On average of 27,000 people in the UK are killed or seriously injured in car accidents annually, according to the Department for Transport. This sobering statistic is an unfortunate reality that fleet managers cannot ignore. To keep commercial drivers and vehicles safe, strict safety standards must be enforced at your company.
Doing so results in fewer claims, lower insurance premiums, and happier drivers. While fleet driving comes with inherent dangers, following these steps will help keep our roads safer.
How To Increase Better Fleet Driving
1. Avoid Fleet Driving Fatigue
Driving while tired is all too common, but it’s an accident waiting to happen. Fatigue slows reaction time, impairs judgment, and is associated with 9-10% of accidents. Fleet driving requires sustained focus, and commercial drivers working long hours are at high risk for fatigue-related accidents.
Ensure your drivers follow HGV guidelines for breaks. Encourage them to pay attention to their alertness levels. If drivers are feeling tired, they should pull over and take a short nap and brisk walk.
Fatigue is associated with 9-10% of accidents.
GPS vehicle trackers make it simple to follow HGV guidelines by tracking driving hours and breaks. With this data, it is easy to identify where you can make improvements.
2. Use a Fleet Tracking Service
No modern fleet is complete without a digital fleet management system. In addition to saving significant company resources, tracking systems like Vimcar’s Fleet Geo help make commercial driving safer.
Fleet Geo protects your fleet by preventing and identifying theft and misuse.
Fleet Geo allows you to set geofences, virtual fences around your desired area, as well as timefences, an allotted time when vehicles can be in use. If vehicles leave the geofence or timefence, you receive an alert giving you immediate theft or misuse detection. Plus, with real-time location tracking, you can locate the exact position of your vehicles whenever you need it. With vehicle theft costing businesses an average of £16,000 annually, investing in your fleet’s protection is a no-brainer.
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3. Avoid Technological Distractions
In 2017, mobile phone use while driving caused 33 fatalities, 90 serious injuries, and 308 minor injuries. A survey completed a year later indicated that, while the risks of texting and driving are well known, 25% of UK drivers admit to still using their mobiles on the road.
Commercial drivers should put their phones out of sight when driving, so they aren’t distracted by incoming messages. Drivers should let their family and friends know that their responses will be delayed when working.
Accountability is key. Fleet managers should establish real consequences for drivers caught using their mobiles on the road. Communicating the risks of mobile distractions to your drivers goes a long way in preventing accidents.
4. Proper Vehicle Maintenance
Regularly maintained vehicles are far less likely to break down or malfunction. Follow your vehicles’ recommended maintenance guidelines to prevent accidents and keep your drivers from being stranded roadside.
Sometimes though, even the best-maintained vehicles break down. Ensure you have a plan in place for when that occurs. Digital fleet management systems like Fleet Geo indicate your vehicle’s exact location, so you can dispatch roadside assistance quickly and accurately.
5. Incentivise Safe Driving
The most effective thing you can do to encourage safe fleet driving is incentivise your teams to drive well. Simply put, drivers who know that their routes are tracked are more mindful of their choices and drive safer.
GPS trackers hold drivers accountable and improve driver behaviour.
Fleet Geo’s digital route history allows you to retroactively analyse driver behaviour so you can give tailored feedback. Have fun with it and implement incentive programs such as “Safe Driver of the Month” with lucrative prizes to encourage good driving.
Set Your Drivers Up For Success
Communicating with your drivers about safety helps you put a stop to distracted and fatigued driving. And to really level up your fleet, use a digital fleet management system like Fleet Geo as a driver accountability tool. Plus, with real-time location tracking, geofencing, and timefencing, Fleet Geo protects your drivers and fleet from misuse and theft.
In conclusion, safer fleet driving helps everyone. Maintaining high safety standards makes your drivers happier and more productive. Not to mention, it lowers business costs and protects your corporate image. By making safety a top priority, you are doing your part to keep your community, drivers, and fleet safer.