CLEVELAND (June 1, 2016) — Dealer Tire L.L.C. has been recognized by the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University, the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Association for Talent Development for its DT HERO defensive driving program.
Cleveland-based Dealer Tire, a distributor of tires to car dealers nationwide, was presented with the award May 19 during a luncheon at Windows on the River in Cleveland.
DT HERO was designed to make Dealer Tire associates better drivers, the company said. According to Jill Marcotte, partner and chief supply chain officer at Dealer Tire, the firm employs approximately 300 drivers who deliver tires to car dealerships across the U.S. and Canada.
“We're dedicated to helping car dealers put safe vehicles on the road, and that dedication to safety has been a key to our success,” Ms, Marcotte said.
Ms. Marcotte said the company looked at several “canned” driver training programs, but couldn't find one that fulfilled its needs. Instead, an in-house team of learning and safety specialists, distribution center managers and associates developed the company's program.
According to Dealer Tire, the name is an acronym for driver safety topics:
- Drive defensively;
- Take responsibility;
- Have a way out;
- Eliminate distractions;
- Read and react safely to conditions; and
- Obey traffic regulations and dealer tire policies.
DT HERO, which launched in January 2015, incorporates web-based training, safety meetings, instructor-led training and video-based exercises to simulate driving conditions and demonstrate safety practices, Dealer Tire said. In addition, participating drivers experience hands-on exercises in parking lots and on the road and receive final certification as a DT HERO by passing a written test and an on-road driving evaluation.
By April 2015, all of the company's existing drivers had been certified through the program.
“Since implementing the program, we've seen an overall accident reduction rate of 24 percent and have reduced year-over-year accident claim costs by 74 percent,” Ms. Marcotte said.
In addition, many of the company's distribution center managers have created their own safety challenges for team members and have begun rewarding them for accident-free performances.
“We're getting positive feedback from new hires who are impressed with the caliber of training we're providing, and some of our associates have taken the initiative to hold their own driver safety huddles, brainstorming about challenging delivery locations and how to safely navigate those situations,” she said.