As a fleet manager, safety should be your number one priority. From your drivers to the general public, there are a huge number of people who could be hurt if a member of your team gets into an accident, so it’s important to take preventative steps to reduce any risk. By doing this, you’ll also be making cost-saving changes and promoting better organization, so there really isn’t a downside from a business perspective. In this article, we’ll be bringing you five top tips to reduce the overall accident risk throughout your fleet.
Hire the Right People
In fleet management, the best approach is always to get the basics right first and foremost. This starts with hiring the right people for your team. When you interview potential drivers, check that their qualifications match your business’s requirements and that their application doesn’t have any factors that might increase their risk level as a driver. Some fleets even enforce mandatory drug and alcohol testing before a driver can join their team, which is definitely something to consider if you want to maximize your safety measures.
Invest In Driver Instruction
Before your fleet drivers can safely head out onto the open roads, they need the right training. Would you be able to jump into the first day of a new job with no instruction or support? Neither can your drivers. Investing in high-quality, comprehensive fleet driver coaching services from day one gives your team the best chance of staying safe out on the roads.
Plan for Safe Journeys
As a manager, doing everything you can to prepare your drivers for a safe journey every time is vital. Some of the things you can implement into your working practices include:
- Checking Weather Forecasts
Driving in unsafe conditions is a sure-fire way to risk an accident, so being aware of the weather forecasts across each driver’s route allows you to make last minute changes when needed.
- Meeting Load Weight Limits
An often-overlooked element of driver safety is the loading weight of each vehicle. Loads that are too heavy or otherwise unsuitable for the vehicle type increase the chance of accidents and aren’t worth the risk.
- Scheduling Drivers Appropriately
If your team members are driving tired, or working too many days in a row, then it’s impossible for them to safely operate a vehicle. Couple this with long working hours, and you have a recipe for disaster. As a fleet manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure that scheduling is done in a way that prioritizes driver safety.
Keep Up with Vehicle Maintenance
Keeping each of your vehicles on a regular maintenance schedule is a great way to promote fleet safety and reduce the risk of accidents. While your drivers should be completing their own checks, you should still have a dedicated maintenance team and onboard telematics systems that can alert you when a vehicle requires servicing or repairs.
Use Continued Compliance Checks
Like with any job, continual checks should be in place to ensure that your drivers are consistently meeting regulatory standards and performing their work to a high level. From health and safety training to ongoing knowledge tests, these checks should be integrated into their responsibilities, so this also involves making sure that they are frequently briefed on any new rule changes and legal requirements that might affect their role.
Fleet management is a complex task, and one that comes with a high level of responsibility. As part of your job, making sure that your team and the people they interact with get home safely to their families at the end of each day should always be your number one priority. While this can be a daunting prospect, following these top tips and focusing on high-quality driver instruction combined with vehicle maintenance and compliance checks will leave you with a safe, smooth-running fleet.