3 ways to make your fleet safer 

In an industry where human error is to blame for more than 80% of crashes, improving vehicle and driver safety has never been more important. There are many ways to make your fleet safer, starting with driver behavior.  

  • Identify and monitor driver behavior 
  • Correct poor driver behavior through targeted driver training
  • Develop customized driver safety policies 

Driver Behavior Monitoring to Improve Fleet Safety

The logical way to prevent poor driver behavior from negatively impacting your fleet’s safety is to make your employees more aware of how they drive.

Poor driver behavior, such as harsh braking and acceleration, speeding and excessive idling, can all be managed using a fleet management solution. On-board computers track incidents that increase the likelihood of an accident, and generate reports for analysis and preventative action. 

In addition to its negative impact on fleet safety, poor driver behavior can also increase insurance premiums and the possibility of fines. Certain driving habits such as excessive speeding or braking, and accelerating too harshly, increase fuel usage and maintenance costs (due to wear and tear).  

Ultimately, how your employees drive affects your bottom line while also impacting safety. Monitoring and improving driver behavior is in the best interest of both your company and your drivers.  

Case Study

Carey Worldwide Chauffeur

Discover how Carey Worldwide Chauffeur Services reduced the number of accidents in their fleet by using telematics to monitor and improve bad driver behavior. 

We value human life above all else and this solution has certainly helped in ensuring our drivers arrive home safely every day. The MiX Telematics fleet management solution gives us a window into our fleet's performance and assists in our total cost of ownership models.

Richard Sucking - Fonterra Fleet Services Technical Manager
Case Study

Total Marketing and Services

Total invests in the safety and security of their drivers by implementing MiX Fleet Manager Premium to gain greater control of driver performance and behaviour.

Targeted Driver Training for Fleet Safety

A good fleet management solution provides vital statistics on the incidents of speed limit violations, average fuel economy, total number of brake applications and the amount of engine idling.

Based on this data, it can also help determine what type of targeted training each of your drivers require. Providing relevant, timely driver training offers a significant return on investment while also helping your drivers gain a deeper understanding of any bad habits they are engaged in and giving them the defensive driving techniques to improve it.

In addition to targeted training, telematics data can be used to generate performance scores for your drivers. These scores are perfect to use in incentive or rewards programs, and highly effective in furthering driver engagement. This approach to training is proven to increase the overall performance of fleets versus those that don’t have much buy-in from their drivers.

When you provide your drivers with the right tools and incentives to improve their behavior on the road, it strengthens fleet safety and performance. It also saves you money by lowering insurance premiums and reducing the risk of collisions. 

Dive deeper with our white papers

White Paper

In-cab video monitoring

Did you know that in-cab video monitoring can assist with driver training, provide post-crash analysis and, prevent and reduce crashes? Find out how
White Paper

The essential elements of a telematics policy

Our white paper shows you how to create a telematics policy that guides your drivers through the rules of safe road use, the risks involved in not adhering to these rules and how to reduce these risks. 

MiX Fleet Manager

Solution

Your fleet’s safety can be vastly improved through the implementation of relevant training that highlights bad driver behaviors and gives drivers the tools to improve.

Custom Fleet Safety Policies for Drivers

Having a custom-developed driver safety policy in place is essential if you want to be protected against risk, ensure the safety of your drivers on the road, and safeguard against potential insurance claims in the event of an accident. It plays a vital role in the creation of a road safety culture within your organization.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the development of a successful, comprehensive driver safety policy includes: 

  • Assessing the current safety situation within the fleet
  • Formulating a policy based on the aforementioned assessment 
  • Buy-in from drivers

Advances in fleet management software have made it all the more easier to implement and monitor effective driver safety policies. Telematics devices monitor WHERE your vehicles are driven as well as HOW your vehicles are driven. These two important features will help you analyze current driving standards, highlight dangerous and risky behaviors, and devise methods to eradicate them in order to keep up with the safety standards created through your policies. Driver buy-in is achieved by implementing scoring and then offering incentive programs and specialized training on defensive driving using the data collected. 

A complete safety policy is essential to increasing safety awareness in your fleet. Fleet management software simplifies the process of developing one that fits your unique needs. 

Next Steps

Find out what MiX Telematics can do for you.

10 Ways to Establish a Fleet Safety Culture

Safe driving is the lynchpin of a fleet safety culture, and that means focusing on driver training. Making it clear to drivers what driving behaviors they should and should not be doing is a fleet safety policy must.

But let’s be clear. Drivers do know what safe driving is. They know that they should drive defensively, obey traffic signs, drive the speed limit, yield the right of way, and, of course, not drink and drive. It’s pretty much common sense and rules of the road that everyone must follow. However, when fleet drivers are in a hurry and worried about meeting scheduled stops, checking messages, and returning calls, safe driving sometimes falls by the wayside.

Fleet managers can fight this with safe driver training paired with a deeply-rooted safety culture for their fleet. Drivers should be aware that their safety is vital to the fleet and that their actions play a role in it. Once the safety policy is clearly communicated, fleet safety management services from MiX Telematics can help you keep track of driver behavior and create training programs that help them improve.

