Fleet Driver Safety Tips
Transportation incidents remain the most frequent type of fatal event, accounting for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities.* Whether you own an electrical, HVAC, plumbing, cleaning, or any other service-based company, you likely have a fleet of vehicles in circulation. Keeping your fleet vehicle drivers safe is essential to growing your business into a reputable and successful company.
Readers of this publication are likely considering a fleet management or GPS vehicle tracking solution, but you may be unsure about the potential cost savings or how this technology can truly impact your business.
- Create & enforce safety policies
- Educate all employees & contractors
- Schedule regular fleet maintenance
- Include a safety kit in every vehicle
- Implement fleet monitoring software
1. Create & enforce safety policies
Introducing a safety policy to your business keeps your employees and contractors unharmed and your business in operation.
Your fleet safety policy should include the following details:
The 5 W’s
Outline the who, what, when, where, why, and (bonus) the how:
- Who: The driver assigned (or drivers who can be assigned) to each company vehicle, including driving record checks to ensure responsible driver history.
- What: The vehicles being used (include details like make, model, VIN number, license plate, and even the associated tools or equipment).
- When: The occasion(s) in which the driver is required or permitted to use the vehicle.
- Where: The area(s) in which the driver is permitted to use the vehicle and anywhere they are not (e.g. city or provincial/state limits).
- Why: Reason(s) why a company vehicle is required over a driver’s personal vehicle to complete the task.
- How: How the vehicle is acquired, how it is maintained, and how it is repaired (if applicable).
A reward/penalty process. Reward safe driving! Award drivers with exceptional driving records (e.g. no violations or chargeable accidents). Present them with gifts or gift cards, recognition, and praise. These are the drivers you want to retain, maintain a high level of job satisfaction, and even have them assist with training or recruitment when appropriate. Determining a driver’s safety score can be done easily with fleet monitoring software.
Penalize unsafe driving. Take violations seriously and implement a strike system, additional training and support, and termination (when necessary). Allowing unsafe driving to occur repeatedly without action can lead to serious consequences that ultimately reflect poorly on the business.
Like the sound of these driver safety solutions? Then you’ll love our #5 tip.
Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a safety compliance and enforcement program created by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They have outlined the BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) of driver education. Each subject listed below are essential for drivers to be trained on to to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, injuries, and fatalities:
- Unsafe driving
- Crash indicators
- Hours-of-service compliance
- Vehicle maintenance
- Controlled substances/alcohol
- Hazardous materials compliance
- Driver fitness
2. Educate all employees & contractors
Education is one of the most effective ways to influence positive change within a company. Empowering employees with knowledge allows them to think and act in ways that align with your company’s values.
Education can range from sharing related information and tips to full training sessions and driving courses.
Tips can be as simple as reminding drivers that “seat belts save lives” or to leave 4-seconds of distance between the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway or freeway.
Full training sessions or driver safety courses should include topics such as:
- Safe driving techniques
- Emergency preparedness
- Road rules
Be sure to communicate that safety is critical to management when educating them on driver safety. A better-managed team is a safer team!
If your company would like to take their driver education one step further, you may want to consider implementing a principle known as the Hawthorne effect. This is a term referring to the tendency of some people to work harder and perform better as a response to the awareness of being observed. The Hawthorne effect can improve your fleet safety and has been proven to create changes in a variety of work environments.
3. Schedule regular fleet maintenance
Regular fleet maintenance is critical in improving vehicle performance, enhancing driver safety, and preventing avoidable repairs.
Proper maintenance means fleet vehicles are operating at their optimal performance levels. Things like tire pressure can greatly impact fuel efficiency, tire wear, and handling. Regular maintenance also puts drivers at ease, knowing they are operating a vehicle that is fit to be on the road. Lastly, proper maintenance minimizes delays in workflow related to repairs that could have easily been avoided.
To stay on top of fleet vehicle maintenance, we recommend implementing a fleet preventive maintenance program (or ‘PM program’ for short). A fleet PM program is a management tool that uses pre-defined vehicle thresholds that when met, trigger preventive maintenance requirements such as vehicle inspection, testing, lubrication, replacement of parts, and more.
A fleet preventative maintenance program should consist of the following:
- A list of PM service tasks performed
- Driver inspections and/or issues
- Automotive technicians & facility
- Maintenance interval or frequency
- Future PM service scheduling
- All-time, historical maintenance recordkeeping
4. Include a safety kit in every vehicle
Equip your fleet vehicles with safety kits and provide the proper training to drivers, should they ever need to use them. Drivers should know exactly what is in each kit and how to use them.
Including a safety kit in each vehicle increases driver safety and overall job satisfaction, knowing their well-being has been considered.
Each safety kit should contain the following items:
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Flairs (2+)
- Jumper cables
- Portable battery charger
- Reflective triangles
- Coolant and motor oil
- Fire extinguisher
- Basic first aid kit
- Reflective vest
- Ice scraper, shovel, and sand or cat litter (for winter conditions)
Taking inventory of the kit and testing the flashlight should be part of the driver’s weekly checklist and re-stocking the kits should also be done immediately, when needed.
5. Implement fleet monitoring software
Investing in fleet monitoring software is a cost-effective solution that provides businesses with valuable safety information about their fleet and their drivers. Force by Mojio is a fleet monitoring software that offers Vehicle Health Alerts as part of the service. This means that businesses receive alerts if a vehicle has engine issues and if/when there are any recalls from the manufacturer. Vehicle health alerts allow businesses to take preventative action and avoid fleets becoming unsafe and unnecessarily costly.
Force’s fleet monitoring software also monitors and records driver behavior like speeding, rapid accelerations, harsh braking, and idling. Drivers are given a safety RoadScore for each trip and an average score for their overall performance. These scores can help companies better assess and manage their drivers and use them to identify who may need additional coaching.
Get started with fleet management software
If your company would like to improve fleet driver safety, you can start a free trial with Force with absolutely no obligations.