8 Essential Tricks Drivers Safety Tips To Minimize Risk
Driver safety should be the priority for any fleet manager. Accidents do not only cause monetary loss, but it does more than this. The overall reputation of your business gets at stake. Additionally, not to forget the loss of human lives.
According to a report by IIHS, a total of 4,014 people died due to truck crashes in 2020.
- 15% were the truck drivers
- 68% were other drivers & passenger
- And the rest of the 16% are pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
This figure is daunting, and while the trucking industry has some of the highest, it becomes necessary for you to take several steps to improve the safety of your fleet. It will help you to ensure the protection of the drivers and others on the road but also help you to reduce your company’s losses and get discounts on insurance premiums.
Here in this article, we have accumulated a list of some significant steps you can take to maximize driver safety in your fleet.
- Why Should Driver Safety Be The Top Priority For Any Fleet Manager?
- Top Safety Concerns About Drivers In Your Fleet
- Reckless Driving Behavior
- Driver Fatigue
- Driver Using Phone
- Failure To Respond to Traffic Signals
- 8 Best Tips To Maximize Driver Safety
- Defensive Driving
- Fleet Dash Cams
- Drive At Safe Speed
- Stay Focused
- Buckle Up
- Always Use Signals
- Preventive Maintenance Schedules
- Pre-trip & Post-trip Inspection
- Driver Training Program
- Training Needs
- Choose An Effective Driver Training Program
- Route Management
- Real-time GPS Monitoring
- Effective Communication
- Analyze Individual Driver’s Driving Behaviour
- How To Handle Accidents?
- Matrack Fleet Management Solution
- Benefits Of Matrack Fleet Management Software
Why Should Driver Safety Be The Top Priority For Any Fleet Manager?
An accident has several impacts on a business. It brings significant losses to your company in both monetary and other forms. And not to forget the loss of human and other precious lives.
The monetary form includes direct costs associated with medical bills, vehicle repairs, compensation, fines, etc.
The other form includes the indirect costs associated with the business and impacts in the long run.
- Productivity loss
- Negative publicity
- Lost trust
- Legal liabilities
- Permanent damage to the corporate image
- Workers compensation claim
- Increased insurance premium
- Increase in CSA score
- And many more.
The direct monetary laws can cost around $60 billion annually ( According to a report by the occupational safety and health administration). But the impact of hidden losses is far more. It can be three times more than the direct cost.
It is difficult to identify such challenges and take measures to resolve them. And it will also impact the day-to-day operation of your business.
Top Safety Concerns About Drivers In Your Fleet
Reckless Driving Behavior
Reckless driving behavior is one of the major concerns for fleet managers.
Another primary concern is driver fatigue. A tired driver is no less than a grim reaper. It is the responsibility of both driver and fleet manager to ensure drivers take breaks in between and comply with the HoS rule.
Driver Using Phone
Another grave mistake a driver can make is using a mobile phone while driving. It causes distraction, and the driver can ignore traffic rules or the car in front of them.
Others are drinking or eating while driving. It can divert attention toward unnecessary things and increases the possibility of accidents.
Failure To Respond to Traffic Signals
Another safety concern is the failure to understand and respond to traffic signals.
8 Best Tips To Maximize Driver Safety
Defensive driving trains drivers to look out for other drivers’ behavior and changes in road conditions to avoid impacting the other vehicle.
A large truck is high from the ground, so it becomes difficult for drivers to see behind it the car next to them. They have wide blind spots.
Blind spots are areas around vehicles where a driver cannot see their surroundings. Such places are dangerous for drivers while switching lanes or taking corners.
There are rear-view and side mirrors that are essential but not enough. You can train drivers to look over their shoulder or out the window. Also, they should stay alert and watch out for road conditions every 15- seconds.
Fleet Dash Cams
You can also employ dash cams in your fleet for better safety and visibility. It is a safe way to navigate on highways.
Here you can find a list of the top 8 dash cams you can buy in 2022 to improve your fleet’s safety.
They have multiple benefits for your fleet and are among the top ten transportation safety improvement tools that every fleet needs.
