As the school year ends, we can expect more children out and about during the day. This is an excellent time to review neighborhood safety for delivery drivers. Where you might be used to pretty empty streets during the day, children and their pets may be spending more time outside, increasing the risk of accidents or even close calls.
Here are five practical tips delivery drivers can use to improve safety now that school’s out for summer.
Reduce Your Speed and Increase Awareness
The first thing you can do as a driver is simply to slow down. This policy is good in residential neighborhoods regardless of the time of year, but it is imperative now. Speed limits are the maximum you can legally drive in an area, but often common sense means going even slower, especially around park and playground areas.
Secondly, be alert. If you have to check an address on a package, pull over and stop to do so. Even a moment with your eyes off the road can spell disaster. Avoid backing up, especially in residential areas, but be sure to check your surroundings before you get behind the wheel after you have left your truck.
Children move fast and often don’t understand or predict what your next move will be. They can also be unpredictable. Awareness is critical in neighborhood environments.
Use Your Horn for Neighborhood Safety for Delivery Drivers
Be careful about this, but a friendly sounding of your horn can alert children to your presence and make them look out for you. By doing so, you are working to increase their awareness of their surroundings.
A light horn, a wave, and even flashing your lights or turn signals can draw a child’s attention. This also lets parents know that you are aware of their children, you are paying attention, and it also alerts them to be more aware of where their children are.
Using sound and visual alerts is an excellent way to prevent accidents.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Maybe this should go without saying. However, it bears mentioning that neighborhood safety for delivery drivers involves obeying crosswalk signs and lights, stop signs, and yield signs, which are there for a reason, even in private, gated neighborhoods. Slow down, look both ways before proceeding through a light, and never assume a child will follow the rules of the road.
Be sure to look low. While cars are often easy to spot, children on bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other modes of transportation may not be as easy to spot. It is not the child’s responsibility to avoid you, but your responsibility to watch out for them.
Parents will often put out signs when children are playing in the area to alert drivers. Pay attention to these as well and take precautions in those areas.
Take Extra Caution at Dawn and Dusk
Use your headlights and slow down at these critical times of the day. While fewer children are usually out at these times, you cannot be sure. Use your lights and ensure that your truck is equipped with reflective stickers. Wear a reflective vest when delivering packages, and be sure to make yourself and your truck as visible as possible. This will ensure neighborhood safety for delivery drivers and the customers they serve.
Watch for small shadows and reflections from bikes and toys. Exercise extra caution, and make parents aware if you see children engaged in risky behavior.
Whether you are a new delivery driver, a seasoned route owner, or considering entering the delivery business, safety will always be one of your primary concerns, especially during the summer months when more children are out at different times of the day. To improve safety, drivers should drive slower and stay aware, use their vehicle’s horn, follow the rules of the road, and take extra caution at both dawn and dusk.
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