Driver safety is an essential component of running a transportation company. When drivers follow safety protocols like driving defensively and maintaining the speed limit, they are upholding the quality of service your business provides and keeping the roads they share safe. If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s how to ensure you have safe drivers in the fleet.
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Set Safety Policies in Your Fleet Company
Establish your company’s safe driving practices as soon as you hire a new driver. Provide all drivers with a safety manual and a document of policies that outline these expectations. Be sure to regularly review the documents with your drivers to see if they understand the policies and rules or have any questions.
Reward Your Best Drivers
Give recognition to drivers that have the highest safety scores and practice safe driving behavior. You can reward their performance publicly in your company, whether it’s through a digital newsletter, email, or town hall announcements. Apart from commending their good work, reward them with incentives like a gift card, bonus, or cash; these incentives motivate your best drivers to continue their best performance. Having these incentives in place can create healthy competition among your drivers, causing them to always strive for improvement.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving allows for more reaction time when a mistake, either by another driver or the truck driver themselves, is made. Include the following defensive driving components in your fleet safety manuals and policies:
- Visibility is when drivers are alert and maintain awareness of their surroundings, including what others are doing on the road.
- Communication entails drivers always using their turn signals and other communication methods to show their intent, such as upcoming lane changes.
- Following Distance is keeping the right distance between the fleet vehicle and others on the road to avoid or escape an accident.
Distracted driving caused 3,100 deaths and 424,000 crash injuries in 2019. Drivers have to manage distractions inside their cab like cell phone usage and drowsiness as well as being alert and aware of other potential distractions on the road. This is why it is critical to have a reliable safety software that can alert drivers in real-time to distractions outside and inside the cab.
Netradyne’s fleet safety software helps in reducing distracted driving by capturing when a driver’s eyes are off the road. The system can also alert a driver to risky driving behavior and give a warning when a compliance violation is about to occur. This allows the driver to make corrections and be rewarded for being alert.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
A driver’s vehicle needs to be performing at its best just like its driver. To ensure this, fleet managers need to schedule regular maintenance checks to stay ahead of any potential wear and tear. Another way to stay ahead of potential vehicle issues is by utilizing a safety software that monitors how a vehicle is being operated. Certain driver behaviors and road conditions can cause overexertion on vehicles, making them unsafe to operate. Having the tools to stay ahead of these issues can increase overall safety for the driver.
Honor the Speed Limit
Maintaining the speed limit is a major factor in driver safety. All drivers must be mindful of how fast they go and maintain a speed below or at the limit. Emphasize how following the speed assures everyone’s safety in your policy manuals, feedback sessions, and training. There will be instances when your drivers choose to go over the speed limit; make sure to look into why a driver went over or under the speed limit. Are they rushing to meet a delivery schedule? Are there other habits that contribute to or occur along with speeding? Understanding why and when speeding occurs helps set the tone for correcting the behavior in the future.
Practice Safe Driving Behaviors in Bad Weather
Take extra precautions when driving through heavy rains, snow, icy roads, and fog. Your drivers should be going below the speed limit during these difficult conditions. Going any faster may lead to accidents and vehicle damage. It might also be best to assign driving duties in this weather to more experienced staff.
By exercising these safety behaviors, drivers are keeping not only themselves safe but also other drivers on the road and are protecting the safety legacy of the companies they work for. Having the right tools also helps in enhancing the overall safety culture of your company. Learn more about how you can protect your drivers and your company through fleet safety software.