Four Steps to Ensure Fleet Safety

Posted by Annie | December 18, 2014 | blog
Four Steps to Ensure Fleet Safety

The cost of fleet accidents is significant – they affect invaluable human resources and the expensive trucks that companies own. Automotive Fleet statistics suggest that 21 percent of the fleet vehicles get involved in at least one accident each year. Figures for previous years suggest that the cost per accident is approximately $21,000. Chances are that the amount has increased.

The cost of fleet accidents is divided among property damage, missed revenue generation opportunities, reduced overall productivity and third-party liability claims. The investment in fleet safety systems and truck fleet maintenance are both equally important when it comes to preventing accidents.

Fleet owners have several really effective possibilities when it comes to boosting safety. Here are some of the most important strategic and truck fleet maintenance steps that will need to be undertaken.

An Effective Fleet Safety Program

The first step towards ensuring fleet safety is the adoption of an adequate safety program. A fleet safety program is a comprehensive approach that gets everyone involved in ensuring proper truck fleet maintenance and the training of the drivers. A truck fleet safety program will typically involve the following components:

  • The establishment of policies regarding good driving practices, employee driving record creation and analysis, truck fleet maintenance regularity, the establishment of a driver training program and the enforcement of safety practices (wearing a seat belt, checking tire pressure, etc).
  • Supervision: this step includes the examination of employee driving licenses, making sure that only authorized personnel gets access to the company trucks and making sure that unsafe vehicles are not used on the road until they undergo repairs.
  • Getting employees involved in the safety program: the drivers should be responsible for adhering to safe driving practices, doing some aspects of the preventive vehicle maintenance and reporting any vehicle accident or malfunctions to their superiors.
  • A well-established driver selection process: picking the right drivers to work in the company is one of the most important safety program components. There should be a driver age requirements, an experience requirement and a thorough examination of the license of each candidate.

Written policies and procedures, motor vehicle record checks, crash investigations and vehicle selection should all be standardized. Having company policies for each aspect of doing work and keeping vehicles in optimum condition will boost safety and increase accountability at the same time.

Using Technology to Boost Fleet Safety

Innovative sensors and gadgets are another great option when it comes to making your vehicles safer and reducing the risk of accidents on the road.

Fleet owners have a big number of possibilities to pick among. Telematics technology is revolutionizing the world of vehicle safety and is one of the best contemporary options. Telematics refers to a system consisting of a GPS device in combination with remote diagnostic tools or sensors. This new technology simplifies the task of fleet vehicle monitoring and getting insight into the driver’s behavior. A telematics system will provide information about:

  • Vehicle speed
  • Route compliance
  • Vehicle diagnostic components (that are entered and customized in advance)
  • Fuel efficiency

It’s easy to see how such a system can prevent unnecessary expenditure and also alert managers about risky behavior on the road. The combined effects of the system make the use of the fleet trucks more efficient and safer than ever before.

According to a National Transportation Library document entitled Study of the Impact of a Telematics System on Safe and Fuel-Efficient Driving in Trucks, the use of such technology leads to significant modifications in driver behavior. The number of speeding incidents decreased over the course of the study (2010 and 2011). The use of telematics systems also contributed to a smaller number of accidents.

Proper Fleet Truck Maintenance

The condition of fleet vehicles is obviously another factor to control, in order to maximize safety. A few basic procedures in terms of preventative maintenance can save lives and reduce accident-related expenditure.

Safety will often depend on basics like regular tire changes, making sure that all of the lights are functional and ensuring visibility by regular windshield cleaning. Relying on the services of experienced fleet cleaning professionals is a great possibility for giving drivers access to optimal work conditions.

A preventative maintenance schedule should be incorporated in your fleet safety program. Don’t wait for something to go wrong before replacing a part or running a diagnostic test. Spending just a bit on prevention can save you thousands of dollars that will otherwise have to be spent on expensive repairs and the replacement of costly truck parts.

Rewards and Incentives for Responsible Driver Behavior

The final strategy you can incorporate in your fleet safety program involves rewards and incentives for responsible driver behavior.

Such programs are one of the most efficient opportunities in terms of increasing awareness. Positive stimuli rather than repercussions will stimulate drivers to adhere to traffic regulations and act responsibly on the road. The same applies to fleet truck maintenance during a trip.

A rewards and incentives program doesn’t have to be expensive or associated with costly benefits for responsible drivers. This is an opportunity for you to get creative. A relevant gift (or a financial bonus) and the recognition of professional achievements will make your employees much more willing to participate in safety programs.

It’s up to you to determine the methodology. You can come up with a point system or reward the drivers that haven’t gotten tickets during a certain period of time. The bigger the achievement is, the more significant the award should become, as well.

Ensuring fleet safety will demand all-encompassing solutions that focus on vehicle maintenance, shared responsibility and driver training. Make sure that all team members are on board and work on increasing their commitment to executing a fleet safety program. Getting the assistance of reliable partners in the fields of truck maintenance and professional cleaning will also be important to make the most of the equipment you have and to protect your investment.

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