- Photo via Pexels

Photo via Pexels

Safety training is not an event. It’s a process. If you want drastic accident reductions, your drivers need continuous safety training.

An effective safety training program uses a four-step process:

  1. Assign new hires online safety training
  2. Conduct in-person safety training for new-hires
  3. Host monthly safety meetings focused on your most important defensive driving behaviors
  4. Frequently send safety tips to your drivers

You can achieve the fourth step with a safety tips newsletter.

How to Effectively Implement a Safety Tips Newsletter

Sending the newsletter is easy. There are many free programs that do it for you.

Execution is a bit trickier. You need the answer to three questions:

  • How often should you send the newsletter out?
  • What content should your safety tips cover?
  • How can you make sure your drivers actually read it?

Decide Newsletter Frequency

We recommend sending it out weekly. It all comes down to return on investment.

If you send out the newsletter daily, you’ll have a diminishing return on investment. Your extra time and effort won’t lead to less accidents. A monthly newsletter will save you time, but you won’t achieve meaningful results. A weekly newsletter gets you the necessary results without extra work.

Determine Newsletter Content

Let’s revisit our outline for an effective safety training program.

In new-hire training, department managers should teach drivers everything they need to know about accident prevention.

In each monthly safety meeting, you should focus on a single safe behavior necessary for preventing one of your organization’s most common and costly accidents (i.e. intersection safety, maintaining a safe following distance, pedestrian and cyclist awareness, etc.).

Finally, your weekly safety tips newsletter should drill even deeper into preventing your most common and costly accidents.

Each weekly newsletter should focus on one topic directly related to the monthly safety meeting.

For example, if your monthly safety meeting covers intersection safety, your weekly newsletters that month could discuss:

  • How to safely approach and navigate intersections
  • Performing safe right turns
  • Performing safe left turns
  • Pedestrians and cyclists at intersections

When you align every part of your safety training, you will see exceptional results.

Ensure Driver Engagement

Here are three easy steps to ensure your drivers read your newsletter and put the tips to use:

  • Send out the newsletter on the same day every week. When you follow a schedule, your drivers will know when to expect the newsletter and more of them will read it.
  • Make it all about them. Focus on how your newsletter will help drivers. When you introduce this initiative, explain to your drivers that reading the newsletter will make their jobs easier and help keep them safe.
  • Get your managers involved. Ask department managers to read the newsletter and engage drivers on the tips that are covered. They should meet with their drivers each morning when you send out the newsletter to discuss the content.

The Final Touch on Your Safety Training Program

A weekly safety tips newsletter could make all the difference for driver safety.

For just a couple hours of your time each week, you can dramatically reduce accidents and improve your safety culture. You’ll reap the rewards of lower

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About the Author: 
John Kuder is a senior instructional designer at Avatar Fleet, the creators of the non-CDL safety training course, The Fleet Safety Course.
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