Did you know that more than a quarter of road accidents involve someone driving for work? That’s a scary thought, especially if your company runs a fleet.
Health and safety law still applies when your staff are out on the road; therefore, as part of your duty of care, you need to manage risks to drivers as much as possible. Ideally, you want to have fewer injuries to your drivers while reducing the risk of work-related bad health and lower stress to improve morale.
Let’s look at what you can do to keep your fleet safe, including:
- Improving vehicle maintenance processes
- Monitor driver behaviour
- Encourage competition to improve driving habits
- Create personalised training programmes
- Continue to communicate the safety protocols
Improving vehicle maintenance processes
The first thing to get in order is your fleet, are the cars roadworthy, when were they last serviced, are tyre pressures checked regularly, how’s the tread, are there any warning lights on the dash? All basic things but they often get overlooked by drivers, so it’s up to fleet managers to do the checking. Preventative maintenance is always better than reactive – if you can fix something before the car breaks down and causes your business unnecessary costs, the better. Regular inspections and checks for every vehicle are ideal ways to flag up problems before they become serious. Depending on the size of your fleet and the mileage they cover this could be something you can do yourself, but as fleets grow in size, it’s probably best that a management company look after everything for you. That way they’ll be able to liaise with your drivers directly, making sure they’re regularly attending scheduled services and vehicle check-ups, they can also manage any traffic infringements that may have happened.
Monitor driver behaviour
Telematics is arguably the most powerful tool any fleet manager has at their disposal. You can enable mitigation of additional driving time, can check on fuel costs and centrally monitor driver behaviour from a desktop or even a mobile device.
You can also set up automated alerts to receive notifications whenever the speed limit is exceeded, or when the vehicle is driven in a violent manner. These notifications provide visibility of the driver’s behaviour behind the wheel so training needs can be identified. Driving staff are less likely to speed or drive angrily if they know they’re being actively monitored. Our experience is that drivers are ultimately made more confident with the inclusion of ADAS and other driver assistance solutions in place given that they have experienced the protective power of visual evidence in a false claim or near miss situation.
Encourage competition to improve driving habits
Reward can be a great motivator, especially if it’s monetary in nature. Encouraging competition between employees or their teams can be a good way to adopt new behaviours.
Working with the data provided by telematics systems you can easily create a leader board of the ‘best driven’ in the company, focusing on most-improved drivers will help turn around any bad habits. Not only will it teach new, safer driving practices but it will also help increase road safety awareness throughout the company.
Create personalised training programmes
One size doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to the way employees drive. Some will be better at adhering to speed limits while others will be more aware of their surroundings. Using the data that’s collected from drivers’ vehicles, fleet managers are be able to create a personalised training program to target any lack of knowledge and ability out on the road. This approach helps remove unplanned downtime as only the drivers that need help will be attending.
Continue to communicate the safety protocols
Once you’ve implemented a safe driving policy make sure employees are kept aware of it. Regularly communicate it with your drivers, whether that’s through a weekly update, or before they get behind the wheel. Driver safety shouldn’t just be a topic that’s covered once, then forgotten. It should be a focus for employees every time a journey is planned.
No matter which approach fleet managers take, there are several ways driver safety can be improved across the fleet. Each strategy is simple to implement, and the benefits they bring will have an impact on the future of your organisation’s fleet.