NSC's new online Fleet Essentials training program addresses topics such as vehicle dynamics, driving professionally, and distraction awareness unique to driving for work.  -  Photo: NSC/Canva/Government Fleet

NSC's new online Fleet Essentials training program addresses topics such as vehicle dynamics, driving professionally, and distraction awareness unique to driving for work.

Photo: NSC/Canva/Government Fleet

The National Safety Council has launched Fleet Essentials, a new training program for fleet operators. Through a series of online courses, public sector fleet managers can educate drivers about safe driving practices.

A Sobering Statistic

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2,000 people died as a result of occupational transportation incidents in 2022, making up 37.7% of the total occupational fatalities that year, according to an NSC news release.

Drivers who do not have their commercial driver’s license but are required to drive any vehicle for work may not be considered fleet or professional drivers by their departments and could therefore lack formal training. That’s as many as 15.5 million drivers in the U.S. who may not be properly trained to operate a vehicle on the job.

“Many assume fleet drivers are well-trained, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case,” NSC Executive Vice President of Roadway Practice Mark Chung said. “At the National Safety Council, we follow the data, and the data are showing that workplace deaths are taking place on our roads at devastating rates, thus making this training truly essential —essential to saving lives and keeping workers safe on every jobsite, which includes America’s roadways.”

The Fleet Essentials Training Program At a Glance

The Fleet Essentials training program includes courses for:

The passenger driving course is available now. Courses for vans and medium-duty trucks will be available in early 2024.

The training program also addresses topics such as vehicle dynamics, driving professionally, and distraction awareness unique to driving for work.

Here is information about each course:

  • Driving Professionally - This 20-minute course helps fleet drivers understand key characteristics of driving professionally, and recognize the importance of organization representation and liability while driving. The course explores the difference between driving for personal benefit versus driving in the course of your work. Driver qualification and preparation are key elements to safe vehicle operation and include the driver’s own state of mind.
  • Vehicle Dynamics - This 50-minute course helps drivers understand their vehicle’s capabilities, limitations and how the physical forces of inertia, gravity and velocity affect it. Participants also learn why it is important to avoid risky maneuvers and how to avoid them. The course takes an in-depth look at vehicle dynamics -- such as yaw, pitch, and roll – and demonstrates how they contribute to safe vehicle operation.
  • Distracted Fleet Driver - Distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020. This 20-minute course reminds fleet drivers to be attentive, alert and engaged, and teaches them how to minimize distractions while driving. It reviews the science of distracted driving, reveals myths about multitasking and covers the dangerous effects of distracted driving for the fleet driver. The course also looks at the unique sources of distractions for fleet drivers, shows how to eliminate them and describes how to identify other road users that may be distracted -- and how to deal with them.
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