A Nightmare Scenario
It’s every trucking company’s worst nightmare. Bad crash. Your truck. Your name on the side of the truck.
It’s every insurance company’s worst nightmare as well. A loss of life. Loss of property. Multiple vehicles. A shock loss . . .
Nobody can really predict a bad crash. They are really ‘statistical anomalies’ or abnormalities. Outliers. Nobody can really plan for them or predict them.
There is a reason they are called shock losses. They are life-changing events that will always be remembered by those whose lives were touched by these tragic events . . . from the victims, to the first responders to the hospital personnel.
One such crash happened this weekend on I-80, that resulted in the loss of five lives . . .
Perhaps a crash of this magnitude is a lagging indicator that more work needs to be done by truck-driver training schools, motor carriers and the risk engineering departments of insurance companies.
Perhaps better technology will provide a partial answer.
I’m personally in favor of higher standards. Higher standards means to me having better driver training—to keep the vehicle under control at all times. Higher standards means better driver vetting and monitoring. Higher standards means constant communications on safety. Higher standards means more work and better coordination of safety efforts.
About 80% of motor carriers simply do not get it, in my opinion. They are not willing to do the work, are indifferent, or don’t care . . .
Same for the insurance carriers with the weak or non-existent loss-control sections and aggressive underwriters. There is no better way to put yourself out of business then with a series of shock losses . . .
Let’s work to achieve industry-wide higher safety standards to reduce these major crashes.
A Tip For Better Safety Performance
It’s true. Safety is not one or two things. Safety in trucking means doing a number of things right, consistently and repetitively, day in and day out.
Many times we rely on others to provide us with the safety tools. Many drivers are also left to their own devices when it comes to better safety performance.
One way to increase performance is to ‘self-program’ your mind by means of self-talk or self-instruction.
This isn’t a voodoo mind control technique. This is a proven way, based on sports psychology, to increase performance.
Self-talk can consist of simple, affirmative statements:
- I want to be safe.
- I will drive accident free today.
- I will focus on driving.
Self-talk can increase motivation, but should not be used to focus on a specific goal (“I will drive at least 600 miles in the next 11 hours”).
It would be most helpful to use a coach to implement a company-wide self-talk program.
Thank you for reading this.