I get a lot of email from trucking companies, asking for safety meeting topics and ideas- and I have a bunch of them. In fact, my articles have appeared in hundreds of trucking company newsletters (and have been stolen by dozens of websites). I have answered many of the same questions again and again. I don’t mind though- I love getting email- and it shows that a lot of people are interested in safety. I like safety. In fact, to me, safety is a virtue- a personal value.
Before I give you my 100 safety meeting topic ideas, I thought I’d lay out the top one that everybody seems to overlook the most- and very likely the most important safety skill drivers need to discuss.
Safe City Driving Tips
Trucking companies, taxi companies, even sales reps- anyone who drives for a living has to put up with city driving daily- heavy traffic, road rage, aggressive drivers and more. What’s worse, nobody teaches on this subject. I have been harping on it for twelve years now, through my Big City Driver articles, and as a columnist for Ten-Four Magazine. So I have a huge arsenal of safety tips, especially when it comes to City Driving.
Ten Keys to Safe City Driving
1. Understand Traffic Waves – When you understand what traffic waves are, you can easily dissolve them.
2. Prevent Traffic Jams – By understanding what causes traffic jams, you can actually prevent them.
3. Stay Calm – It’s easy to stay calm during stressful traffic situations, when you understand what makes you stressful.
4. Do the Math – There’s an easy math system (you can do in your head) that proves that only a few seconds can possibly be saved while driving in a city, so it is therefore pointless to try to hurry.
5. Be Predictable – Sudden movements cause accidents. Steady, predictable movements give others a chance to react.
6. Time Traffic Lights – Timing traffic lights so that you don’t have to stop, will reduce stress and equipment wear.
7. Expect the Expected – Getting cut-off on the highway is so commonplace now, you should really be expecting it.
8. Compensate for the Ignorant – Take pride in the fact that you are one of the few who gets it. Then, you will feel sorry for ignorant drivers, instead of getting mad at them.
9. Teach Others – Help spread the word so that everyone will learn to prevent traffic jams, rather than cause them. Everyone who drives, whether it’s a car or a truck, needs to learn how to prevent traffic jams.
10. Make Sure an Accident is Never your Fault – Two simple rules will keep you in the right, every time. Pound these two simple things into your head and you will never have an accident that is your fault.
NOTE: Below is a long list of safety meeting topics. I can’t lay out the whole safety meeting for you- just the topics- unless you want to hire me to come to your next meeting. If you are in the Chicago to Indianapolis area, just email me here. I don’t charge any more than the average truck driver. Or, go here for more info on the Ten Keys to Safe City Driving.
Top 100 Safety Meeting Topics
Whatever safety meeting topic you choose for your next meeting, begin by asking your drivers- how many haven’t had an accident in 20-30 years? Then ask them what their secret is.
- Wind – the silent killer
- Speed kills
- Your CDL is your livelihood- don’t take chances with it
- How to prevent a jackknife
- Winter driving
- Construction season
- How to the most valuable employee
- What causes road rage- and how to avoid it
- The Smith System
- When to use, and not use your CB
- Backing safety
- Stay current on regulations
- Practice CDL tests
- How to earn bonuses
- What is common sense
- Aggressive driving
- Prevent forklift accidents
- Loading dock safety
- Preventing preventable accidents
- Holidays and accidents
- Lumpers- scam or service
- Courtesy is cool
- Attitude is aptitude
- Be the captain- it’s your responsibility in the end
- Staying healthy on the road- walk a lot, drink water
- Save time on foot
- Don’t eat while you drive
- Plan where you will sleep- in a safe place
- Save fuel
- How to get promoted
- How to get a pay raise
- Job-hopping- it’s not always greener
- Plan for your retirement
- Buy insurance supplements
- Share some stories
- Ask drivers for ideas
- Driver appreciation
- Surprise bonus checks for safety
- Give out ham’s or turkeys for the holidays
- Safe driver awards ceremony
- Tailgating is stupid
- How to think positive
- How to eat cheap on the road
- Trip planning
- Cellphone or texting while driving
- Turn corners without braking
- Driving in rain
- Convoy safety and hindrance
- Don’t drive tired
- No delivery is worth your life
- Utilizing the chain of command
- Communication is key
- Pre-trip/post-trip inspections
- Train your spouse
- Sexual harassment
- How to report problems
- Cover your rear
- Gravel pit etiquette
- How to never lie on your logbook
- Customer service
- Hazardous material handling
- What to do in case of accident
- Fighting fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Emergency stopping
- Don’t use your back
- Cruise control driving
- Avoiding slip-and-fall
- First aid
- Using equipment in winter
- Keep stress low
- Safety is your responsibility
- Securing your load
- Bobtail safely
- Proper tarping
- Hours of service
- Understanding anti-lock brakes
- Safety equipment
- Cleanliness is safety
- Company policies and rules
- How not to drive
- Mountain driving
- Understanding why we do what we do
- Roadside inspection etiquette
- Biggest mistakes rookies make
- Understanding our safety rating
- Stupid 4-wheeler moves
- Truck Diver Trip Envelopes
Whenever you present a safety meeting, try to encourage drivers to participate, and tell stories, so others can learn from those experiences. It’s OK to laugh- find some entertainment in your points.
Have fun, and be safe.
Ken Skaggs is a 30-year veteran trucker and safety professional, who has always been a writer, and an entrepreneur at heart. Since 2000, he's had 150+ articles published by Ten-Four Magazine, Careers in Gear, Driver Story Magazine, and dozens of websites.