The roadways are not getting any safer. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. motor-vehicle deaths remained near decade-high levels in 2017. Distracted driving and an increase in the average miles driven on an annual basis contribute to this increasing vehicle fatality rate. As a business owner, it’s essential to establish a fleet safety program as a part of your company’s safety and risk management culture.
A fleet is an extremely valuable asset; however, when accidents occur, the fleet can turn into a company’s greatest source of cost and risk. Fleet vehicle accidents are often among the costliest of injury claims for businesses. But, with a fleet safety program in place, you can help ensure a safe work environment for employees and protect your business against the liabilities that result from vehicle accidents.
Follow these 5 proactive steps to fleet safety:
- Hire reliable drivers.
Screening and selecting drivers carefully can help create a reliable team. After all, without safe, trustworthy drivers, it’s difficult to establish a long-term safety record.
- Establish a written policy and procedure for fleet safety.
Putting your company’s fleet safety policy and procedures in writing sets clear and consistent guidelines for your drivers to abide by.
- Effectively train drivers.
Having a training program in place to educate your drivers on the risks they face, company policy and procedures, and safe driving strategies is a vital component of fleet safety. While it is not the complete solution to reducing accidents, it should help to minimize them.
- Monitor driver performance.
Despite extensive training, it’s important to keep an eye on your employees behind the wheel to ensure they’re practicing safe driving practices. A few strategies for monitoring driver performance include reporting tactics, such as conducting ride-along evaluations, reviewing all accidents, monitoring call-in reports, keeping track of Department of Transportation roadside inspection reports and reviewing vehicle performance data from engine computers and telematics devices.
- Assess accidents.
Having a plan in place when accidents do occur can help prepare drivers to collect important information at the scene. An accident response plan can also help your company determine the cause of the accident so you can make adjustments to reduce the potential for future losses.
For a company with a fleet of any size, commercial transportation operations present a wide range of risks. A fleet safety program has the potential to improve safety, enhance employee satisfaction, minimize risks and improve overall fleet efficiency. However, accidents still occur, and when they do, it’s important that your company is covered. The consultants at J.R. Prewitt & Associates are here to tailor an insurance program to suit your company’s unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about the commercial coverages we offer!