For the last 10 years, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has sponsored Operation Safe Driver; a week-long roadside inspection effort aimed at reducing “unsafe operating behaviors” among truck and bus drivers. The event, being held October 15-21 this year, focuses on traffic law compliance, safety belt enforcement, roadside vehicle inspections, regulatory compliance, and commercial driver education.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC is noting that training is becoming a key ingredient for fleets, drivers, and technicians in order to ensure proper compliance with all the rules governing trucking – for people and equipment alike.   

“Improving highway safety is a multi-pronged effort, and we believe raising awareness about safe driving practices is vital,” noted Fred Andersky, Bendix’s director of government and industry affairs, in a statement.

“We enthusiastically support Operation Safe Driver, and programs like it, because they remind us of our responsibility behind the wheel – how staying focused on the road and being prepared at a moment’s notice to take decisive action is not negotiable,” he said.

He noted that between 2012 and 2015, according to the 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), total number of registered motor vehicles in the U.S. increased by 10 million – including more than 500,000 additional large trucks and almost 124,000 more buses.

And collectively, U.S. vehicles traveled more than 3.1 trillion miles in 2015 – nearly 126 billion more miles than three years prior.

Ensuring drivers and technicians are trained on the latest technologies and rules remains critical to ensuring they stay safe amidst that increased traffic flow.

But training is too important to simply go through the motions, argues Jane Jazrawy, co-founder and chief executive of CarriersEdge, a Markham, Ontario, provider of online driver training for the trucking industry.

Whether it’s new drivers learning the trade or veterans needing refreshers and updates, and whether the topic is safe-driving practices or changes in hours-of-service rule, employees need good training to do their jobs safely and effectively, she said.

“The reason for providing good training is the same as the reason for providing good customer service,” said “When customer service representatives show empathy and provide thoughtful responses in a friendly manner, customers are more likely to be satisfied, and continue to do business with the company.”

Jazrawy noted that when learners experience training that engages them, as an active participant and provides a roadmap to their own success, they are more likely to be satisfied with the experience and more likely to practice the skills or behavior they learned.

“There is a tendency in the industry to present the regulation exactly as it’s written,” she pointed out. “This is a terrible idea because often those regulations are extremely difficult to understand. They are written by lawyers, not by educators, and they’re written so that they can be enforced and defended, not as teaching materials. Your job as a trainer is to translate and organize those regulations into chunks of information that people can understand and apply to their daily lives.”

Training material should also build from basic concepts to the more complex. “When you were in school, you didn't learn division first,” she said. “You learned addition, which is the simplest mathematical concept, and worked your way up from there to division, building confidence as you went along. The same principle applies to designing educational material for adults. When they feel more confident, they are more likely to apply a new concept or change their routines.”