The importance of driver safety to fleet management

Fleet vehicle accidents are cost almost twice as much as the average workplace injury.

Therefore, if your business is involved in logistics in any manner, it needs a fleet safety program.  While a generic safety program is better than none, it is far more effective to specifically design a program for your company and your fleet’s specific needs.

 

A driver safety program establishes the policies and procedures that are needed to help ensure a safe work environment for employees. It can also help to protect your company from incurring liability as a result of vehicle accidents.

Since the road is one of the most dangerous places for your employees, and there are no guarantees that an accident will not happen, establishing a formal and ongoing program of screening, testing, inspection and training is essential.  This is true for any company regardless of the size of the fleet of vehicles.  In addition to improved safety, a formal fleet safety plan can provide a number of other advantages including increased employee satisfaction and improved fleet efficiency.

 

An effective fleet safety program should be comprehensive, up-to-date and instituted as a part of your company’s safety culture.  It should be thorough enough to reach every employee who gets behind the wheel of a company vehicle for any reason.

 

In order to be successful, there are a number of factors that should be included in your business’s fleet safety program.  They include:

 

  • Identification of all drivers. You should know everyone who drives for your business, even those employees that use personal vehicles.  This will make you fully aware of the extent that non-owned vehicles have on your company.
  • Leadership support. Upper managerial support of the program can help to ensure that the program is used.
  • Background checks. Through screening and by selecting drivers carefully you can create a team that is both reliable and safe.  If your drivers are not safe, then your long-term safety record is at risk.  It is best to establish clear hiring standards and a thorough screening process that is required for anyone who drives on company business.
  • Defensive driver training. By ensuring that all drivers have access to information on safe driving strategies and techniques, including instruction in defensive driving, it ensures that all drivers understand vehicle safety policies and procedures.
  • Driver management. This is essential in helping to ensure that drivers are following fleet safety rules and driving safely this can be done through GPS tracking.
  • Accident management. By managing accidents when they occur, you can help to mitigate the costs associated with it. This also helps you to understand company exposures and therefore give you the ability to reduce the potential for future losses.
  • Written policies and procedures. This allows those in charge of fleet management to create expectations that are clear and consistent.
  • Preventative maintenance. By establishing a plan for necessary repairs and maintenance you can help reduce costly, unexpected breakdowns. You also help drivers avoid accidents due to faulty equipment.