At Averitt Express, "Our Driving Concern is Safety!" Insuring the safety of our customers, our associates and the driving public is of utmost importance to Averitt Express.
John Walton, our Director of Safety and Compliance, is responsible for all aspects of Averitt’s safety program. John has more than three decades of industry experience, more than two decades of which has been spent in safety management. In addition to the Director of Safety and Compliance, Averitt has six full-time field Safety Coordinators with nearly 150 years of combined industry experience.
Following is some information about how we make safety our driving concern.
To enhance our road safety program, Averitt utilizes a third-party driver observation program. The purpose of this program is to address inappropriate driving behavior as well as positively reinforce drivers for following proper procedures.
We also use technology to measure and provide feedback to drivers on critical safety events. “Predictive Behavior” software will identify patterns in driver habits that can be addressed through timely communication with the driver. The system is designed to focus resources on specific areas in order to improve safety by preventing accidents.The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration introduced CSA in late 2010 as a standard to measure carriers in compliance with safety rules. Averitt is devoted to educating drivers and leaders on the safety regulations with the goal of constantly improving CSA scores.
What type of safety training do Averitt drivers receive?
Beyond the training and requirements associated with obtaining a commercial drivers license, all new drivers complete three days of driver orientation. This training focuses on protective driving techniques, operational technology training, accident reporting, equipment and maintenance information, hours of service compliance and seat belt usage.
All drivers are required to complete annual OSHA training programs, and we conduct monthly awareness campaigns to highlight important components of safe driving. Drivers handling hazardous materials undergo further training and testing, and all drivers are encouraged to participate in our "Protective Driving" program or to take approved third-party commercial driver training programs (see Safe Driving Point System below).
Each associate is required to maintain a clear and accurate record of their time and is required to file that information with the company on a daily or weekly basis (depending on their work pattern). Information is tracked by both computer and human monitoring, and variances from company or DOT policy are addressed with each associate. Infractions are subject to our progressive discipline system.
In many instances, our policies are more stringent than DOT policies, ensuring that every vehicle is in peak operating condition at all times. Before a tractor is received into our fleet, its engine is governed at 65 mph by the manufacturer. And before each driver begins a trip, he or she is expected to do a thorough, standardized check of each tractor.
Tractors are scheduled to receive preventive maintenance inspections every 40,000 miles or 150 days. Trailers are scheduled to receive preventive maintenance inspections every 300 days. These inspections involve checking vehicle brakes, tires, filters, fluids, etc.
These screenings include a three-year review of the applicant’s commercial and individual driving record, a criminal background check, a drug and alcohol test and a three-year review of past drug and alcohol test results. All associates certified to operate a commercial vehicle may be drug tested after an accident, for reasonable suspicion, or as part of random, unannounced testing.
Additionally, our drivers are required to have physical examination by a doctor every one to two years.
Additionally, the Averitt Safe Driving/Accident Point System rewards drivers for safe performance and encourages them to receive professional driver training. Drivers are given a certain number of performance points upon beginning their career with Averitt. Additional points are awarded for years of safe driving, and for completion of refresher courses or other approved safe-driving training.
Points may be deducted for preventable accidents, moving violations and unsafe driving practices. A driver must maintain a minimum number of performance points to operate a commercial vehicle for Averitt.