There are lots of reasons to focus on fleet safety, and most of those reasons boil down to costs. It isn’t just about the $75,000 average cost of an accident, without injuries, fatalities, lawsuits, and workers compensation. Everything in your fleet is connected. If your maintenance isn’t a priority, it increases repair costs and decreases safety for your drivers. When your drivers don’t feel safe, they’re more likely to find employment elsewhere. This too is costly. The average cost of employee turnover is $15,000 per person. Optimizing fleet safety also means that your fleet runs more efficiently. This decreases fuel costs, idling, and increases productivity.
There are many benefits to creating a company driver safety program. But how do you build an effective program? What should be in this program? Below, you’ll find several ways to improve vehicle fleet safety, along with items that should be in your fleet driver safety program.
How to Optimize Your Fleet Safety Program
Optimizing your fleet is a vital part of fleet management, and one of the best ways to reduce costs to your fleet. But did you know that it’s also the key to fleet risk management and driver safety? Below, we’ll cover some of the most common and comprehensive ways to transform your fleet safety.
Improve Vehicle Maintenance
It’s common knowledge that making preventative maintenance a priority is the best way to reduce repair costs and downtime. But it’s also the best way to improve the safety of your drivers and fleet company. When you stop relying on diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) and driver reporting to alert you to vehicle issues and use real-time diagnostic monitoring instead, you can focus on preventive maintenance. This allows you to fix smaller repairs before they cause breakdowns and accidents while on the road. A driver can only do so much, even with the right training. But providing them a safe and efficient vehicle can do so much more for your drivers. If you’re using a telematics system, you’ll receive automatic and detailed, real-time data on vehicle diagnostics. You’ll also get maintenance alerts, scheduling, and inspection reporting to help keep your fleet in peak working condition.
Drivers receive training for a number of things: inspection handling, safety regulations, accident avoidance, and more. But some fleets engage in more effective training than others. Some fleets may even end driver training after the first weeks or months of employment, while others may continue training throughout the years of employment. The amount of training, and the effectiveness of that training matters. Telematics systems monitor driver behavior, such as speeding, hard braking, harsh cornering, and more for the individual driver and evaluates the effect on the vehicle and fleet. This data can be used to improve driver training and tailor it to the needs of each driver.
We’ve mentioned the benefits of driver behavior monitoring for safety and training, but the monitoring goes beyond the driver. You should monitor mileage, drive time, fuel consumption, idling, diagnostics, route, and more. Doing so leads to lower costs and liability, and an increase in safety. Using a comprehensive GPS tracking system with fleet management software allows you to see all of this data in easy-to-read reports on a dashboard. You’ll have greater visibility and control of the safety and budget of your fleet.
A Safety Incentive Program
Drivers are on the road for around 60 hours a week, every week. Because of this, they feel more confident and albeit bored on the road. This leads to more types of distractions, such as phone use, eating, and listening to the radio. These are common behaviors for every driver, but since fleet drivers are on the road longer than most, their risk of accident is much higher. To combat this, encourage safety with incentives. Provide them rewards for a good driving record, for taking safety courses, and limiting distractions. These incentives may come in the form of safety bonuses, additional vacation time, or updates to their cab or equipment. Relying on technology and training isn’t always enough to keep your fleet safe. But providing drivers with additional reasons to stay safe on the road can make all the difference.
Fleet management is a difficult and complex job, with many moving parts. It can be hard to stay focused on safety measures in the midst of all the other duties. A safety policy can make it easier by setting procedures and standards for maintenance, training, driving, inspections, and more. Set guidelines for driving records, DUI consequences, collision procedures, and license suspensions. After setting the policies, you must ensure that your team follows them. Adhering to these rules helps to improve safety overall and create structure for your fleet.
Telematics makes many of these safety measures possible by providing you real-time insights into your fleet. You’ll be able to monitor driver behavior, vehicle diagnostics, idling, and more. Other features such as geofencing and dashcams can help with theft prevention, asset recovery, and response in claims, lawsuits, and inspections. A comprehensive fleet management system can also offer asset tracking, route optimization and planning, and other features that help optimize your fleet. This allows you to make meaningful decisions about safety and allows management to focus on growing their fleets.
Telematics doesn’t just improve your fleet safety by granting you greater visibility, it also optimizes your fleet in every way possible. This includes route optimization, fuel card integration, idling and fuel consumption reporting, utilization optimization, and more.
Azuga is a leader in fleet management software, ELD devices, asset tracking, and dashcams. Learn more about what comprehensive telematics can do for your fleet, at Azuga.