For organizations with a mobile workforce or fleet, safe driving behaviors have never been more important and more challenging. The average direct costs of an automobile collision continue to rise, and indirect costs of collisions total 4-10 times more than direct costs. Employers can expect to see the average crash cost $16,500, with it exceeding $74,000 for a crash containing injuries. If it is a fatal crash, employers expect to pay more than $500,000.1 While the direct costs (and some of the indirect costs) are covered by your insurance company, many of the indirect costs have financial and cognitive impacts to the company, the employees and families involved, and the community as a whole. Lapses in driver safety can have lasting effects—both financial and nonfinancial. An organization’s efforts to boost safety behind the wheel is critical for business continuity and success, workforce health and well-being, and community relations
While safe driving has never been more important for your business, recent data shows that drivers are focusing on other priorities. Key behaviors associated with an increase in collisions—most notably speeding and distracted driving—are prevalent and on the rise.
According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2018, excessive speed was a factor in 26% of all accidents, and the higher the speed (especially in larger commercial vehicles) the greater the damage to people and property. That year 9,378 deaths resulted from speed-related collisions, which was a 6% drop from 2017.2 While the downward trend in speeding related accidents is a good sign, speeding should always be avoided. Speeding puts everyone on the road at risk, not just the occupants of the vehicle. Besides breaking the law, there is:
NHTSA also states that nearly 400,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted driving in 2018. Distracted driving is not just cell phone usage. It also includes eating while driving and figuring out navigation systems. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.3 From eating behind the wheel, to changing music and talking to another passenger, distractions are extensive.
Aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating, speeding and cutting off others put others in immediate danger and should be avoided. Harsh braking, sudden acceleration, and speeding can be monitored through third-party solutions. Keeping your largest asset—your people—safe is difficult when you can not be with each one 100% of the time. A few ways to mitigate risk when other drivers on the road are exhibiting aggressive behaviors are to maintain safe speed and distance, use turn signals, and to allow others to merge. Your team represents you, even while on the road.
Adopting a formal program that puts a strong focus on safety, with support from leadership through to drivers, is a crucial step toward establishing a culture that values it and achieves it. Effective programs typically include communicating and reinforcing program goals, training in regards to safe driving behaviors, communicating expectations and establishing individual responsibility, monitoring driver safety, recognizing safe driving or coaching unsafe behavior, and consistently applying consequences for workers that do not show improvement. A thorough safety-focused program includes all areas of the business.
Advanced diagnostics and reporting make it easy to assess vehicle health and driver performance. Driver scoring ensures you and your drivers know how safely they are—or are not—driving.
With Azuga Fleet tools in hand, address specific areas of vulnerability—from vehicle maintenance to individual driver coaching.
Gain greater insight into your operations, from efficiency to safety. See how your fleet stacks up against industry standards and best-in-class fleets.
In addition to drivers, Azuga Fleet extends the benefits of safety to your entire staff—managers, safety directors, accountants, operations specialists—and to partners, such as insurance providers and lenders.
For most organizations, the most dangerous aspect of their workers’ job is driving. By laying the groundwork properly and establishing expectations from the time an employee is hired, you can build a culture where attention to safety from company leaders, managers and workers is an important aspect of every work day.
Tips for establishing a culture of safety:
Placing importance on safe driving throughout the company, coupled with the actions taken by management from the top down to consistently reinforce that message, will have a direct impact on the attitudes your staff maintains about driving safely.
Tips for reinforcing the safety message:
Business owners or fleet managers typically pull an MVR (Motor Vehicle Report) when hiring a new employee who will be behind the wheel as part of their job. Many get updated MVRs annually, as part of the insurance renewal process but that can leave many months of exposure for workers to incur driving violations, such as speeding or reckless driving.
Tips for monitoring violations and safety:
Recognizing safe driving behaviors sends a strong message about the importance of safety in your culture, and adds a healthy competitive spirit among your team. Adding recognition and rewards decreases the negative attitude that workers may have about management using a “big brother” tracking technology.
Tips for reinforcing the safety message:
Establish the foundation for a safety-first culture
Continually reinforce the safety message
Publicly monitor your workers’ driving records and safety trends
Recognise and reward good and improved performance