When your phone rings at 3am, you expect the worst. When you hear that one of your drivers has been involved in an accident it’s a nightmare come true for a fleet manager.
Accidents are not only harmful to the health and safety of your driver and other road users, but they are also costly for your company (see for example how bridge strikes are a problem in the US and UK). Fleet safety is a vital part of every fleet manager’s job. How do you get your assets from A to B without disruption? Here are our top 5 tips on how you can increase your fleet safety:
1. Plan A Safe Route
Fleet safety starts long before your driver hits the road. The first step in making sure your drivers are safe on the road is to plan a route that is suitable for the vehicle. Make sure the dimensions of the truck are taken into account when planning a route. Does your company deliver Hazmat loads? It is crucial to make sure your route planning software takes this into account. You don’t want a driver calling in that there was a bridge strike or get a fine for one of your drivers driving on a Hazmat-restricted street.
2. Invest In Your Drivers
Your drivers are at the heart of your mission. Invest in their professional development by offering defensive driving courses for truckers. Defensive driving is defined as “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”. It is important to take into account the health and well-being of your drivers. A well-rested driver will be less likely to get involved in an accident. Another positive side effect? Stress-free and well-rested drivers are more likely to stick around, which can result in less employee turnover.
3. Maintain Your Vehicles
Regular checks and maintenance of your vehicles is vital to your business and to the safety of your employees. Educate drivers on how to perform daily safety checks and regularly schedule time at the garage. Is your hardware (mirrors, tires) up-to-date? What about your on-board software (sensors, navigation)? Check out these innovations in truck safety for all the latest developments.
4. Consider Environmental Factors
There are some factors that are out of your control. A winter storm is moving in from the East, there was an accident on Route 1 and now congestion is clogging up the roads. Even though you can’t avoid these events from occurring, you can still come prepared and invest in software that makes predictions easier.
5. Provide Suitable Navigation
The majority of truck drivers in the US and in Europe use navigation that is not designed for larger vehicles. Equip your fleet with a navigation solution that is non-distracting, caters to specific vehicle dimensions and loads and provides alerts for sharp turns or other hazards.