Fleet safety programs are essential to every business that relies on the road. These programs can help improve CSA scores, reduce roadside infractions and crashes, and keep drivers happy and loyal. Setting clear employee expectations and implementing tools that help enforce these guidelines, such as video telematics solutions, is essential. These systems provide operators with real-time footage of vehicle events and allow them to coach drivers not adhering to policies.
Reduced Risk of Collisions
If you don’t have a fleet safety program, your employees are at risk of having an accident while driving company vehicles. Accidents are costly. The National Safety Council estimates that employers spend an average of three days renting replacement vehicles, rerouting routes, and dealing with adjusters, lawyers, and body shops for every work-related motor vehicle collision1.
A comprehensive fleet safety program can help you protect your drivers’ lives and reduce costs. Research has shown that fleet management practices like driver training, IVMSs, fatigue risk management, and mobile phone policies significantly reduce company vehicle crashes, damage, and injuries.
To maximize the impact of your fleet safety program, you should include the following elements:
Identify all authorized drivers and their responsibilities regarding company vehicles. This includes only allowing them to drive company vehicles on company business and excluding family members or nonemployees. Develop and implement a hiring process with strong screening to ensure your company only gets the best vehicle drivers.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
A fleet safety program must be a top priority for any company in the trucking business. Hiring good drivers and hoping for the best is insufficient – you need a formalized program. The right technology and comprehensive approach will help you achieve that goal. Create written policies to establish guidelines for drivers and emphasize a “safety-first” mindset. Provide ongoing training to keep up with industry regulations and best practices, including defensive driving techniques and hazard recognition. Incorporate a disciplinary system following a schedule for issues uncovered via telematics, preventable collisions, and DOT violations. This ensures consistency and reduces the chance of favoritism by supervisors.
Maintain a healthy fleet and a happy workforce by implementing regular maintenance, inspections, driver rest, and fatigue management programs. The latter is essential, with an escalating number of accidents related to sleep deprivation. A fleet safety program also improves customer satisfaction by allowing you to provide a faster and more reliable service. For example, a security solution can protect cargo from theft and other damage, keeping your customers informed of their shipment status and ensuring it arrives at its destination on time. Similarly, adding aerodynamics solutions can improve fuel efficiency, saving you money on delivery costs that can be passed on to your customers.
Reduced Insurance Costs
A solid truck fleet safety program will help reduce insurance costs for companies. This is because businesses that prioritize safety often have lower insurance premiums and fewer claims. This translates into savings for your business regarding higher profits and reduced vehicle repair expenses.
To get started, ensure your company has an updated fleet safety policy for all its drivers. This includes those who work for your business and drive personal vehicles on business-related tasks and those who only use company trucks. In addition, ensure that your policies cover any non-owned vehicles used on business. Identifying everyone who drives on business and following strict guidelines will allow you to effectively monitor driver behavior, reduce the risk of accidents, and keep your fleet safe.
Establishing a formal disciplinary system for fleet safety violations is also important. This will ensure consistency and reduce the chance that supervisors may engage in favoritism when reviewing employee performance. Implementing a system that will review the safety status of all drivers is an excellent way to keep your company in compliance with federal regulations and to prevent costly penalties.
A fleet safety program should include employee training and coaching to help them become safer and more confident drivers. Introducing this program to your workforce will improve overall driver productivity, boost employee retention, and reduce the risk of costly commercial auto accidents.
A fleet accident can cause a significant loss of revenue and impact your reputation. However, implementing an effective safety program can prevent this from happening. A comprehensive fleet safety program is the key to reducing accidents and liability claims, which will result in savings on your insurance costs. Creating an employee education and training program, vehicle safety protocols and driver vetting practices will mitigate risk and prevent costly accidents.
The most crucial component of any fleet safety program is ensuring management buy-in. If upper management is not supportive of the program, employees will not be motivated to participate. To help build a safety culture, managers can host meetings or events to introduce the new policy or provide training on new technology. Additionally, transparent communication is critical to getting everyone on board. Consider using email or newsletters to send information about training opportunities, vehicle maintenance tips, or safe driving techniques. Incentives like gift cards, bonuses, time off, or gamification can also reward drivers for safe driving performance.