Managing a fleet means taking on a world of responsibility. Fleet managers must oversee not only maintenance, routes, organization, and scheduling but also fleet safety management. Implementing a high-quality fleet safety management program is crucial not only for fleet driver safety but also for the safety of the local community. Learn about the five essential elements of a fleet safety program.
Fleet safety management refers to the process and procedures involved in minimizing the risks associated with operating a fleet of vehicles. Fleet safety programs can include driver training and education, ongoing vehicle maintenance, monitoring driver performance, and more. The result of these policies is ideally a reduction in accidents, costs, and liability by keeping drivers and others on the road safe.
Implementing a thorough fleet safety program is crucial for keeping fleet staff and the community safe. In addition, these programs also help reduce costs for the fleet by reducing the risk of expensive accidents and repairs.
Because fleet drivers are the ones on the road, operating vehicles throughout every shift, they are the individuals with the most at stake when it comes to proper fleet safety management. All drivers take on risks each time they get behind the wheel, and fleet drivers take on that risk for hours on end throughout every work day. Fleet safety management helps to minimize these risks by providing drivers with the tools, training, and support necessary for operating fleet vehicles as safely as possible.
For example, an effective fleet safety program will include aspects such as routine mobile fleet maintenance checks. These help to ensure that seatbelts, brakes, airbags, and other safety features are operating correctly to provide the best fleet driver safety. A top-tier fleet management program might also include training around defensive driving and accident prevention.
One of the most important steps to fleet driver safety is proper training! Unfortunately, fleet driver training is never one size fits all. Every driver will come in with their own experience and needs. Begin by evaluating training needs through reviews of incident reports, driver behavior data, and assessments. From there, develop a clear and thorough training plan.
While every driver may require different methods, be sure to touch on essential driver safety skills, such as:
Effective driver training is never truly over. Continue to evaluate driver performance and behavior and hold refresher training sessions as needed.
Carefully monitoring all vehicles can help fleet managers identify any safety concerns early on. With thorough and clearly-stated safety rules, fleet managers can quickly and seamlessly address any unwanted driving behaviors. For example, fleet managers can look out for the following:
These behaviors are important red flags and should be addressed immediately. With a thorough and clear fleet safety program, the next steps for retraining or disciplinary action will follow, and improvements can be made quickly.
Choosing the right drivers is an important element in any fleet safety program. Thorough screening is necessary in order to thoroughly assess whether a candidate possesses all the needed qualifications and experience to properly operate a fleet vehicle. This screening should include the following:
These data points can help fleet managers understand the full picture of each candidate in order to determine whether they are a safe fit for the fleet.
It’s crucial that fleet drivers understand that safety rules are not negotiable. Write down safety policies and take time to establish clear and realistic penalties. Drivers must take all safety policies seriously for their own safety and for the safety of others. Establishing safety policies in writing helps to clarify any discrepancies and gives all staff a solid document to reference should any questions arise.
Even with the best training and the most conscientious drivers, accidents happen. Although they’re not pleasant to imagine, and the best fleet safety programs hopefully mitigate them, it is still necessary to plan for the possibility of an accident. Instead of leaving the situation to chance or relying on staff and leaders to make difficult decisions from a reactive headspace, make a plan for managing accidents when they do happen.
An accident management plan should address the well-being of fleet drivers as well as any other individuals involved in the accident, then should assess needed repairs and next steps for the vehicle. All drivers should be trained on this plan so that they know the steps to take roadside if something should occur.
Each of these elements can help improve fleet driver safety and protect local communities while cutting down on repair costs.
In addition to training drivers and taking time to develop clear safety policies, effective fleet safety programs also include regular truck maintenance plans. Routine maintenance can mean the difference between a dangerous mechanical issue and a normal day. With mobile fleet maintenance through Torque, fleet managers can protect uptime and reduce costs while still maintaining a safe and reliable fleet. Get started with Torque today!