What’s your top priority as a fleet manager? Of course, your drivers’ safety is up there, right? We all know that fleet safety management is critical to our business’s efficiency and reputation, but how can we ensure that our drivers are safe without being in the passenger seat next to them? A combination of positive fleet safety policies and comprehensive safety technology is the answer. We will show you how to combine these elements to create fleet safety best practices for your fleet’s operations.
No. 1: Driver Screening
It’s essential to be highly selective when hiring drivers for your fleet. Good drivers are hard to find, but it’s crucial to make an effort to get the right people on your team. The best way to start hiring the right drivers is by outlining high and consistent standards for your business and seeking candidates who meet those criteria. Factors you should examine in your potential drivers include:
Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)
Drug and alcohol abuse
Past professional experience
Traffic violation history
You should also require a pre-employment drug test and a road test to fully understand how the driver handles different situations behind the wheel. Keep all of the documents related to the driver’s hiring on hand for future reference.
Thoroughly screening drivers is crucial because it gets good drivers on your team and keeps them there. You don’t want a revolving door of employees, so ensure you hire the right people and treat them well once they’re on your team.
No. 2: Safety Program
Every fleet should have a safety program. If your drivers don’t know what’s expected of them, they can’t abide by your standards very well. Creating a fleet safety program involves everything we mentioned combining your fleet technology with policies promoting safe behavior. For detailed steps on creating a safety program for your business, check out our blog article “Best Practices Guide for a Fleet Safety Program.” You may use technologies in implementing your fleet safety program, including telematics, route optimization, and geofencing.
No. 3: Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance
Maintenance is as much about safety as efficiency and cost savings. Keeping your vehicles in their best shape is a fleet manager’s most important job. Like setting up a fleet safety program for your business, you should also build a fleet maintenance and repair program. Part of this process involves performing regular inspections on your vehicles. Your drivers should know how to perform these inspections and recognize when the vehicle needs repairs. For more details on setting up one of these programs, please see our blog article: “How to Set Up a Fleet Maintenance and Repair Program.”
No. 4: Training and Education
Everyone on your team, managers and drivers, should receive consistent training. There are all kinds of ways to approach training. Some fleets will choose first to train supervisors and managers, and then these individuals can train other staff and drivers. Other fleets will instead decide to train everyone at once with regular staff meetings. Either method is excellent for training on topics like company rules, regulations, adverse weather, maintenance, defensive driving, accident reporting, emergency procedures, or other general information.
However, one-on-one training is critical as well. Use telematics data to determine what your drivers’ focus points are. Perhaps they have a habit of hard braking. Maybe they have some incidents of speeding. Regardless of the issue, you can narrow it down with telematics and provide targeted training based on your gathered data.
No. 5: Incentives
To keep drivers safe, you want to keep them motivated and happy. They’ll work harder if they feel that their hard work is recognized. There are many ways to identify a driver’s hard work, especially with technology today! Some examples include:
More vacation days
Lunches with leadership
You can even set up a rewards system. For example, iTracker clients can use rewards automation process by assigning drivers safety scores using data from telematics. Drivers with the highest safety scores will receive a gift card in the amount you decide. This is an excellent way to gamify driver safety and keep your employees engaged in the process.