How to Improve Fleet Safety

Date: July 6, 2020

Author: Anchal Pandey

Fleet safety is not as simple as organisations assume it to be. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that approx. 40% of motor vehicle accidents are work-related. Their report on the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that

“Truck drivers and sales workers/drivers have one of the largest numbers of fatal occupational injuries.”

Therefore, fleet management companies must work on protecting and positively influencing the backbone of their fleet - The drivers.

In a usual organisation where every day you meet your employees, it’s pretty easy to motivate and train them for better performance, but here the case is different.

If you want a driver with safe driving habits and good performance in your fleet management organisation then this blog might be useful to you.

Fleet Safety

1. Fleet Management

What are the safe driving habits?

Here are the two main evils that safe drivers usually avoid and the fleet drivers should avoid too i.e. drowsy and distracted driving. The following approach might come handy:

  • Maintain focus - According to NHTSA, Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
  • Be alert - If you are tired or feeling sick then don’t drive. Also, don’t driver under influence.
  • Gap between vehicles - Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles while driving to prevent accidents, just like we are doing with people during COVID -19.
  • Traffic rules - There is a reason why traffic rules are made and why the government urges people to follow it. Obey all the traffic laws such as speed limits, traffic signals and signs.

Traffic law and signs

2. Traffic signs

What are unsafe driving habits?

Now coming to things that one should avoid while taking charge of the wheel.

  • Speeding - According to NHTSA, for more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.
  • Traffic Congestion - Be calm during the journey. Drivers may respond to traffic congestion by using aggressive driving behaviours, including speeding, changing lanes frequently, honking at others vehicle, tailgating or becoming angry at anyone who they believe impedes their progress.
  • Aggressive driving - Don’t do aggressive driving. Period.
  • Don’t skip a wearing seat belt.

Analyse driver behaviour and create KPIs

Analyse the primary behaviours that might be or have been resulting in accidents and create KPIs that will help in reducing such incidents.

  • Create a program to reduce at-fault accidents and to reduce risky driving behaviour.
  • One can start with reviewing all of the safety-related incidents that the fleet has experienced in the past year to identify the patterns. You can use a driver monitoring system for this.
  • The main aim is to reduce recurring safety-related incidents. Once the important safety metrics are decided one can create a policy around it to measure the driver performance that will be rewarding to the driver if s/he shows a positive driving behaviour.

These KPIs will help in positively influencing the driver’s behaviour, motivating the drivers to perform better and increasing the fleet safety all at once!

Limit Distracted Driving

Distraction occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity. Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text can take someone’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, it’s like driving the length of an entire football field with closed eyes.

Don’t text and drive

3. Texting while driving

When it comes to commercial trucks. Truck driver errors such as speeding and distracted driving were factors in almost a third of the crashes. A report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that distractions played a role in 71 percent of commercial vehicle crashes and 46 percent of near-crashes. Since the trucks are heavy, they can’t stop as quickly as smaller vehicles and hence they collide at a higher speed with a greater impact, resulting in devastating injuries.

That’s why monitoring fleet drivers is necessary. Thanks to PathPartner Driver Monitoring System, these concerning incidents can be recorded and the main cause behind the incidents can be understood.

PathPartner DMS can predict and detect the drowsiness and distraction and can record the events that has led to the incident.

Therefore, it’s very helpful in keeping track of the frequency and timing of risky driving behaviour. Was the driver speeding or was he distracted on his phone? Driver monitoring and its analysis can give a clear idea of unsafe driver behaviour. The footage is saved both in real-time and on the cloud can give a clear idea of the incident and hence can help in creating a safer fleet culture.

By pointing out the unsafe behaviours using PathPartner DMS one can train the drivers on safer driving habits.

Conclusion

Making a huge change in your fleet management might seem hard to obtain but taking small but effective steps gradually can help in achieving the big goals. Take one step at a time. Start with driver monitoring. Analyse the driver behaviour and take the right approach to cultivate a safer fleet.

Driver attention monitoring is an essential investment in fleet safety.

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