Safe roads are the responsibility of all drivers, and road safety is especially important for commercial fleet drivers. No fleet manager wants their drivers to be involved in an accident, but many don’t know how to motivate drivers toward safer driving habits.
Unsafe Driving Is an Issue for Fleet Companies
In 2018, the annual accident rate for commercial fleets hit the 20% mark, meaning one in five fleet drivers will be involved in an accident each year. Commercial drivers spend far more time on the road than the average commuter, so it’s no surprise that they have more risk exposure.
Meanwhile, Motus’ 2019 Driver Safety Report found that the cost of accidents is on the rise. In fact, they estimate that vehicle crash costs to employers reached nearly $58 billion in 2018, compared to $47.4 billion five years prior. And commercial auto insurance is on the rise too, with annual rate increases in the eight to nine percent range.
When a fleet driver is involved in an accident, there’s more than just the cost of repairs to consider. There’s a loss of productivity while you deal with the aftermath, and in many cases, you also have to consider injuries to your driver and/or other involved parties. Clearly, safety should be a top priority for any business with a commercial fleet.
Do Traditional Training Methods Help Enough?
The truth is, every driver has bad habits. Even drivers with spotless driving records still have room for improvement. One driver might spend too much time messing with the radio. Another may accelerate too fast or brakes too hard. A third driver may not properly account for inclement weather and other bad road conditions.
Today’s drivers have more to think about than ever before. In addition to the usual hazards related to speed, road conditions, and the like, they have to worry about distracted driving as well. With cell phones and tablets in nearly every fleet vehicle, it’s common for drivers to take their eyes off the road for just a few seconds. Unfortunately, this is easily long enough to cause an accident.
No matter what the situation, all drivers could use helpful and effective training. And fleet managers generally want to provide this for them, but how?
Old-school training often went like this:
- You hire a new driver.
- The new hire spends a few hours watching videos about fleet safety.
- The driver takes a written test about safety or signs a paper saying they’ve been trained.
- This training may (or may not) be repeated annually or on some other set schedule.
Is it any wonder that this method is not as effective as it could be? Fortunately, today’s technology offers better options to improve driver safety.
Customized Training Is a Must
The first, most important step in training your drivers is to ditch the cookie-cutter approach. When everyone gets the same training, most drivers will tune it out, believing (perhaps rightfully) that the lesson doesn’t apply to them because they don’t exhibit the specific behavior being discussed.
But how does a fleet manager know what sort of training each driver needs before an accident occurs? To boost driver safety, GPS tracker systems can monitor driver behavior and keep track of dangerous habits like speeding or distracted driving. Fleet managers can then use this data to create customized training programs for each driver in the fleet and can even provide on-the-road coaching with alerts when the software spots bad habits occurring.
Competition Is an Excellent Motivator
All the training in the world won’t help without motivation. If your drivers don’t feel like their driving skills need improvement, it doesn’t matter how much coaching or training you offer. So getting driver buy-in is vital to improving your fleet’s safety record.
If you want to motivate your fleet drivers to improve their performance on the road, a little friendly competition goes a long way. By creating a healthy atmosphere of competition, you make safety training more fun and exciting. You also foster a healthier team environment between fleet drivers, leading to better performance and greater driver retention.
Create Friendly Competition in Your Fleet
How does a fleet manager create this type of safety competition? GPS tracking technology can help here too. Programs like Azuga’s Driver Safety Rewards offer a simple way to boost employee productivity and morale while improving fleet safety at the same time.
The Driver Safety Rewards service is a simple but effective program that gamifies safety training within your fleet. Each driver will be given a driver safety score based on their on-the-road habits. They can see their own scores and those of other drivers in the fleet. Every month, the driver with the top score will be rewarded with a gift card, then the competition begins again for the following month.
Using a competitive program like this, you can create friendly, healthy competition within your fleet. Each driver is responsible for his or her own score, but the software encourages them and coaches them on ways to improve. The result is happy drivers who feel appreciated for their hard work and fewer accidents within your fleet as drivers improve their safe driving habits.
If you are struggling to motivate your fleet drivers to improve their driving habits, Driver Safety Rewards may be the answer. Contact Azuga for a demo today.