Safe Pizza Delivery Driver Course
Getting Ready for Work
Before heading off to work, you make sure your car is ready. You check all the lights, including headlights, windshield wipers, brake lights and turn signals to make sure they’re working properly.
You take a look at the tires. Do any of them seem under inflated? No? Good! You know you have to take care of these problems before you leave for work, because later you either won’t have time or won’t remember. And it’s important.
You check out the inside. Are the windshields and windows clean? You know you can’t afford reduced visibility. Although it’s supposed to rain and snow today, you want to keep in mind that on sunny days, clean windows and clean windshields are just as important to prevent blinding glare. Adjust your mirrors, and make sure those are clean too.
Starting A Delivery Run
You get your first set of delivery orders at the pizza shop. Two orders in the same part of town, and you know the area. Good! You don’t have to look at the map.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area you have to look at the map first, because it’s not safe or particularly smart to be trying to read a map while driving.
You load the pizzas, making sure they’re securely packed. You fasten your seatbelt and look out your rear view mirror and side mirrors before starting to back out. As you back up, look over your left shoulder. Uh oh! Some kids are playing and you see a ball roll behind the car. Good that you checked. A lot of accidents are caused by drivers backing before they’re sure the path is clear. You wait until the way is clear and back
out (while looking back over your left shoulder). The last thing you need is an accident.
Your friend Gary comes up to you when you’re backing out, asking for a ride. You hate to do it, but you have to refuse. You explain that you’re on the job, and not allowed to have riders in the car. He understands and doesn’t want to jeopardize your job.
Making a Delivery
The first order goes to a house with a large driveway. Do you pull into the driveway, or park on the street and walk up the driveway with the pizza? Better to park at the curb and walk up the driveway, even though it’s a few more steps. This way you don’t have to back the car up. Whenever you back up, you increase the chance of an accident. And there’s always the chance of a stray kid, pet or toy in your way when backing up. It’s safer to park at the curb
You get to the door, the customer opens it and invites you to come in while she gets your money. Uh oh again. You remember you were told to never enter the customer’s house. You politely decline, “That’s okay, I’ll wait here at the door.” You know nothing about the customer, except that they like pizza. It’s obviously safer not to go into the house.
While waiting for the customer to come back with the pizza money, you remember other tips you’ve been given that’ll help keep you safe.
If you hear a dog barking from inside the customer’s house, or notice a dog near the door as you approach, don’t just ring the bell and wait for the customer to open the door. Dogs can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, and dog bites are not something you want to experience. Call the customer from your cell phone in the car, and ask to have the dog secured before you go any further.
If you sense something is wrong at the residence, for example, loud voices or noises inside the house, or anything else that makes you feel that it may not be safe to ring the bell, go to your car and call the manager on duty, explain the situation and ask for advice.
If there are no lights on, call your shop before attempting delivery and ask them to make sure that the delivery is legitimate, the address is correct and that the customer is home.
Never resist a robbery. It’s better to be robbed for pizza money than to wind up in the hospital or worse.
Getting from B to C
On to the next delivery. Oh, great, now it’s starting to rain. People will be running for cover, probably right in front of you. There’ll be rain on your windshield, it’ll take longer to stop and sometimes people seem to forget how to drive in the rain. Best to put on the lights, slow down, take extra care and get your windshield wipers running.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the time it takes to stop your vehicle. The faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop. Wet, icy or slick roads increase the braking time. Your perception and reaction time is impaired if you are distracted or fatigued. The longer it takes to stop, the more distance you should leave between your car and the one ahead of you.
The best way to make sure you have enough stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead is the “3 Second Rule.” You identify an object straight ahead such as an overpass or sign. When the vehicle in front of you passes the object, count to three: "One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand.” If you finish counting to three seconds before you pass the object, you're doing okay; otherwise slow down. For bad weather make that 4 seconds or more. Whatever you do, never tailgate under any circumstances this can lead to rear end collisions
Back in the car with one delivery left on this run. You know where you’re headed, and check the address before you take off. While you’re driving, you decide some music would be nice. The supervisor said listening to music on low volume was okay. Now where is that new CD you just bought? Problem. You left it in the back seat. Too late to grab it now that you’re in motion.
It’s not safe, so you’ll make do with the radio until your next delivery. Then, a few miles away from the delivery your cell phone rings. What next? Oh, well, let it go to voicemail–one of the company rules is no cell phones while driving. It can wait.
Delivery address number two is coming up. You see a car in the oncoming lane slowing, but he doesn’t have a turn signal on. Best to play it safe. Using your turn signal before turning seems like a lost art with some people. Just keep going and this guy could just hang a left turn in front of you with no warning.
And then he does. Good thinking on your part. Never assume that other drivers are going to do the smart thing. In fact, it makes a lot more sense to assume the opposite.
That’s called defensive driving. You have to anticipate the unsafe acts of other drivers who ignore signals, drive too fast, or coast through stop signs while on their cell phones.
Returning to the Shop
The delivery goes smoothly and you head back to the pizza shop. As you drive through the neighborhood, you notice the speed limit is 30. You look at your speedometer and you’re going 45! Whoops, time to ease up on the lead foot. You ease down to 30. A ticket or accident will definitely not make your day and would cause a major problem at work.
It’s dusk and rain is turning to snow. Visibility is bad. Even without precipitation, it’s difficult to see pedestrians at dusk, especially if they’re wearing dark colors. You’re anxious to get back to the shop so you can head out with another order, but it’s best to slow down and drive extra carefully in these conditions. This takes patience on your part.
One of the hazards while driving in rain, snow and ice is reduced traction. You remember that you need to accelerate slowly and ease up on the accelerator if the wheels start to spin. Most skids can be avoided by adjusting driving speed and keeping alert. A general rule to follow: “Turn into the skid, and gently accelerate.”
You approach the intersection at Main and Church. You were told that a lot of accidents happen at intersections and it makes sense. There are 2 way stops, 4 way stops, an infinite variety of traffic signals, pedestrians crossing, drivers trying to beat a stoplight, all kinds of things that people can do wrong. If you’re not anticipating it, someone else’s carelessness can cost you. You slow down, and scan the area carefully.
A little further up you notice a double parked truck blocking your lane. Figures!
You could swerve around it, but what if someone is coming the other way? That could be pretty ugly. Just slow to a stop and ease out when there is a large gap in the oncoming traffic, being sure to signal so those behind you know what you’re doing.
Finally, pulling back into the pizza lot on your first day, you feel good. You used your head while out on the road, avoided any problems, and returned safely with a couple of decent tips to show for it. You did well!