Maximizing road safety and reducing the risk of accidents should be a priority for all road users, but it’s especially important for fleet managers or businesses and organisations that use fleets in their daily operations.
As a fleet manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure that both the drivers and the vehicles they use are well-protected at all times. Since fleet drivers are more prone to getting involved in traffic accidents due to the nature of their job, it’s absolutely vital for fleet managers to be aware of the risks and hazards they deal with on a daily basis and take the necessary measures to avoid them as much as possible.
So, if you’re a fleet manager or a business owner looking to improve the safety of your fleet and keep risks to a minimum, here are a few aspects you should consider.
Fleet managers should start thinking about the safety and wellbeing of their drivers long before they even have the chance to go out on the road. So, safety should be top of mind in everything they do, including in choosing the vehicles that are going to make up the fleet. Unfortunately, a lot of fleet managers ignore this aspect and choose the vehicles based purely on financial considerations.
While financial aspects play an important role in the equation, that’s not the only factor to take into account when deciding on the vehicles for your fleet. Safety should also hang in the balance if you want to make a wise decision. Ask yourself what type of vehicles would be best suited for your fleet’s needs. Will your drivers be driving in bad weather conditions or on rough terrain? The answer to these questions will point you in the right direction and help you choose the vehicles that can provide the highest level of safety.
We can’t talk about fleet safety without having a comprehensive safety policy in place. However, you should not approach the creation of a safety policy as just another task that you have to check off your to-do list. A safety policy is not a way to cover your back in case something happens and one of your drivers gets into an accident while at work either.
It’s about making sure that all your drivers are up to date with all the rules and regulations they need to follow in order to stay safe and that they are aware of the risks they expose themselves to if they choose to ignore the rules. A solid safety policy should also take into consideration all the risks and hazards that come with the job and lay out viable solutions to reduce and avoid them.
Fleet maintenance is another important aspect for improving safety and reducing hazards. While some managers and owners choose to skip on certain maintenance tasks in order to cut back on spending, that’s not the way to go if you want to protect your drivers and your assets. These short-term savings can cost you a lot over time if the lack of maintenance leads to major repairs or, even worse, to road accidents.
That’s why you should make preventive maintenance a priority and make sure all fleet vehicles undergo regular check-ups, even if they show no signs of malfunction whatsoever. As they say, prevention is better than treatment, in all situations.
In the process of making life safer and more comfortable for both you and your drivers, technology is your best friend. In recent years, tech advancements have led to the development of highly performant vehicle safety tools that can make a world of a difference for fleet safety.
Car safety technology is indeed a game changer, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of the latest vehicle safety products on the market. From cameras and monitors to sensors and video recording systems, there are numerous products that can help you enhance the safety of your fleet and keep unpleasant surprises at bay.
No matter how much effort you put into creating a safe and proper work environment for your drivers, you won’t be able to achieve your safety goals unless the drivers cooperate and are on the same page with you.
It’s not enough to talk to your employees about the risks and hazards they face daily to make them respect the rules and get them on board safety-wise. But what you can do in this respect is to offer your drivers incentives and rewards when they show good driving behaviour and follow all the rules down to a T. Rewarding safe drivers is a very efficient strategy for promoting proper driving habits and thus reducing accidents rates.
Fleet drivers can use some training now and then to remind them of the risk they face when they get behind the wheel and teach them how to effectively avoid them. It’s very easy to forget these lessons, which is why training programs should be held regularly.
Sharing a few brochures with safe driving guidelines is not enough to do the trick. You need to implement ample training sessions where drivers can learn about defensive driving techniques and put their knowledge into practice. There are numerous pre-made courses that can prove useful, but you can also develop your own training program that is custom-made for your fleet’s needs.
As you can see, fleet safety is serious business, so you should approach it with the utmost seriousness. It takes constant work and effort to make sure your drivers and your vehicles are safe at all times, but if you take the time to invest in safety you’ll be rewarded with a higher level of productivity and peace of mind.