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Dealer Tire Driver Training Program Recognized for Successes

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Left to Right: Beverly Ghent-Skrzynski, president of Rotary Club of Cleveland; Chris Nunes, Association for Talent Development; Amy Salapski, senior manage of talent development for Dealer Tire; and Dr. Richard Reed, interim dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University.

Left to Right: Beverly Ghent-Skrzynski, president of Rotary Club of Cleveland; Chris Nunes, Association for Talent Development; Amy Salapski, senior manage of talent development for Dealer Tire; and Dr. Richard Reed, interim dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University.

Dealer Tire recently was recognized by the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University, the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Association for Talent Development for DT HERO, a defensive driving program designed to make Dealer Tire employees better drivers.

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According to Jill Marcotte, partner and chief supply chain officer at Dealer Tire, the company has 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,” she said. “We developed the DT HERO program to make our associates better, safer drivers.”

Marcotte said the company looked at several “canned” driver training programs, but couldn’t find one that fulfilled its needs. An in-house team of learning and safety specialists, distribution center managers and associates developed the DT HERO program. 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
•    Obey Traffic Regulations and Dealer Tire Policies

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The program incorporates web-based training, safety meetings, instructor-led training and video-based exercises to simulate driving conditions and demonstrate safety practices. Drivers also 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 successfully completing an on-road driving evaluation.

“We launched the program in January 2015, and by April 2015, all of our existing drivers were certified as DT HEROs,” noted Marcotte. “Since implementing the program, we’ve seen an overall accident reduction rate of 24% and have reduced year-over-year accident claim costs by 74%.”

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