As a fleet manager, it’s important that you’re always promoting safe driving practices, but that’s often a challenge, especially if you run a big team. Unsafe driving habits like distracted driving should be fairly straightforward to address by putting a strict policy in place to ban them. Distracted driving accounts for 25% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities, according to a report published last year. Here’s the thing about distracted driving: it can and should be avoided. This is where the role of fleet managers comes in – to make sure that their drivers follow a strict safety protocol, while arming them with the tools and the tech that will help facilitate a safer experience on the road.
Below are important elements to keep in mind to help you increase driver safety awareness and implement an effective program:
Outline what’s considered distracted driving
Clearly identifying what distracted driving entails is key in educating your drivers about the dangers of it. Things like: texting or talking on the phone; eating and drinking; talking to passengers; reading; using a navigation system; watching videos; or adjusting the stereo or infotainment system all fall under the category of distracted driving, and drivers should avoid these at all costs. Reminding drivers what distracted driving is should play a role in helping prevent accidents caused by those distractions. In addition, there are built-in car technologies and apps that automatically block a driver’s phone while the vehicle is in motion, so drivers aren’t tempted to use their phones while behind the wheel. This is something that can be added to your policy to encourage safe driving.
Keep up with the maintenance of each vehicle
When it comes to making sure that vehicles are fit to be on the road, it’s important that fleet managers keep a close eye on vehicle maintenance practices. If vehicles are not maintained regularly, the risk of accidents will increase. Following a strict maintenance schedule for all vehicles operated by your drivers is a good place to start.
Driver safety education programs
Offering your drivers a list of courses they can enroll in to further learn safety on the road is important. These can be either online or hands-on classes, and will prove even more effective when delivered by a safe-driving expert who can help recognize unsafe behaviors when drivers are behind the wheel.
What’s great about telematics is that it measures key metrics like speeding, excessive acceleration, aggressive braking, and lane changing, as well as risky behavior relative to surrounding traffic, helping fleet managers understand driver behavior to better enforce safety.
Enforce an effective driver safety policy
In addition, putting in place an effective fleet safety policy will help raise awareness as it answers questions like: what’s the policy for distracted driving?, what’s the policy for driver education?, what’s the policy for maintenance if a company either owns or leases a vehicle?, what’s the policy for incorporating the latest safety technologies?, and so on. Answers to these questions will serve as the foundation through which fleet managers can raise safety awareness among their drivers.
In the end, it all comes down to regularly promoting safety among drivers, and making sure that a solid strategy is in place to help drive that awareness. At Union Leasing, our safety program focuses on Risk Management, which helps companies do all they can to prevent accidents in the first place.