Fleet Driver Safety: Everything You Should Be Doing
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road accidents will be the 5th global cause of deaths by 2030. This, combined with duty of care obligations, means it’s more important than ever for fleets to work on their driver safety…
Prevent Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue causes thousands of accidents every year and accounts for around 20% of them annually; it’s responsible for around 25% of those that are fatal. In other words, it’s an enormous problem on the nation’s roads. When we’re sleepy or drowsy, our concentration is mitigated just as much as when we’re intoxicated. Drivers are most at risk between 2 am to 6 am and 2 pm to 4pm. Medication, driving after large meals and even one alcoholic drink can all have a big impact. Advise your drivers to take a 20 minute break for every two hours’ of driving. Stress the importance of getting 7 hours’ sleep and educate your fleet as to the dangers of driver fatigue.
Employ Effective Monitoring
Educating your drivers in terms of driver safety is important but insufficient in-of-itself. You need to ensure that they’re acting on the advice and guidelines they’re given. Modern telematics allows fleets to closely observe the behaviour of their drivers on the open road. Information concerning speed, acceleration and travel time can all be captured. As a result, you can see what they’re getting right and what they’re getting wrong; allowing you to adjust policies and the fleet’s focus as and when required. Some fleet drivers are naturally hostile towards the idea of being monitored in this way. But telematics systems aren’t spying on a driver in the cabin, they’re simply recording data that concerns company property; the vehicle itself.
In addition to telematics, you also need to ensure your drivers are fit to drive. Regular license checks will ensure they’re road legal. You should also ensure their insurance is live and that grey fleet drivers are properly servicing their own vehicles. Some companies employ random drug tests, too.
Prioritise Vehicle Maintenance
The best motorists are still bad drivers if they’re equipped with poorly-maintained vehicles. You have a duty and a responsibility to ensure your fleet’s vehicles receive regular servicing and maintenance. This requires excellent time-keeping and no scrimping on costs. Some checks should even be carried out in-between services. These might include tyres, oil levels, brakes and light bulbs. Ensure that your drivers understand to report any defects or damage and that they know how. Not only is this vital for driver safety, it can also help prevent problems from becoming worse; saving you money in the long-term.
Establish And Incentivise Proper Conduct
Some businesses take it for granted that their drivers know what ‘good driving’ consists of. This assumption, however, can cause all sorts of problems; especially in terms of safety. You should produce a formal safety policy, clarifying what you expect of your drivers and why; getting them to sign such a document can prevent all sorts of disputes from arising later and demonstrates duty of care. Rather than punishing drivers for mistakes, incentivise safer and more cost-effective driver behaviours. Additional holiday, token ‘acknowledgements’ and even vouchers can go a long way in promoting better performance.
Choose Your Fleet Vehicles Intelligently
The vehicles you use as a part of your fleet are crucial for a number of reasons. It might be a question of size, fuel economy or presentation, your choices have to be right for your business. But it’s a fact of life that some vehicles are safer than others; whether it be for occupants or for pedestrians and other road-users. Euro NCAP is one of the most respected authorities when it comes to determining a vehicle’s overall safety. Offering those that pass with flying colours as company cars, for instance, is a wise move; and again, it demonstrates that you’re thinking about duty of care.
Everything Small Businesses Need To Know About Fleet Management: https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/small-businesses-fleet-management/
The Five Most Common Types Of Car Accidents: http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/common-car-accidents/