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Delivery driver safety tips for March Madness

It’s that time of year again – the NCAA basketball season is well underway, and one of the most popular events of the year has just begun: March Madness. So far, the tournament has lived up to its name. Rounds 1 and 2 were chock-full of surprises and nail-biters.

Many stores might find their kitchens busier than usual during the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and Final Four games. The phrase “the best offense is a good defense” applies not only to basketball, but also to food delivery. Here are some delivery driver safety tips to help you draw up some great plays for your team to drive the lane safely!

Change lanes with extra caution

How do you help your drivers contend with blind spots? Merging into traffic is risky business, but it’s something that delivery drivers must frequently do — multiplying the danger. How can you help your drivers prevent merging mishaps? Remind them of these tips.

How to prevent merging mishaps:

  • Monitor Blind Spots. Check your blind spot every single time.
  • Create Safe Space. It’s crucial for you to wait until there’s an obvious gap in traffic. You shouldn’t assume the other driver will make space for you.
  • Use Your Signal. Using your turn signal is like talking to other drivers. Communication can be key.
  • Make the Most of Your Mirrors. Check both your rear view and side mirrors. Address that blind spot. Check those mirrors again. Always keep tabs.
  • Allow Time and Keep Your Distance. Weaving in and out of traffic is scary — for you and other drivers. They may not have time to adjust or space available.
  • The Right Lane is the Right Lane. If you aren’t in the process of passing, stay right. There are exceptions to this, such as if you have a left exit coming up.

Avoid turning left at all costs

Choosing a route that avoids left turns completely will decrease your delivery driver’s risk of an accident without adding too much time to the delivery. Left-hand turns cause so many issues that states like New Jersey have sought to practically eliminate them. (For those unfamiliar, there are “jug handles,” where you get in the right lane in order to turn left.) It’s not just state-specific either. UPS delivery trucks and many other commercial vehicles avoid left turns when possible. The reality is, sometimes your drivers will need to turn left. Communicate the following left turn accident prevention tips to your delivery drivers before leaving the store.

How to prevent left turn accidents:

  • Watch your speed and the speed of others. Sometimes it can be challenging to know how fast oncoming traffic is approaching. If you can’t tell, don’t risk it. Don’t careen around or cut corners.
  • Always use your turn signals. Let your intentions be known. Signal well in advance.
  • Steer clear of oncoming traffic. If there’s even a chance you can’t make your turn safely, don’t try.
  • Be aware of your blind spots. Know what is ahead, behind you, to the right, and to the left.
  • Make way for pedestrians. Pedestrians always have the right of way, and so do bicyclists. They simply are no match for any type of vehicle. Make way. It’s not your job to prove a point.
  • Avoid Abrupt Stops. Surprises may be fun at birthday parties, but not while you’re driving.
  • Favor Green Arrows. While they are far safer than a solid green, don’t forget to watch out for pedestrians.

Remember to be safe in parking lots

Drivers can’t let their guard down in parking lots, on the side of the street, or even in driveways. It might seem safer to pull out a phone while parking, but it isn’t. There are far more pedestrian hazards, and if your drivers do need to take evasive action for any reason, they might not have much space to maneuver within. Remind your drivers to use their parking brakes in driveways and hilly areas to prevent rolling. Remember that even though they’re behind the wheel, they don’t control how other drivers, pedestrians, or bicyclists behave. Encourage drivers to exit driveways, side streets, and parking lots with ease to avoid any mishaps.

How to prevent parking lot accidents:

  • Keep Your Car Straight. If you are in a marked space, keep your car centered as well.
  • Be Picky About Who You Park Next to. Avoid oversized vehicles or those who are parked at an angle.
  • Slow Down. It’s a parking lot, not the freeway.
  • Delay Distractions. You’re almost parked, where you can sit in your car and text, watch videos, check social media, GPS, groom, eat, or whatever (unless you are supposed to be working, of course.) Getting into an accident 10 feet from a parking spot will seem really ironic, and not in a good way.
  • Use Lot Lanes. Don’t cut across parking spaces.
  • Stay Alert. Just because cars appear to be parked when you first see them, doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Parking lots are full of pedestrians, cars backing out, and other hazards.
  • Obey the Rules. Don’t disregard stop signs, other traffic signs, or parking signs.

Plan out your route ahead of time

Mapping out the safest route before leaving the store will enable drivers to be prepared for hazardous obstacles like left turns, stop signs, and traffic. Before they start the car, be sure they enter the delivery address into the GPS system. To avoid distracted driving, we advise mounting the GPS devise firmly in a position where drivers can glance at it when necessary but does not obstruct vision.

By following these delivery driver safety tips, you can help your employees mitigate the Madness of March.

Larry Warshaw

Larry has been in the insurance industry in many capacities for well over 20 years including as broker, TPA manager, carrier claims manager, and insurance defense attorney.