teaching them A-I-A: Anticipate, Identify, Avoid.

Anticipate Potential Road Hazards

Too many accidents happen when there isn’t enough time to react. Instead, drivers should learn how to observe and evaluate road conditions, other driver’s performance, and even bad weather conditions that could create unsafe situations.

For example, cracks in the road may be a good indicator that the street is deteriorating, which means potholes should be expected. Your driver should slow down and carefully watch the road surface for large ruts that could damage the vehicle.

If potential threats are spotted before they happen, your drivers can effectively put themselves in a safer position by moving to a different lane or slowing down to put some distance between them and the threat.

Identify Dangers

When your drivers learn to anticipate potential road hazards, they will be better prepared to identify dangers when they occur.

Suppose your driver watches in the rearview mirror as a car weaves between traffic from one lane to another. When the car speeds past your employee and suddenly darts in front of your fleet vehicle, your employee—who anticipated the hazard—identifies the danger and is already prepared for a sudden stop by deaccelerating and placing their foot above the brake for fast response.

Avoid Accidents

If your final-mile delivery drivers know—and follow— traffic laws and regulations, they can lower their risk of being involved in an accident.

Proper lane changes and turning procedures, safe parking techniques, and even understanding how to avoid hitting fixed obstacles are all important skills your delivery drivers should perfect.

Prepare Your Drivers and Protect Your Investment

If you’ve heard the Benjamin Franklin quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” then you know that preparation and training are tried-and-true practices people have relied on for centuries to anticipate, identify, and avoid potential catastrophes.

When your last-mile delivery drivers complete the DriveSafe Online defensive driving course, you know they are well-trained and prepared to stay safe on the road. And when your drivers can continue to perform their jobs, your business can continue to function and grow.

Plus, more good news! Many insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who earn a defensive driving completion certificate. In some cases, savings can reach 10% off annual insurance premiums for three consecutive years.

That means your business can save money, and your drivers may save on their personal auto insurance plan as well. That’s a great return on investment for a commitment that can be completed in as little as one hour.

Find a defensive driving course customized for your state, or take the DriveSafe Online course demo to see firsthand the quality program your drivers will enjoy.