9 Important Reasons Why You Need a Fleet Safety Program

Dec 6, 2020 | Business Insurance

What’s the deadliest time of day for drivers?

The evening.

The majority of roadway accidents happen between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. That includes both fatal and non-fatal accidents, for all types of vehicles.

After a long day at work, drivers tend to be less attentive, while other people are trying to rush home. In a matter of seconds, a major accident can happen, that costs your company both time and money. Luckily, by implementing a strict fleet safety program, you can help your drivers operate more safely than ever before.

Read on to learn the top 9 reasons to start a fleet safety management program today.

1. Establish Policies and Procedures

First, let’s look at how a fleet safety program can help your company establish solid policies and procedures centered around safety. Here are some of the policies and procedures your safety program can address:

  • Assigning responsibility for the safety
  • Vehicle use rules
  • Vehicle insurance requirements
  • Ways to identify high-risk drivers
  • How to report accidents
  • Avoid driver fatigue
  • Accident investigation procedures
  • Establish a company accident review board
  • Policies for selecting vehicles
  • Employee training standards
  • Strict safety regulations

Make sure your entire management team is on board with implementing the safety program. If your drivers understand that everyone’s on board, they’ll have more motivation to comply with every aspect of the safety program.

2. Create Clear Roles for Managers

Another benefit of implementing a safety program is that you’ll be able to assign clear roles to your management team. Having specific jobs for management and supervisors will make it easier for you to run an efficient safety program.

Here’s a shortlist of suggested managerial responsibilities:

  • Establish measurement objectives
  • Ensure compliance at all times
  • Provide employee assistance to maintain program
  • Provide resources to implement the program

Provide managers with all of the knowledge and resources they’ll need to assist employees with the safety program.

3. Receive Discounts on Fleet Auto Insurance

Moving on, maintaining commercial auto insurance is a lot more expensive than maintaining a personal auto policy. Luckily, by implementing a fleet safety program, you could be eligible for special insurance discounts.

Insurance providers create the rates for your policies based on a calculation of risks. Things like the type of business you run, how long you’ve been in business, and where your business is located, all impact your annual premium. If you live in a high-risk state like Michigan or Louisiana, you can expect to have especially high rates.

By maintaining a strict safety program for your company, you’ll be showing insurance providers that you’re serious about safety, which makes you less of a risk. The less of a risk your company is to insure, the lower your policy rates will be.

However, you’ll have to have the right practices in place if you want your safety program to qualify for an insurance discount.

Here are a few things insurance companies will look for in your safety program:

  • Driver identification
  • Management commitment
  • Screening drivers selectively
  • New hire training
  • Ongoing training
  • Driver management
  • Accident management
  • Written policies and procedures
  • Vehicle inspections
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Vehicle repairs
  • GPS fleet management

GPS fleet tracking is a type of management system. The management system uses GPS to monitor the activities of every vehicle your company has.

You can then use the data the GPS tracking devices collect to help improve your fuel costs, driver behaviors, and maintenance costs. You’ll also have an easier time when it comes to injury claims from employees.

4. Promote a Safe Work Environment

Now let’s look at how a fleet safety program can help promote a safe work environment. If your employee younger workers, your company’s instantly at risk of having more workplace accidents.

Workers under the age of 25 wind up in the emergency room because of workplace accidents, more than any other age group. On top of being dangerous and unproductive, workplace accidents are also expensive!

The minute one of your drivers gets in an accident, you’ll be at risk of your commercial auto insurance and business insurance rates skyrocketing. Luckily, by implementing a program, every employee will know the top fleet safety tips to follow.

Here are some driver safety regulations your fleet program should include:

  • Safety belt requirement
  • Impaired driving policy
  • Traffic law responsibility
  • Vehicle condition
  • Cell phone policy
  • Radio policy
  • Motorcycle policy
  • General safety rules
  • Company property policy
  • Personal property policy

For starters, make it clear to every driver that seatbelts are a requirement, not a suggestion. Drivers, along with any vehicle occupants, must wear seatbelts when the vehicle’s turned on.

Let drivers know that it’s their job to check that every passenger is wearing their safety belt. Are your drivers are going to be transporting young children who require a safety seat? Then the safety seat has to be approved by the department of transportation.

Next, while it may seem like common sense, make it an official rule that drivers aren’t allowed to use the company vehicle’s when they’re impaired in any way. Whether they’re tired, hurt, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving impaired is never okay.

Finally, create a clear company policy about hands-free cell phone requirements.

5. Better Screening for New Hires

Moving on, let’s look at how a safety program will help you be more selective when it comes to hiring new drivers. The more selective you are about choosing new hires, the easier it’ll be for you to ensure both health and safety in the workplace.

Another advantage of being more selective is that you’ll be more likely to find long-term fits for the company. Instead of having to waste money because of a high turnover rate, you’ll be able to choose loyal drivers who are ready to grow with your business.

