Beyond Fleet Safety Certified – Tips to Minimize Accidents

Damaged car resulting from an accident

When you manage a fleet of vehicles, accidents are about more than personal liability; it’s a matter of public safety.

Fleet managers have a responsibility to ensure fleet safety training remains a top priority for their organization.

“Companies are either good or lucky,” says Jerry Veres, Certified Director of Safety, at Fleet Response. “That could be because they are doing proactive safety training, or they could just be getting lucky. Eventually, luck will run out.”

Relying on luck is not an effective business strategy; safety is an ongoing process of continuing discovery. So, making sure your team is fleet safety certified is only the beginning.

If you are involved in a rear-end car accident, typically the driver in the back of the pile-up is the at-fault party.

The Safety Team at Fleet Response conducted an internal case study to review claims where other drivers rear-ended our vehicles. Veres says, “The purpose of the study was to assess if patterns emerged from the footage.”

The Safety Team reviewed several claims, which included vehicles that may or may not have required body repairs. It is important to note that most fleet vehicles on the road do not have a camera, but with the decreasing costs of newer technologies, eventually, all vehicles will have a camera.

According to Veres, reviewing footage is the black and white way to see what occurred in the accident. Larger fleets tend to rely on in-vehicle footage because it prevents falsified claims.

The team analyzed and tracked available footage to answer two questions:
  • – Did driver inattentiveness cause the accident?
  • – Could the driver have prevented the accident?

In their analysis, the Safety Team discovered that 85% of the accidents were unavoidable while the remaining 15% involved inattentiveness on behalf of the driver. 58% of the accidents were caused by inattentiveness while the driver was looking at their phone or filling out paperwork.

Fleet Managers need to hold their drivers accountable to prevent these avoidable accidents in the future. “The message is that these cameras are going to be in your vehicles so make sure you are driving like a professional,” says Veres.

While accidents caused by driver inattentiveness account for only a fraction of the losses, Veres stresses that these types of incidents are 100% preventable.”