Safety is of the utmost importance for fleets for a variety of reasons. We obviously want to keep our drivers safe, but accidents are expensive, and avoiding them saves money on vehicle repairs and insurance premiums. Of course, fleets are always looking to keep their drivers safe and save money, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Fleet risk management is a vital step towards accomplishing these goals. Many fleets struggle with taking the right actions to properly assess risk management and leave many gaps in their safety plans. Luckily, with our help combined with modern technology, it’s easier than ever to evaluate risk management within your fleet. We will break down what fleet risk management is and go over the steps below.
The Benefits of Fleet Risk Management
First, we should outline what exactly fleet risk management is. It is simply the practice of adhering to regulations and safety measures that reduce risk. This encompasses all realms of fleet management, including maintenance, training, and technology. The goal of fleet risk management is to keep drivers safe and to reduce liability. The benefits of fleet risk management are as follows:
Creating a safe environment for drivers limits the company’s exposure to devastating fines it may face for:
- Injuries / medical bills
- Vehicle damage
- Business losses as a result of delays and/or lost or damaged product
- Workers compensation
- Fines for noncompliance
It also saves money when it comes to accidents. Accidents can cost fleets $15,000 or more, depending on injuries or fatalities. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct a proper fleet risk assessment to ensure that fleets can avoid accidents wherever possible.
Drivers who feel that their safety is valued will feel more appreciated and be happier in their workplace. Happier drivers are more likely to stay with your company for a longer time. Since turnover costs can add up to $15,000 per person, this is an immense benefit to everyone.
Insurance companies always give priority to safe drivers over unsafe drivers. Therefore, there are often discounts available for fleets that have safety measures in place. Safety measures they may consider worthy of a discount include:
- Theft protection alarms
- Dash cams
- eLog systems
- Automatically adjusting lights
- Back up cameras
Steps in a Fleet Risk Assessment
1. Identify Hazards and Who Might Be Harmed
Naturally, the first thing to do in a fleet risk assessment is to determine the risks. Risks vary depending on every fleet, but there are three common ones among most fleets that all companies should consider:
Distracted driving causes an enormous amount of accidents every year. The CDC estimates that distracted driving kills eight people in the US every single day. Cell phones are the most common source of distraction, but other sources such as eating while driving, reaching for something in the passenger seat, or even simply zoning out are all just as dangerous. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s attention off of the road, and it’s very easy to slip up.
A hard day at work or a frustrating stretch of traffic can lead anyone to aggressive driving. Someone who spends all day on the road may be even more prone. Hard braking, speeding, fast acceleration, and swerving are examples of aggressive driving leading to dangerous accidents.
Drowsy driving is a particular concern of shift workers and long-haul truckers, but it can happen to anyone. Drowsy driving is particularly dangerous; experts say that it leads to 21% of fatal accidents.
2. Find a Way to Mitigate Risks
Once a fleet has found what threatens it, the next step is to determine how to combat these dangers. Luckily, these days technology is available that makes this a lot easier than in the past. Many safety features are available that help fleets track driver safety and prevent dangerous behaviors.
Telematics is a technology that sends data from a vehicle to a fleet manager that tells them what the driver is doing either in real-time or over time with detailed reports. It can track all kinds of information, including location, speed, hours of service (HoS), and fuel efficiency. Some fleets have seen up to a 50% reduction in accidents since implementing telematics.
Keeping vehicles in top shape is the best way to guarantee they don’t experience any issues on the road that cause accidents. Azuga allows fleets to set up maintenance alerts that tell managers exactly when maintenance is due. They can even set up checklists to follow up on pre- and post-trip inspections, preventing costly breakdowns on the road.
Dashcams are a perfect way to track driver behavior without being invasive or micro-managing. Dashcams alert managers only when there is an unsafe event, such as signs of drowsy or distracted driving, so that managers can check in when they need to and rest assured that their drivers are safe the rest of the time.
3. Record Findings
Monitor the fleet after implementing the safety changes chosen to see if any additional hazards or problems arise. If any issues arise, make a note and create a report indicating how you intend to deal with them.
4. Update the Assessment
A fleet risk assessment is useless if it isn’t updated regularly. Continually monitor the fleet and update the assessment regularly to prevent the company from opening itself up to more risk.
Azuga is the place to go for the technology you need to mitigate risks in your fleet business. We offer dashcams, telematics, and fleet management software that helps you track your drivers and keep them safe. Find out more on our website or reach out to an expert today to find out more.