Keeping your drivers safe should be a priority if you have a large fleet to manage. There aren’t too many things as disastrous for a company as accidents with one or multiple fatalities. Some companies have had to close their doors after these kinds of incidents because of the blow suffered to their brand and the ensuing lawsuits. This is why you also have to encourage safe driving habits for the sake of the public and your business. If maintaining your brand, keeping the public safe, and keeping your drivers on the road is important to you, here are a few ways you can keep your drivers safe as a fleet owner.
Select Proper Drivers
Everything starts with selecting safe drivers. You can evaluate their safety through questions during interviews, but the only way to know if a driver is actually safe is to watch them drive. They should go through a thorough examination in a closed circuit before you can trust their track record and references.
Some drivers can fit better within certain organizations, and if a previous employer tells you that they were satisfied with a driver, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were safe. Some companies favor speedy drivers over safe ones, so you’ll only be able to tell if the driver you have in front of you aligns with your philosophy by watching them in action.
Conducting proper background checks is still very important, however, so make sure that you check their employment and criminal history. Check for any violations involving drug abuse or alcohol. It would also be a good idea to conduct drug tests and check motor vehicle reports.
Implement Internal Safety Protocols
Not all drivers know what it means to drive safely. Many drivers may assume that they’re safe but have carried bad habits along the way. This is why you need to have strict driving guidelines and that your drivers abide by them.
Some companies will force their drivers to drive at a certain distance from other vehicles. Other companies encourage drivers to drive slower when they don’t hold cargo to reduce the chances of accidents. Compliance with these rules can be verified using monitoring tools.
You also have to make sure that your employees never suffer from fatigue and that you stay compliant with the hour of service rules set forth by the DOT. We would even suggest that you go beyond their requirements just to make sure.
Understand the Importance of Training
Proper training will make a world of difference in how safe your drivers are. You can enroll them in defensive driving classes so they can avoid accidents better. These will help them drive better in different weather conditions too. There are also courses made specifically to teach drivers how to drive in the rain or snow.
A large portion of accidents happen on snowy and icy roads, and these accidents can have disastrous consequences. Enrolling your employees in snow driving classes will not only make them safer, but also more confident.
All companies need to have a strict evaluation system and training system driven by data. And none of this is possible without a solid telematics solution. This brings us to our next point.
Implement the Right Telematics Solution
All fleet managers are required to have a telematics system deployed on their fleet, but not all of them are of the same quality. You have platforms that provide the strict minimum for compliance, and if you’re using one of those in your organization, you’re making a huge mistake.
You need a system with advanced monitoring and reporting capabilities so you can keep a close eye on your drivers’ driving habits and make corrections. A good system will allow you to gather data from all of your employees and create actionable reports. You’ll be able to see exactly what your drivers are doing wrong and where they need to improve, which can be done through training.
If you want a system that will allow you to do all of this, we suggest you go for Geotab fleet tracking right now. Not only does it provide advanced driver safety reports and is easily integrable with dash cams, but it also has driver coaching and other features that will make your fleet safer and more efficient.
These are all things that fleet owners can do to ensure the safety of their drivers on the road. This is not something that you can afford to take lightly, so make sure that you evaluate your drivers before and after you hire them and have the proper solutions in place for monitoring.