wFleet managers oversee all aspects of operating and maintaining company vehicles, with some of their duties including driver hiring and training, route optimization, compliance, maintenance scheduling and vehicle selection. However, while they have many roles, no role is more important than keeping their drivers safe on the road.
Keeping fleet drivers save helps to prevent injuries, which in turn improves driver health, morale, and retention. On top of this, it reduces downtime, damage costs and liability claims. If you run a fleet company, here are some of the top strategies you can implement to maximize driver safety on the road:
Regular Training and Evaluation
One of the most effective ways to prevent accidents is providing comprehensive and ongoing training for drivers. Fleet safety training should cover defensive driving techniques, hazard avoidance, distracted driving prevention, and company safety protocols.
Complement training with routine ride-along evaluations to assess driving habits and identify areas needing improvement. Fleet managers can also use technology, such as the Lytx Driver Cam event recorders, to teach their employees. These small pieces of technology record actual footage of their drivers in action. Managers can use this footage to coach drivers on actual on-road behaviors.
Well-Defined Safety Policies
Every fleet should maintain clear written policies that set expectations for safer driving practices. Policies should cover topics like cell-phone usage, seat belt use, safe speeds, and accident reporting procedures.
Having defined policies makes standards clear for drivers and provides consistency for enforcement. Mandatory acknowledgment of safety policies keeps them top of mind.
Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspections
Requiring thorough vehicle inspections before and after trips promotes preventative maintenance and reduces equipment issues that could compromise safety if left unaddressed. Drivers should document brakes, tires, lighting, fluid levels and other components. Digital DVIRs via a telematics app enable seamless tracking. Quick follow-up on identified defects is essential.
Driver fatigue is a major risk factor for accidents. For this reason, it is essential that fleet managers develop a schedule that allows for sufficient off-duty rest periods between shifts. Managers must also watch for signs of drowsiness like frequent blinking, yawning, or difficulty keeping lane position.
Providing education on sleep hygiene, diet, and other heathy habits can help combat fatigue. Using technology like in-cab cameras to monitor awareness is also beneficial.
Safety Focused Vehicle Selection
When procuring fleet vehicles, prioritize safety-focused design features like automatic emergency braking, back-up cameras, blind spot monitoring, land departure warnings, and 360-degree sensors. Many newer models also offer advanced driver assistance software to reduce accidents. Ergonomic cab design also can cut down on driver strain and fatigue.
Positive Safety Culture
Fleet companies should foster an organization-wide culture that emphasizes safety as a top priority, not as an afterthought. Celebrate drivers who exhibit safe behaviors. Welcoming driver feedback on improving policies shows safety is a collaborative effort.
Implementing strong safety processes, technology, and culture pays dividends through avoided accidents, injuries, lawsuits, and downtime. Making fleet safety a way of life ensures every driver returns home safely.