How to ensure a safer fleet?
Employees driving their company cars tend to have a higher crash risk than employees driving their personal cars. Indeed, they are less concerned about car damage because they don’t own the cars. But more importantly, they are the ones spending more time on the road because of their work duties, having longer distances to cover, facing time pressure and tight schedules.
However, it is the responsibility of all organisations to make their workplaces safe for all employees, and companies requiring their team members to drive for work also need to consider fleet cars as an extension of the workplace.
So what can companies do to ensure a safer fleet for their employees?
1. A culture of safety to be trully implemented in the company
Driver safety training should be frequent, thorough and mandatory. A strong and real culture of safety will reinforce a company’s message and let leadership, management and customers know they mean it. Policies for driver screening, safe driving behaviour, seatbelt use and post-collision reviews should be spelled out in black and white and strictly enforced.
There are countless of actions you can take to fill this objective: offer your drivers to do an e-learning course to improve their driving behavior; add a safety slogan to your company’s website and email signatures; communicate accomplishments such as a month without collisions or moving violations; make a point of selecting safer vehicles with advanced safety technology, such as semiautonomous features helping drivers avoid collisions and unintended lane departures.
2. Telematics, to track drivers' behavior
One of the main benefits of telematics can be to identify unsafe drivers in a fleet. Indeed, today’s systems can creates an impartial digital record of each driver’s day, which can be useful in the case of accidents and complaints from drivers or other motorists (excessive speed, harsh acceleration, braking, cornering etc.). They can also detect if the driver’s seatbelt is in use when on road. Thanks to such complete data, telematics are a powerful tool for Fleet Managers to be alerted, in real time, of all events related to the vehicles in their fleet, and if needed, take decisions to enforce safety policies. Obviously, telematics can also be used to reward the company’s safest drivers!
3. A mobility mindset
We can assume that pedestrians are the most vulnerable transport network users. Offering them a monthly “mobility budget” — rather than a car or a cash allowance — encourages them to travel by train, bus, bicycle or rideshare. Employees who are allowed to “cash out” their unused mobility budget at the end of each month will have a financial incentive as well.
There are many more safety considerations which can help you protect your workforce – and other drivers – while on the road. By demonstrating that you have taken every precaution to keep your business vehicles and your business drivers’ safe, then you will increase your defense in the event of a prosecution.
On the daily basis, smaller actions can also have a great impact of the fleet’s safety, see these 4 tips:
Ensure company vehicles are subject to regular maintenance checks and servicing. Develop a good record-keeping system to remind fleet managers of maintenance requirements and to log any work carried out.
Carry out checks on your employee’s driving licenses. If the drivers are not licensed properly, their insurance could be invalid if they had an accident, and you could be held responsible.
Draw up a driver policy and ensure staff are aware of the content. A driver policy can help you communicate a code of conduct to your workforce about the standards of driver behaviour you expect. Such a document is good as it enables you to set out driver responsibilities such as vehicle maintenance.
Book regular eye tests for your workforce drivers. Many drivers do not have a regular eye test which could compromise their safety and the safety of other road users. Responsible employers subject their driving workers to regular eye exams as a further means of risk-management.
Interested in learning more about safe mobility? Find out more about on board driver safety technologies and driver behavior management in our dedicated White Paper "Future of Safety"