Standard of Care (SOC)

Length of Presentation: 4 hours

# of Participants: Recommended 1-30

Recommended for: 

Drivers who operate a heavy commercial vehicle,

Supervisors, and

Fleet managers

Prerequisites: None


If you drive for a company or organization as part of or all your occupation, the law considers you to have a greater standard of care to drive safely and defensively. Criminal courts have established that professional drivers have a greater standard of care when operating vehicles. Section 217.1 of the Criminal Code has created corporate criminal liability. Organizations have always had to deal with civil liability (fault) and the torte process in civil courts. Section 217.1 has established a specific section within criminal negligence that imposes criminal liability upon an organization. As a result, directors, managers, supervisors, and other persons in authority within an organization can be charged criminally. An organization must take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to employees or any other persons arising from work conducted by the organization.

SOC is the first phase in our Behaviour-Based Driver Training program for Heavy Commercial Vehicles. This presentation discusses key issues for today’s professional driver and communicates the main relationship between professional driving, professional driver training, and the law.

The session calls on clients to:

  • recognize their criminal, civil, and corporate obligations,
  • operate safely,
  • understand driving myths about behaviour and attitude, and
  • advance driver education.

“Standard of Care” is not a slogan developed by the safety industry; it’s a legal term that establishes minimum standards. Similar to malpractice, it’s the same reference to a professional who demonstrates negligence by an act or omission in which care provided has deviated from accepted standards of practice, and causes injury or death to someone. “Standard of Care” refers to drivers as well as their supervisors and can apply to on and off-duty situations. Regular and ongoing training is a requirement of due diligence and is mandatory under Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety laws. Standard of Care addresses all the key issues of today’s professional driver and deals with specific issues related to driver knowledge and technology.

There are numerous fallacies that have been adopted by drivers over the years. The SOC presentation addresses those issues and eliminates false information. The highly informative session often leads to enlightening discussion about current and local issues, with specific reference to recent Court rulings in company litigation cases.


  • Importance of professionalism and attitude towards driving
  • High-risk behaviours such as: unsafe speed, non-use of seat-belts, distraction
  • Driving as an Art rather than an Act –with reference to visual search patterns
  • Vehicle dynamics: kinetic energy, braking-steering-acceleration, and rollover stability
  • Tire and road surface considerations
  • Incident examples

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