Ensuring the drivers in your fleet are safe on the road is the ultimate responsibility of every fleet manager. Having a clear fleet accident management program in your company can reduce accidents and improve fleet productivity in the long run.
An effective fleet vehicle tracking accident detection system installed on all your vehicles will reduce the risk of fleet accidents and keep all your drivers safe on the road. This article outlines five tips you can use to avoid fleet accidents and get the most out of your company vehicles.
1. Raise Awareness
The first step to preventing fleet accidents is raising safety awareness in your team. Be sure your drivers are aware of any common accident sites on their route and instruct them to exercise caution in such locations.
All drivers in your team need to know the importance of practicing road safety when using company vehicles. As a fleet manager, make your drivers realize the value of road safety by raising awareness.
2. Establish a Road Safety Program
Every professional fleet manager should understand that drivers are essential assets for their company. Ensure you set an effective safety program to save your drivers' lives and improve their productivity.
The road safety plan should consider all factors that can put your drivers' lives at risk. This includes weather changes, reckless driving, and other habits that can impact safe driving. Create a fleet safety program that encourages drivers to practice defensive driving habits and curb dangerous behaviors like speeding or hard braking.
Treat safety as a top priority in your company and establish a safety culture in your team. Your fleet management team should set a good example for drivers and motivate them to practice road safety, rewarding good driver behavior with incentives and bonuses. Drivers who practice unsafe driving habits should be held accountable for their actions.
3. Control Fatigue Among Drivers
It’s relatively common for drivers to cause accidents because of fatigue. According to the Department of Transportation, driver fatigue is one of the top five leading causes of road incidents. Fatigued drivers cannot assess road situations and make the right judgments while driving, resulting in accidents.
Implement a fleet accident management program that ensures all your drivers report to work when they are fresh and fit. Start by assigning your drivers tasks or deliveries they can accomplish on time. Be sure that all drivers are abiding by HOS (hours of service) regulations to avoid them spending too much time behind the wheel. In addition to making your fleet safer, this will also help you avoid fines for non-compliance.
If you find you routinely don’t have adequate time to make deliveries for your clients, increase the size of your fleet and hire more drivers to meet the demand. Assigning your divers more work on a tight schedule can cause fatigue and increase the risk of accidents. You can also involve your drivers when coming up with a work schedule. As much as possible, allow your drivers to work their preferred shifts to reduce accidents caused by fatigue.
4. Invest in Telematics
Technology is making life simpler for fleet managers. If you haven't started using telematics technology in fleet management, you are missing a lot. Today, there are plenty of fleet vehicle tracking accident detection software options you can use to monitor your drivers. Azuga offers one of the best fleet tracking applications that your drivers can use to reduce distraction and get useful insights that keep them safe on the road.
Use telematics technology to spot problematic drivers in your team who are consistently exhibiting risky driving behaviors and hold them accountable. With a reliable fleet tracker installed on your vehicles, you can collect data on hard acceleration, braking, idle time, and safe routes. With this data, you can reward good drivers and offer coaching or training to those who need improvement.
When you understand your drivers' behavior, you can quickly reduce accident rates by ensuring your team observes your fleet policies. Adopting a fleet accident management system in your company helps you to identify drivers with poor driving habits so that you retrain them and improve your safety record.
5. Keep your Fleet in Shape
Road safety starts with a well-maintained fleet. The safety benefits of fleet upkeep improve your ROI, which means you should not hesitate to invest resources in preventive maintenance. At least 29% of truck crashes are caused by brake failure. This means that by properly maintaining the brakes on each of your trucks, you are reducing your liability considerably.
Implement a preventive maintenance program and instruct your drivers to report all issues and breakdowns to the fleet management on time. Ensure that they are correctly performing pre-trip and post-trip inspections and checking thoroughly for potential problems. Preventive maintenance should be a collective responsibility of your entire team if you want to reduce accident rates.
Replace all old vehicles in your fleet that have a higher risk of accidents. Sometimes the cost of maintaining an aging fleet is too steep, making it imperative to replace all worn-out vehicles.
Fleet accident management should not give you headaches if you practice the five tips shared here. Set a preventive maintenance program in your company and educate all your drivers on the importance of observing road safety rules. Lastly, use the latest fleet tracking system from Azuga to prioritize fleet safety and reduce your company's accident rates.