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Driving Change: Doing Our Duty to Make our Roads Safer

Aug 16, 2023 | Logistics

Safety is a core value at Werner. We believe that nothing we do is worth getting hurt or hurting others, a philosophy Werner incorporates in every safety-related decision we make from dispatch and equipment to how we train our professional drivers. Across the company, we’ve adopted the mindset that nothing is worth getting hurt or harming others, which has helped us make safety a factor in every decision we make, from how we dispatch and equip our trucks to how we train drivers.

While research shows general motorists cause 80 percent of car-truck crashes, we’re always looking for ways to improve our safety efforts. These efforts include adding technology or equipment to the cab to assist drivers, implementing new training modules and researching and investing in new safety solutions.

Safety Starts With Driver Onboarding
A safer road starts with driver onboarding and training, which is why we require all new, professional drivers to complete an intensive, weeks-long onboarding process to build on the skills they’ve already developed at truck driving school or at other trucking companies. We firmly believe there is always room to grow and learn when it comes to road safety.

Among other things, our training includes classroom work; pre-trip inspections; coupling/uncoupling and proper backing exercises to help ensure our professional drivers have the fundamentals down before going out on the open road. After these classroom sessions, drivers spend weeks in-cab with another Werner driver, who as a leader, provides them with on-the-road experience and real-time coaching based on real scenarios – all helping to enhance their safety skills further.

In addition, every Werner driver completes the Smith System defensive driver training that reinforces the knowledge and skills needed to create:
• Space to maneuver their vehicle away from conflict if possible
• Visibility to detect a hazard with another vehicle or fixed object sooner
• Time to react to complex driving environments

Continuously Pursuing a Safer Road
Beyond onboarding, our professional drivers are required to complete quarterly training, which may require time spent on the simulator. Though it can vary by quarter/season, this training covers topics like winter weather prep, construction zone navigation and pre-trip inspection reminders. The simulator assists drivers by providing potential scenarios they could encounter on the road, such as a deer crossing or a tire blowing out, without putting anyone at risk. Training further develops the skills and reflexes needed to help make the safest decisions before drivers have to react in actual situations.

Additionally, professional drivers can seek support from peer mentors, including training on load and unload scenarios or insights into potential hazards on account-specific routes.

Werner takes immense pride in our industry-leading safety programs that prioritize the well-being of our drivers and the communities we serve. Striving for a safer road is something we will never stop pursuing and is an ongoing journey requiring continuous commitment and dedication to research, innovation and training.

This is part one of our “Driving Change” series about the many steps we take to support and encourage a safer road for all drivers. Click here for part two and click here for part three.

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