04 Jul Tips on How to Develop an Effective Fleet Safety Program
According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, an average non-injury accident costs businesses over $26,000. That sum can easily triple for crashes that involve injuries or fatalities. Given the risk of losses, fleet managers should have an easy time communicating the importance of fleet safety programs to their bosses and employees.
A well-designed plan for improving fleet safety management can help reduce costs while improving productivity, safety, and just as important, business reputations. Learn more about the value of a fleet safety program and how to improve or establish one for your business.
Assess Fleet Safety Risks and Define Goals
Generic fleet vehicle safety programs rarely offer most businesses the best value. Like other business investments, the most valuable returns come from efforts tailored to the unique company and its business goals. Thus, businesses should get started by performing in-house risk assessments. After that, they can develop the measurable goals they need to demonstrate improvement.
Fleet Safety Risk Assessment
It’s advised that fleet managers gather information to assess fleet safety risks before attempting to create policies to help reduce potential hazards. Fleet managers should already have access to most of the information they need. Begin with these critical steps:
- Define general fleet risks: Get started by documenting all potential threats to vehicles. Examples of these risks could include vehicle maintenance lapses, seasonal weather events, road hazards, and poor driver behavior. Cast a wide net to consider all possible threats.
- Analyze historical trends: Look at incident reports, claims data, tickets, and driving records to find general or specific patterns for the company or particular vehicles or drivers. Prioritize common sources of damage or losses when developing solutions.
- Check vehicle maintenance schedules: Use maintenance records and perform an inspection to note any current issues impacting performance and safety. Strict adherence to maintenance schedules will improve safety and preserve vehicle value. If problems persist despite adhering to maintenance schedules, then the schedules may need improvement.
Outline existing safety programs and solicit feedback from various stakeholders about issues they have experienced. Analyzing old policies against real-world experiences will provide a useful starting point for developing more effective guidelines. Also, employees at all levels will better support new policies that they contributed to.
Define Fleet Safety Goals
The assessment should provide you with insight into the most common and critical sources of damage or injury claims. Use that information to set reasonable, measurable goals for improvement. Some examples of top-level goals include reducing accident costs, enhancing driver skills, improving productivity, improving disaster planning, and lowering car insurance premiums. Next, you can create new policies to address vulnerabilities.
Develop a Fleet Safety Program and Policies
With your program goals in mind, you can develop policies that will support them. Many of these efforts can also provide your business with additional benefits beyond reducing the risk of accidents. For instance:
- Ensuring vehicles get their tires and brakes checked and maintained on schedule can reduce the chance of accidents and prevent costlier repairs in the future.
- Mandated driver training strongly supports safer vehicle operation. Many insurers also offer discounts to customers with fewer claims and strict safety policies.
Communicate these policies to stakeholders at all levels, from fleet managers and executives to drivers and the maintenance crew. Involve these groups in the process to ensure understanding and acceptance. Ensure that everybody understands the business is serious about safety and how they will personally benefit through increased productivity, lower costs, and improved safety.
Implement Fleet Monitoring Technology
Extremely accessible fleet monitoring technology can provide businesses with multiple benefits, including a lower risk of losses and better information about claims that do occur. Some standard fleet monitoring technology includes GPS tracking and dashcams.
Today’s trackers for fleets offer many functions to help improve safety and reduce losses. For example:
- Anybody with the app can locate the vehicle 24/7, improving the chance of recovering a missing truck or car.
- Fleet managers can quickly find and reroute affected drivers if a weather event appears likely.
- These trackers can also report upon odometer readings, which automates scheduling routine maintenance.
- Built-in accelerometers monitor drivers for acceleration and braking habits.
Trackers also contribute by providing data that can help fleet managers make better decisions to reduce fuel costs, develop efficient routes, and track productivity.
Dashcams can provide valuable evidence to support damage claims. Fleet managers can also view the videos to learn more about each individual’s driving behavior. These images can quickly reveal such bad habits as tailgating, distracted driving, and sharp cornering.
Businesses must make it clear that they expect fleet employees to comply with policies. A lack of compliance could result in consequences, including extra required coaching and training or in severe cases, termination.
At the same time, consider offering rewards for compliance or improvement to provide extra motivation and help improve morale. Honoring good employees can help them set a good example to encourage others to improve.
Driver training and coaching make up an important part of fleet driver safety programs. The National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence found that driver error caused 87% of commercial vehicle accidents. Data-driven driver coaching and training reduced this figure by about half.
Fleet managers can access a lot of data by checking claims records and incident reports. Commercial fleet technology, like GPS and dashcams, can provide more helpful information. Thus, the company can tailor coaching and training to the needs of each driver.
Utilize Other Technical Solutions
Dashcams and advanced GPS systems can dramatically improve safety, primarily when used to enable data-driven coursework.
Other technology can access driving records, screen drivers, and assess the unique risks individual drivers may present. Apps can provide two-way communication between employees and management through a portal that everybody can access remotely or at their desks.
Gather Success Metrics
Define metrics to demonstrate how well the new fleet safety program supports the established goals. Evidence of safety and monetary savings will make it much easier to encourage further investments. In addition, fact-based demonstrations of benefits for the overall company and individual employees will make it easier to convince employees to cooperate.
Invest in Fleet Safety Programs Now for Savings and Safety
All businesses hope to run their fleets as safely and efficiently as possible. However, many companies believe they must wait for more resources or know-how to improve fleet safety management.
At Fleet Response, we serve our clients with the service and technology they need to enjoy all the benefits of safe and money-saving fleet safety programs. Explore the advantages our fleet safety programs offer clients. Then contact us today, either online or by phone, to learn how we can rapidly tailor a unique solution for your business.