17 January 2019

With advances in location-based technology and in-vehicle safety solutions, cars and commercial vehicles are increasingly being developed to better protect both the driver and other road users.

However, it is still the responsibility of the fleet manager to ensure that an organisation has a clear policy in place before employees take to the road.

Regardless of fleet size, this should be a key priority for everyone involved. To put this in perspective, in the year ending June 2018, UK statistics listed 1,770 reported road deaths, 26,610 deaths or serious injuries and 165,100 casualties of various severities on the road.

In this article, we explore some of the most effective ways for managers and their teams to improve safety within their fleet.

Preventative, predictive maintenance

Every vehicle needs regular maintenance, but for larger fleets, this can often become a huge task in itself. However, it shouldn’t be discounted because of the enormity of the task.

There are solutions in place to aid fleet managers in this on-going task. Fleet monitoring programmes such as Fleetintelligence and inspect365 provide in-depth reports on all aspects of the vehicle, including maintenance schedules, fuel consumption and driver behaviour.

By analysing this data, fleet managers are able to forward plan for servicing and maintenance, which helps to reduce vehicle downtime and improve the overall standard of vehicles within the fleet.

Identify risks

Risk assessments for any work-related driving activity should be undertaken following the same principles as for any other working activity. Once a driver risk assessment has been completed, the fleet manager should be able to identify and document potential hazards, assess who could be harmed and take reasonable measures to protect drivers from danger.

These could be implemented throughout the year, or even as part of the pre-employment screening process. Whichever way this is done, the results should give the fleet manager the information needed to shape and develop the fleet management strategy.

Utilise telematics to improve behaviour

Tracking mileage and driving behaviour is a key aspect of improving safety within a fleet. Data monitoring means that fleet managers are able to mitigate unnecessary drive time, suggest alternative routes, and adjust fuel consumption for every driver.

Employees must be aware that this is going to be part of the fleet policy, especially if there are alerts that have been set up to notify the fleet manager if they undertake dangerous driving such as excessive speeding or harsh braking. This information could be used in the future to implement driver-training strategies or organise a company-wide road safety presentation. 

Create safety incentive programmes

Once fleet managers have analysed telematics data and have communicated safe driving procedures, they could consider creating a safety incentive programme. This is a great way to ensure drivers are motivated to drive safely, especially if they are rewarded for good performance.

Whether these safety incentive programmes include additional time off or a voucher reward, it shouldn’t matter. What is important to consider is to reward drivers for improvement, since some employees may already drive in a safer manner.

Further reading

For more information on how to improve safety within a fleet and reduce overall running costs, take a look at the articles listed below:

How driver training could save your business money
Protecting your assets: help employees keep their vehicles safe
Practical advice for driving in adverse weather conditions

In summary, if a clear fleet safety policy is set in place and driver behaviour or habits are continually monitored, drivers and other road users are able to take to the road in a safe, effective and productive manner. Communication is key, as is continuous planning and reassessment.

To find out more about our fleet management and leasing, employee benefits solutions and driver services, please call a member of our team on 0844 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com.

line of fleet vehicles for improved safety