Fleet safety managers often face problems unique to their fleets; however, there are some generally unavoidable problems that every fleet faces at some point or another. These issues can do long-term damage and cost your fleet company thousands of dollars.
We break down these 5 recurring problems and tips for coaching employees around these issues:
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is engaging in any distracting activity that removes a driver’s attention from the road. To reduce and eventually prevent distracted driving, you need to partner with a system like Driveri that uses artificial intelligence and analytics systems to monitor driver behavior and identify recurring acts of distracted driving. Complement the technology’s use with the following coaching strategies:
- Educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving with classes and
programs that show its significance (and consequences).
- Implement a point system for drivers with penalties for those who practice
distracted driving and rewards for quality driving practices.
- Implement technology that indicates when a driver is distracted behind the wheel. If drivers know that they are being monitored for distracted driving, it may deter
them from it.
- Fatigue or Drowsy Driving
Fatigued driving is when your driving occurs while the driver is drowsy or sleepy from being tired or ill. Drivers react slower and cannot pay attention. The CDC reports that the drivers most at risk of being fatigued are those who work night or long shifts, are overworked in terms of hours, drive large vehicles, don’t get enough sleep or have untreated sleep disorders, and use drowse-inducing medications.
Check out these coaching strategies that can reduce the number of yearly crashes and injuries that occur due to drowsy driving.
- Create a workplace culture that emphasizes driver safety. Drivers need to remain
aware that driving safely is more important than anything else.
- Ensure that drivers are not overworked or working long shifts.
- Encourage and enable adequate sleep schedules which include workplace
napping. According to research carried out by NASA, taking a 40-minute nap
improves memory function and alertness.
- Educate drivers on how to recognize the signs of fatigue:
- Constant blinking.
- Forgetting the past few miles driven.
- Missing turns or exits.
- Drifting out of their lane.
- Loss of motivation
- Sore eyes
- Slower reaction times
- Stiffness and cramps
- Changing Road Conditions
According to an 18-month study conducted by The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, changing road conditions such as potholes and snow lead to more than 42,000 deaths each year. Fleet managers can help prepare their drivers for such changing conditions with these coaching strategies:
- Train your drivers constantly on how to handle both simple and extreme road
conditions so that they can avoid dangerous situations.
- Invest in risk management technologies which can inform drivers of changing
weather and environmental conditions frequently.
- Make informed decisions based on data/analytics collected from past changing
road conditions on the same routes.
- Recruiting and retaining Drivers
Driver retention continues to be an issue in the fleet industry, with the turnover rate at 95%. Your staff are likely to leave for safety reasons, unfair treatment, or not feeling like they are a priority. Losing your drivers can lead to operational losses, challenges in recruitment, and a bad reputation for the company. You can improve your company’s driver retention rate with these strategies:
- Be transparent during the recruitment process by giving drivers all the information
they need, such as the duration of work shifts, pay, etc. Do not sugarcoat any
information so that drivers do not feel cheated later.
- Provide drivers with all the necessary resources to improve their work performance
such as training courses and technological tools.
- Create clear lines of communication with drivers and listen to their feedback. This
way, you can identify problem areas and address them.
- Give credit where it is due and provide constructive feedback without belittling
your drivers’ efforts.
- Address driver issues at the source without taking away their autonomy or making
them feel like they have to be micromanaged.
- Provide rewards for achieving milestones.
Compliance involves drivers adhering to all the regulations and standards put in place by authorities for road safety. Some fleets run into compliance issues because they lack equipment or are unaware of the rules. Ensure that your drivers have adequate compliance training and are aware of all the rules in a driver safety meeting. Organize driver safety programs and set automated reminders.
These problems can easily overwhelm any fleet manager. But with our series of effective coaching strategies, any fleet manager can stay on top of these issues.
Acquire a fleet management system that keeps drivers safe, manages communication, incentives, analytics, fuel efficiency, and compliance on the same platform. This eliminates confusion and keeps your fleet’s operations organized to save money.