What Managers Should Review

It should be the job of your managers to properly evaluate every potential new hire based on their current and past driving abilities. For instance, managers should thoroughly review the work experience drivers are bringing to the table. We suggest you only consider drivers who have over 3 years of professional driving history.

Checking References

Managers should call all of the employee’s references to ensure they’re resume is accurate. Next, include a section on the application where drivers can list any past incidents they’ve had while driving a company vehicle. The best candidates will be the ones with an accurate resume, strong references, and zero reported workplace accidents.

Check Motor Vehicle Records

Next, managers will also need to review the applicant’s motor vehicle report. Even if an employee is safe at work, if they’ve been in a lot of personal car accidents, they’re not a good choice for your company.

6. Ongoing Training for Drivers

When companies offer workplace training programs, it helps empower the employees with the right set of values for success. What type of training programs does your company currently offer employees?

If you don’t currently have an ongoing training program for drivers, you’re putting your entire company at risk of having an accident. Luckily, a big part of fleet safety services is helping drivers continually learn and improve.

To make your safety program even more effective, you can help motivate drivers by implementing safe driving incentives. For instance, if a driver goes an entire year without any incidents, they could win some type of award or prize. You can even create a friendly competition among drivers to see who will be the safest and then award the safest driver accordingly.

What Should You Teach Your Drivers?

The training program you choose should cover the core aspects of driving risks and tasks.

Here’s a shortlist of what your drivers need to learn:

  • Defensive driving
  • Fatigue management
  • Self-awareness
  • First aid
  • Anti-skid
  • Anti-rollover
  • Economic driving

In addition to the list of training courses above, drivers should also be provided with ongoing training for any new vehicles they’ll have to drive.

If any of your drivers aren’t able to demonstrate their ability to drive the new vehicle, they should be given additional coaching and training. If after more training they’re still unable to operate the new vehicle, it might be time to take that employee off driving duties.

7. Extend the Life of Your Vehicles

Having a fleet safety management program means you’ll be able to properly maintain each of your company’s vehicles. On average, small business owners in America make about $70,300 a year.

However, if you’re constantly having to buy new vehicles, you could see a dramatic drop in your annual earnings. Luckily, by properly maintaining your vehicles you’ll be able to extend the life of each vehicle. It’s a win-win situation!

Tips for Maintaining Vehicles

First, as part of your safety management program, you should assign someone the role of fleet inspector. Choose a safety-conscious employee who’s interested in moving up within the company.

Next, create a vehicle maintenance schedule for drivers to follow. Your maintenance schedule should include things like tire rotations, tire changes, oil changes, and more. It’ll be the job of the fleet inspector to ensure that all drivers are adhering to the new maintenance schedule.

We also suggest that you remind drivers to pay special attention to their tires. For instance, the tire pressure has a big impact on the vehicle’s ability to be fuel-efficient and safe. Maintaining proper tire pressure will also slow down the daily wear and tear, helping the tires last longer.

8. Look Good for Customers

In addition to maintaining the vehicle’s engine and tires, your safety program should also drivers teach drivers how to keep the vehicle’s clean. Consistently washing and polishing your vehicles will help your company look good in the public’s eye. After all, nobody wants to do business with a fleet of muddy vehicles!

Attract New Business

If you don’t already have a company phone number or website on your vehicles, now would be a good time to look into that. Customers will be attracted to the clean, shiny vehicles your drivers are safely driving around town.

Catch Problems Before They Get Worse

Finally, another advantage of washing vehicles regularly is that it’ll be easier for you to catch things like rust or deterioration. The sooner you’re able to catch a small spot of rust, the easier it’ll be to fix it before it becomes a costly or even dangerous problem.

9. Create a Strong Team

One of the biggest advantages of starting a safety program is the ability to have everybody on the same page. When everyone’s on the same page, your workplace team will be more efficient than ever before.

Thanks to your fleet safety program, it’ll be easy to establish clear vehicle maintenance policies. Rather than being confused or anxious about what’s expected of them, drivers will be certain about what their responsibilities are. The clearer your policies are, the easier it’ll be to motivate drivers to comply.

Teach Drivers the Why Behind the Policies

However, make sure you’re taking the time to educate drivers about why the policies are in place. For instance, take the time to teach drivers about the safety and financial benefits of properly maintaining vehicles. Finally, give your drivers all the tools they’ll need to keep the vehicles squeaky clean, and maintained.

Start a Fleet Safety Program Today

There you have it! The top 9 benefits of starting a fleet safety program. Here at Advantage Insurance Solutions, we love helping clients find the best insurance policies for their company’s needs. Since we write in 45 states, we’re able to service clients across the nation.

To make sure you have the right coverages and limits, reach out to us today using our contact us page. One of our friendly team members will be happy to review your policy, while also answering any insurance questions you might have!