Unsafe behavior is always a concern among fleets. The long hours truck drivers spend on the road make them more prone to accidents compared to regular individuals behind the wheel. Apart from fatigue or drowsiness preventing drivers from being alert, they’re also prone to other risky acts like speeding, running a red light, or various forms of distracted driving. The more chances these behaviors occur, the more likely your company will spend on fines, claims, and vehicle repairs or damage. Your insurance costs will also rise with every accident that occurs. 

So what can fleets do to prevent and reduce these risky behaviors in order to keep their drivers safe on the road? First, we need to identify the common dangerous fleet driving behaviors to understand the problem. 

Dangerous Fleet Driving Behaviors Likely to Cause an Accident   

Distracted Driving 

A common risky behavior among fleet drivers is distracted driving. It involves any activity that diverts attention away from driving to focus on another activity. It includes common behaviors such as texting while driving, making a hands-free phone call, or eating while driving. While some distracted driving acts may seem minor and inconsequential, they caused 3,412 deaths in 2019. However, fleet drivers are not the only ones potentially driving distracted on the road. Other noncommercial drivers could be distracted while driving, putting your drivers at risk. This is why it’s important to practice defensive driving, so your drivers have enough time to react to a potential crash. 

Following Too Closely 

Following too closely behind a vehicle is illegal in states like Indiana and Illinois. Also referred to as tailgating, this dangerous act has led to severe crashes and deaths. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that the tailgating vehicle can’t avoid a collision if the driver in front brakes suddenly. The situation is even more dangerous if both vehicles drive at high speeds.

traffic

Unsafe or Reckless Driving   

Reckless driving is an unsafe behavior known as careless, hazardous, or aggressive driving. It differs from careless driving, which is defined as the driver operating the vehicle carelessly which leads to damage to property or person. Reckless driving, on the other hand, is when the driver has the intent to harm the property or person. A reckless driver is fully aware of the dangers yet chooses to misbehave and not follow the law. For instance, not wearing a seatbelt is considered reckless as one does with full awareness they did not put it on before driving. 

Some examples of unsafe, reckless driving include speeding, tailgating, and hard braking. Road rage is also common as it leads to erratic driving and other unsafe behaviors like lane changing and ignoring traffic signals. These are all risky acts because they lead to accidents and deaths. Speeding, hard braking, and tailgating can lead to crashes. These risky behaviors can be improved on with the use of smart fleet safety software. 

Driver Fatigue or Driving Under the Influence

The long hours behind the wheel make drivers prone to fatigue. Not having enough rest makes them more vulnerable to unsafe driving behaviors. They don’t have the energy or alertness to drive defensively and act according to the situation. As a result, drowsy driving has led to 6,400 deaths in the US, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

yawning truck driver in delivery and transportation

Another risky behavior is driving under the influence. Apart from being illegal, driving under the influence leads to fatal accidents like brain damage, paralysis, and disfigurement. Death is another price drivers and anyone on the road with them must pay. This unsafe behavior must be avoided at all costs.

How to Address Risky Driving Behaviors with Intelligent Fleet Safety Solutions

So how does a fleet manager prevent and reduce these risky driving behaviors? For common mistakes like distracted driving, invest in a fleet camera system that captures events in real-time & alerts drivers. The system will capture a driver texting while driving or eating behind the wheel and remind them not to do these next time. The constant reminders give drivers self-awareness and mindfulness around these behaviors.

It’s also crucial to establish short-term, obtainable goals that drivers can achieve every week, month, and quarter. Always keep the company’s safety culture in mind so that all goals align with the bigger picture. Make sure each goal is actionable, specific, and measurable.

Long-term growth is also important for the company and its fleet drivers. Provide avenues for remote coaching so drivers can review recorded videos and specific instances of their journey. Don’t forget to schedule in-person coaching that also recognizes their safe driving behavior. Emphasizing what they’re good at reminds them what to continue and motivates them to do well at their jobs. Include important refresher educational courses and training, so drivers are reminded and remember the behavior that reinforces safety on the road.

How Netradyne can Enhance Fleet Safety and Prevent Risky Driving Behaviors

Netradyne’s technology keeps track of positive and unsafe driving behaviors. Fleet drivers are made aware of what to avoid in real time and what to continue based on a positive performance. With the right tools and motivation, your fleet will soon experience fewer accidents, reduced costs, and safe driving behaviors throughout every journey. Explore what Netradyne can do to help your company today.

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