Fleet Safety Management

Between 2003 and 2018, more than 29,000 workers died in work-related vehicle crashes, according to data gathered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This makes vehicle accidents one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities in the United States.

If you manage a fleet of vehicles — whether that fleet is a couple of work trucks or a large number of 18-wheelers — fleet safety management is crucial. Read on to learn how proper fleet management safety can mitigate and prevent motor vehicle-related crashes and injuries.

Elements of a Successful Fleet Safety Management Program

Any successful fleet safety management program consists of eight essential elements. To enjoy the benefits of optimal fleet safety, be sure that your program:

  1. Screens and selects drivers carefully: your program should conduct background checks, driving record checks, and drug and alcohol testing, and ensure that all potential drivers have a valid license and meet your company’s driver requirements.
  2. Properly train drivers: your program should train your drivers on safe driving techniques, company policies, and regulations.
  3. Correctly identifies all drivers: your program should ensure that you identify and keep track of everyone who drives on behalf of your company, regardless of whether they regularly use company-owned vehicles or not.
  4. Provides ongoing management for drivers: your program should have you monitor driver behavior, provide feedback and coaching, and offer incentives for safe driving.
  5. Establishes written policies and procedures: your program should ensure that your company’s driving policies are firmly established and clearly communicated to all drivers.
  6. Includes committed management: your program should ensure that those in management positions prioritize safety and lead by example.
  7. Manages accidents when they do occur: your program should ensure that you conduct accident investigations, implement any necessary corrective actions, and maintain scrupulous records.
  8. Details a plan for vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance: your program should include plans for regular inspections and maintenance to ensure the safety of the vehicles.

When all of these elements are included in your fleet safety program, you are better able to prevent costly accidents and are better prepared for them if they do occur.

Fleet Safety Best Practices

Fleet safety best practices are essential to incorporate into any fleet safety management program. Here are some additional insights on three best practices embedded into the eight essential elements of a fleet safety management program.

Clearly Communicate Safety Policies

Setting and communicating safety policies is critical to ensure that all drivers are aware of your company’s safety expectations. Safety policies should be clear, concise, and consistent with federal regulations and industry standards. Policies should also be communicated effectively to all drivers through training, meetings, and written materials.

One way to set and communicate safety policies is to establish a safety committee. The committee should consist of management, drivers, and other stakeholders who can review policies and procedures, identify areas of concern, and make recommendations for improvement. The committee can also serve as a forum for discussing safety-related issues, sharing best practices, and promoting a culture of safety.

Routinely Inspect Vehicles for Regulatory Compliance

Routinely inspecting vehicles for safety is another important best practice. Regular, comprehensive inspections of all vehicle components can help identify potential safety hazards — such as worn tires or faulty brakes — before they become a problem. Inspections can also help ensure that vehicles meet federal DOT and state regulations, which can help prevent your company from getting fined and penalized.

Inspections should also include a review of vehicle documentation, such as registration and insurance, to ensure that all necessary paperwork is up to date and in compliance with DOT and other regulations.

Strictly Monitor Assets With Vehicle Assignment History

Using vehicle assignment history to monitor assets is another best practice for fleet safety management. You might choose to implement a fleet management system that tracks vehicle use and maintenance, so you can identify which vehicles are being used most frequently and which ones require maintenance or replacement. Some systems can also provide real-time data on driver behavior.

Having all this information can help you make informed decisions about vehicle allocation and driver training, which can help reduce costs and improve safety.

These are just a few examples of best practices that can help prevent motor vehicle-related crashes and injuries. Incorporating fleet safety best practices can enhance a fleet safety management program and improve overall safety.

Additional Tips for Fleet Safety Management

In addition to the eight essential elements of a successful fleet safety management program and the fleet safety best practices discussed earlier, there are additional tips that can further enhance fleet safety management. Here are a couple of them to consider.

Provide Ongoing Training and Education

Providing ongoing training and education to drivers is critical to ensuring they have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate vehicles safely. There are a variety of training programs available, such as defensive driving courses, distracted driving training, and hazard perception training. These courses can be conducted in person, online, or through mobile applications.

Additionally, regular safety meetings can provide an opportunity to review company policies and procedures, discuss recent accidents, and address any safety concerns. By investing in training and education, drivers can become more aware of potential hazards and further improve their driving skills.

Offer Incentives for Employees

Offering incentives for employees who demonstrate safe driving behavior can be an effective way to promote and reinforce safe driving habits. Incentives can be monetary, such as bonuses or gift cards, or non-monetary, such as recognition or extra time off.

The key with incentives is to establish clear and measurable criteria for earning incentives, such as maintaining a clean driving record or completing safe driving training. By offering incentives, employees are more likely to feel valued and motivated to maintain safe driving habits.

Implementing a successful fleet safety management program requires a combination of essential elements, best practices, and handy tips. But with a successful fleet safety management program, fleet managers can reduce the number of workplace motor vehicle crashes and ensure that accidents that do occur are managed effectively. In this way, companies can better ensure the wellbeing of their employees and all those who share the road with them.

If you would like to learn more about how Summit Fleet can help you reduce the risk of work-vehicle-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities, contact us today.