According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94 percent of the accidents in the U.S. are due to driver errors. For small businesses, that means there’s a big ROI in making sure the people driving your vehicles are doing so in a safe, efficient manner. Here are 10 tips for fleet safety.
Fleet Safety Tips
Don’t Ignore Technology
Distracted driving certainly remains a major danger for motorists and texting while driving may rank as the most infamous example. Even picking up a smartphone to answer it when you‘re behind the wheel can be fatal. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bathwater and ignore technology completely when you’re looking for ways to manage driver safety in your business fleet.
Zeev Braude, CEO of GreenRoad, the global technology brand focused on driver behavior technology explains:
“The secret sauce for the technology we use is in the fact that we touch on both the cost driven aspects for any fleet based business and we work with the drivers to build road anticipation so they make less driver errors.”
In other words, finding the right fleet management software helps drivers adjust to road conditions and understand where they need to improve. It’s a win-win for small business.
Don’t Underestimate the Savings
Regardless of the delivery method and whether you choose a driver safety program that’s based in office computers or even a mobile app, small business should look at the cost savings on top of increased safety.
“For example, the fuel consumption improves tremendously,” Braude says. “For an SMB that has small to medium vehicles, we’re talking about 10 to fifteen percent improvement.”
Look at the Big Picture
There’s a difference between a driver safety course that’s a one-off experience and software that actually helps your drivers reduce bad habits. The impact of many driver safety courses is short lived. Monitoring driver behavior through technology can make for a lasting difference over time.
“You’re not explaining to them how to drive better, but helping them to identify the errors they are making,” Braude says. Remember that old Chinese proverb?
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”
Use Gamification to Full Benefit
Rewarding drivers for safer driving is a tool that makes for better drivers and safer roads. Contests that promote improved driving records generate pride and motivation for your employees. GreenRoad awards a Fleet Elite status to drivers around the world every year.
Be Certain You’re Insured
Rule one in business about not assuming anything applies here too. Make sure everyone has the right insurance, especially if they use one of their own vehicles for business proposes.
Clear Up the Vision Issue
No amount of driver training will make any difference if the folks behind the wheel need to squint to see where they’re going. The Snellen Visual Acuity Scale is the benchmark many states use to make sure anyone getting behind the wheel has at least 20/40 vision. Supplying this as a matter of company policy can prevent problems (excuse the pun) down the road.
Don’t Skimp on Vehicle Maintenance
Business Fleet.com reports that maintenance costs will remain mostly flat for the calendar year 2017. That’s good news for small businesses since maintaining a regular maintenance schedule is a must. Checking fluid levels, oil and brakes are just three necessities.
Scan for Speeding
Understanding what mobile based technology is telling you is critical.
“Errors that we make as drivers that can lead to accidents are often due to traveling at the wrong speed,” Braude says noting subsequent driving decisions can make the situation worse. Other categories you need to pay attention to include acceleration, braking and cornering.
Stay on Top of Things
A good driver safety policy for any small business fleet needs to be fostered, not just implemented and forgotten. Based on the information you’re getting, you should always be ready to tweak, change and make new suggestions where necessary.
Making your fleet safer also means lessening your carbon footprint and thus making the earth safer for today and tomorrow. Better drivers use fuel more efficiently
“It’s always good to know that we’re doing something for our planet,” Braude says. “CO2 reduction is something that we’re very proud of.”
Parked Cars Photo via Shutterstock