Any company looking to improve their fleet’s safety should investigate ways to reduce driver fatigue, maintain vehicles, and check driving records to ensure that they hire safe drivers in the first place. Of course, none of this will be as effective in improving a company’s poor safety record as changing the culture surrounding it. Instilling a safety-focused culture amongst your employees is crucial to improving driver safety. But what are the best ways to instill this culture and improve employee driving safety?
Any company can improve employee driver safety by taking easy steps such as making your safety policies explicit, requiring additional driving certifications, utilizing technology, and rewarding excellence. When used holistically, these steps can quickly reduce incidents and accidents while helping improve the fleet’s driver safety and reduce costs simultaneously!
And if you’ve had success improving safety, your business will likely be in line to realize savings in costs such as lower insurance premiums. This is because one of the factors that can most impact the cost of coverage is a company’s claims history. It makes sense, as having drivers constantly getting in crashes will always be more expensive for a company to insure.
By improving employee driving safety, a firm will be able to reduce its claims and lessen its insurance costs at the same time. It will take time to turn around a company’s safety record. Still, once a firm’s claim history has notably improved, be sure to get commercial auto insurance quotes from various providers. Doing this will allow the company to take advantage of all the hard work it takes to improve safety. And a good insurance provider will be just as motivated to improve a fleet’s safety record as the company itself.
Of course, there are other costs that impact the price of insurance. This can include factors such as how many vehicles and employees are covered and what type of work the company does.
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Employee Driving Safety Improvement Tips
Make Your Safety Policy Clear
If you want safe driving edicts to carry weight, your company’s safe driving policy should be simple to remember and understand. For example, a set of comprehensive driver practices can include:
- Ensuring the company has procedures to regularly screen all drivers for prohibited substances.
- Ensuring all logbooks are correctly maintained, per regulations. Make sure no one is driving more than their allotted hours. (Tired drivers make more mistakes.)
- Keep vehicles well maintained to prevent unexpected issues from turning into accidents.
- Practice defensive driving strategies such as constantly scanning the road, maintaining an adequate following distance from other drivers, and refraining from multitasking while operating a vehicle.
- Always be cognizant of speed limits and upcoming road hazards.
And these policies shouldn’t just apply to those who drive every day. The same standards should be in place for higher-ups and management as well. Doing this is more important than you might think. Building a culture of safety requires trust and buy-in. If employees see that there are rules they must follow that their managers don’t, they likely won’t respect regulations they don’t want to. This article has valuable tips on how to change a broken safety culture and get everyone rowing in the same direction again.
Require Drivers To Have Additional Certification
Hiring drivers with a clean driving record is a good first step in attracting the quality of employees you are looking to hire. But requiring additional training and certifications is always an excellent way to attract a higher caliber of the driver. Another trick, depending on your fleet handles, is demanding a more stringent Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) class. Some CDL jobs, such as Hazmat (H), require specific endorsements. Drivers are attracted to these jobs as they pay drivers more, making this another way to attract higher-quality drivers.
Popular programs and certifications that recognize safe drivers include:
- In addition, the American Traffic Services Association (AMTSA) offers a certified safe driver education course.
- The National Safety Council (NSC) offers several defensive driving courses. The NSC even has online options for those who are always on the go but still want to learn how to drive more safely.
- Alternatively, options may exist from your state’s DMV (like South Carolina offers) or a local community college.
With the following resources available to them, any employee should be able to improve their safety while driving.
Technology solutions for driver monitoring and management have developed dramatically in the past few years. However, your business is living in the past if you aren’t taking advantage of technology as part of your driver management and safety practices. Most fleets utilize technological solutions such as telematics to track assets in real-time.
A truck’s telematics device is considered a more accessible version of an airplane’s black box. However, such devices are used more for monitoring than piecing things together after a crash. This is usually accomplished by using GPS and sensors placed on the vehicle to track items as they move. However, telematics use isn’t an excuse for forgoing good management practices. Instead, they should be considered a helpful tool to keep abreast of how the fleet functions.
If you are demanding more from your employees, rewarding them when they meet expectations is best. The psychology of rewarding behavior with positive rewards is as old as Pavlov’s dog. But, of course, you don’t have to use Pavlovian conditioning on your employees. Instead, simply recognizing excellence can be enough to help start fostering a culture of trustworthy and conscientious driving. In short, don’t underestimate the value of tracking results and rewarding those drivers who show marked safety improvement. After all, a rising tide lifts all ships.
Prioritize Safety, Reap The Rewards
And there you have it, four steps that any enterprise can take to improve their driver’s safety on the road. By clearly stating your driving safety policies, requiring drivers to have additional certifications, utilizing technology, and rewarding excellence, your company’s safety record is sure to improve. Remember that changing culture can take time, so try and be patient.