1) Clear, Consistent Communication

Communication is the foundation for a successful fleet safety culture. Drivers do better when they know what is expected of them and when it is regularly reinforced. There are several ways fleet managers can stress the importance of fleet safety in their daily communications, such as:

  • Include a safety tip or touch on the importance of safety in every meeting or conference call
  • Cover safety issues regularly in the company newsletter
  • Gamify safety training with contests and recognitions for safe driving behavior

Repetition of the safety message emphasizes its importance and increases awareness, and reinforces fleet safety culture.

2) A Detailed Fleet Safety Policy

A detailed fleet safety policy gives drivers a guide to refer to and also underscores how essential fleet safety is to the entire business. A fleet safety policy should cover topics such as:

  • Safe driver training
  • A seat belt policy
  • Distracted driver policy
  • Regular driving behavior reviews
  • An accident review board or committee
  • A clear policy on aggressive or risky driving events
  • Consequences for violations of the safety policy

The clarity and details in a fleet safety policy document will demonstrate the importance of safety to your business and how seriously management takes it. Is safety just another item to cover on a checklist, or is the document evidence of a deeper commitment? In order for the safety policy to get results, every element must be clearly defined, and any consequences must be clearly delineated.

3) Develop and Implement a Seat Belt Policy & Distracted Driver Policy

Developing a seat belt policy is the cornerstone of a safety policy. All drivers and passengers in all feet vehicles must have their seatbelts on before the vehicle goes anywhere. Highlight the safety of wearing a seatbelt, not just for drivers but for their passengers and others on the road.

When drivers take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel to text or engage in other activities, they automatically increase the chances of a crash. When you establish and implement a no distracted driving policy, you have increased the safety of your fleet and others on the road.

With MiX Vision, you can alert drivers when they engage in risky behavior, such as whether or not drivers and passengers are buckled in. You can also alert them about distracted driving. This demonstrates to drivers your commitment to their safety.

4) Recognition for Drivers’ Safety Records

Since safety is considered a part of the job, drivers should be recognized and rewarded for their achievements in this area. You can determine the events you want to recognize, such as years of no accidents or traffic violations.

Ways to recognize safe driving include:

  • Feature them in a company newsletter
  • A commendation from leadership
  • Awards such as gifts cards or other perks

When your drivers see that safety is rewarded, they will know that the company takes safety seriously.

5) Offer Driver Training and Coaching

One of the best ways to improve driver safety behavior is to offer training customized to each driver’s needs. Real-time training combined with classroom instruction gives your drivers the practical skills they need to reduce risks and help avoid crashes on the road.

MiX Telematics offers telematics tools that can supercharge your driver training. You can share driver behavior statistics one-on-one or gamify the training program to foster friendly competition among your drivers.

6) Vehicle Maintenance & Selection

When vehicles are well-maintained, they are automatically safer. This helps eliminate crashes and accidents due to vehicle breakdowns. Fleet telematics can provide metrics that help you schedule fleet vehicle maintenance in advance, helping to keep your fleet running efficiently and safely.

Choose your fleet vehicles with safety top of mind. You can pull stats on things like crash tests for the vehicles you choose and let your drivers know what they are to demonstrate your commitment to a safety culture further. And that you expect as much from yourself and the business as you do from your drivers.

7) Measure to Track and Improve Fleet Safety

You can’t improve what you don’t measure and track. There are several safety-related statistics that a MiX Telematics solution can help you measure to improve fleet safety, including:

  • Motor vehicle records (MVRs)
  • Accidents by driver and vehicle
  • Average cost of accidents, including repairs, injuries, liability, and other costs

Drivers should understand the costs and consequences when drivers are involved in an accident to themselves and the company. Any metrics that demonstrate the effects of safe driving will help build a safety consciousness in all drivers.

8) Check Driver’s Motor Vehicle Records

An MVR policy can demonstrate your commitment to fleet safety. An MVR review should be a part of your hiring criteria and a condition of employment for new drivers. A record of violations suggests the possibility of risky driving that could cost your business. Your current drivers should also know that their MVRs will be checked annually for violations.

9) Accountability for Improved Safety Culture

Keeping your drivers accountable to you and themselves, other fleet drivers and employees, other drivers on the road, and customers not only while on the job but elsewhere reinforces the importance of a safety culture. Communication about safety should be general, not only in the context of work hours but also during personal time.

For instance, a seatbelt policy should incent drivers to wear seatbelts when driving on their own time. Likewise, a distracted driving policy should do the same, whether on the way to a job site or service call or taking kids to the movies.

By encouraging drivers to extend safety into their lives, they will not only be safer but more likely make safety a habit during work hours as well.

10) Importance of Buy-in from Leadership

All employees take their cues from the top, so when leadership speaks, employees pay attention. Getting support and ongoing involvement from leadership can amplify your efforts in creating a safety culture for the fleet. For instance, when the safety policy is rolled out and implemented, an announcement from leadership underscores its importance and is taken seriously.

To achieve long-term fleet safety, fleet managers have to continue to highlight the importance of safe driving behaviors. If safety is only brought up every once in a while, it won’t have any real effect. To keep safety at the forefront, keep records of safe and unsafe driving behaviors of all drivers. With MiX Telematics, you can pull reports and sort by driver, vehicles, or events to get a complete picture of your fleet’s driving behavior. Contact us today to learn more about our fleet safety management services.

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