In an earlier blog, we explored the ‘Role of a fleet manager in fleet safety’ and how the role has evolved.
Fleet safety is a major concern for any fleet manager and enforcing fleet safety policies can be challenging. The combination of lack of visibility into risky behaviors and effective communication results in fleet managers finding it hard to take meaningful steps toward fleet safety. This results in critical safety issues being overlooked until an incident results in injury or worse, property damage, lawsuits, increased insurance rates, disruption to business, and loss of reputation.
Drivers are critically important to a fleet’s prospects as a business. It is impossible to implement an effective fleet safety program without having the drivers on board and ensuring that your drivers are following all the necessary best policies set by the organization. It is important to assure the drivers that fleet safety initiatives are not meant to be punitive, instead are meant to encourage and reward drivers to become safer.
In this blog, we shed light on the role of a driver in fleet safety and the importance of driver coaching in fleet management:
The Lancet estimates that the global macroeconomic spending due to road injuries is approximately $1.8 trillion – this expense borne by the society is avoidable and the resources can be employed elsewhere for society’s benefit.
With the driver shortage in the market, it is absolutely important to retain the best drivers of the fleet and help other drivers become better.
Furthermore, background checks and previous records of potential driver hires are a must. The question is what comes later. Implementing a fleet safety program begins with explaining the objectives to your drivers, getting their buy-in, and providing adequate training on fleet management policies and best practices for fleet safety.
It is important to develop a fleet safety policy that addresses questions like:
● What are the safety objectives for the fleet?
● How are these objectives going to be met?
● What are the tools and technology that will be used?
● How does the technology work?
● How will the drivers and the fleet benefit?
Road accidents can cause multiple problems such as property damage, increased insurance expenses, damage to the organization’s reputation, and most importantly, personnel injuries and in certain cases, loss of life.
A Stanford Law School report states that nearly 90% of all road accidents are caused as a result of human error.
Therefore, educating your drivers will mitigate potential hazards for your drivers and benefit your organization significantly.
It is important to develop and implement an effective fleet safety training program. Below we discuss three steps to develop a robust fleet safety training program:
Before developing a training program it is important to identify the current challenges and risks involved with your fleet, i.e., your drivers, vehicles, and daily mode of operations. Develop a profile that classifies risky driver behavior, and analyzes how to improve driver performance. For instance, information on speeding, harsh events, and distracted driving can help determine the key safety issues that need addressing.
After analyzing the data and establishing performance benchmarks, you will have a strong preamble to begin developing the driver safety training program.
Once you have prepared a comprehensive analysis of what your drivers need, you can choose from a variety of different training techniques, namely:
● Group training sessions
● Training workshops
● Driver coaching
● eLearning solutions and workshops
● On-the-road fleet driver training
Regardless of the type of training you choose to employ, each training technique should be regularly examined and updated based on an assessment of its efficacy. This is also important as the needs of the drivers and the fleet can change over time.
Now that you have all the data, a detailed strategy, and the training plan, it is time to begin implementing the training program. It is also important to establish clear expectations and define a process that will achieve the necessary goals.
All personnel in the fleet must be actively engaged and participate in the program. It is greatly beneficial if senior employees including management (where possible) participate as a way to ‘lead by example’.
It is important to note that drivers need to know why driver safety training and coaching programs are needed. An effective communication strategy that ensures two-way communication for both sides benefits both the drivers, as well as the organization.
Safe drivers are key to a productive fleet business. Making drivers safer over time is crucial. Having a strong safety culture results in increasing revenues reduced expenditure, and improved reputation – key for a successful business.
As you read, the role of a driver in ensuring fleet safety is pivotal. Employing the right policies for drivers to encourage safety essential for businesses.
LightMetrics’ RideView video telematics helps drivers with in-cab coaching to avert bad outcomes. Additionally, the easy-to-use driver coaching workflows help fleet managers conduct in-person training as well as remotely through the app in a personalized and actionable manner. Coaching effectiveness metrics help the fleet manager and the fleet track the efficacy and progress of the safety goals.
To know more about how we can help you, get in touch with us today!