Fleet dash cams can provide a broader perspective of the road and help you avoid accidents. Even if a crash occurs, you will have enough evidence to prove the innocence of your driver and save yourself from fines.
You can also use a dual-facing dash cam to monitor in-cab activity with what’s happening on the road. It can help you detect drivers that use phones or other distracting activities while driving.
Drive At Safe Speed
It is challenging for drivers to drive a large truck on a busy road. They face difficulty while accelerating, braking, and maneuverability. Moreover, it needs two football field spaces to stop abruptly. It is better and safer to drive at a safe speed while staying cautious about the environment to avoid crashes or rollovers.
You have to focus and avoid distractions while driving to prevent accidents. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Before driving, you should take proper rest.
- Never drive when you are feeling weak or ill.
- Don’t use mobile phones while driving.
- Avoid eating, drinking, interacting with a navigational device, reading maps, or other distracting activity while driving.
Always use a safety belt before driving. It can save your life or reduce injuries during a crash.
Always Use Signals
Whenever you want to pull off the road or change the lane, give signals or break before so others can notice your intent before time.
Preventive Maintenance Schedules
The other significant step to ensure the safety of your drivers and your vehicle is to develop a preventive maintenance schedule. It can help you to avoid sudden breakdowns or faults in the future.
A poorly managed vehicle is unsafe for your driver as a sudden breakdown or malfunction can increase the risk of an accident. According to a report by NHTSA, 45,000 accidents occur due to vehicle malfunctioning owing to poor maintenance.
But it is difficult for a fleet manager to remember the maintenance dates of different vehicles. Here fleet management software comes into play. It can send real-time alerts when you need to send your trucks to the repair center. It can also provide you with vehicle diagnostics reports.
Pre-trip & Post-trip Inspection
Pre-trip and post-trip inspections can reduce the chances of accidents and ensure the longevity of your vehicle.
Before a truck goes on and after it comes from a trip, you should conduct a thorough inspection. It can help you identify any mechanical structure or issue. And ensure that it is fit to embark on the journey the next day.
Driver Training Program
Proactive driver training strategies can improve safety in your fleet. Reckless or unsafe driving activity can increase the chance of accidents. It can be detrimental to your fleet in several ways:
- The cost associated with vehicle repair
- Insurance premiums
- Property damage
- Harmful to your company’s reputation 8 Essential Tricks Drivers Safety Tips To Minimize Risk
Let us take a glance at how you are organizing an effective driver training program:
First, start by identifying your training needs and the current risks you want to address with the training session.
You can use fleet management software for the same. It can provide you with detailed accident statistics.
Choose An Effective Driver Training Program
Secondly, you need to find appropriate training programs that can address the specific needs of your fleet and train drivers to develop the skills they need to drive safely.
Group sessions & training workshops
It is a cost-effective way to train your employees all at once. It can address a common problem or implement a safety program.
Online & e-learning solution
Another inexpensive way is to organize online or e-learning solutions. It is a module that can help you to address specific needs.
The only drawback is that it lacks face-to-face sessions and impacts learning.
On-road fleet driver training
On-road fleet driver training is an effective way where a trainer provides one-on-one training sessions to drivers.
Another effective training method is driver coaching. It uses telematics and other data.
Road conditions are unpredictable, especially when going on a long-haul journey.
Two conditions that are likely to impact are:
- Bad weather
Heavy traffic will likely increase the possibility of accidents owing to the wide blind spots of large trucks.
Bad weather like rain, snow, hail, or ice can impact driver visibility and reduce the friction between the road and vehicle.
Dispatch solutions can help you to get real-time insights into road conditions. It allows you to manage routes and take quick actions in an emergency.
Real-time GPS Monitoring
GPS tracking technology provides you with real-time location updates of different vehicles in your fleet.
- You can view the real-time location without disturbing your driver on a phone call. It saves them from distraction and helps them focus on the road.
- In case of breakdown, you can send immediate assistance or backup. Also, you can send the location of the nearest service center for repair.
You can send another vehicle to carry out the given task. And hence, you can deliver goods on time.
Communication is a significant skill that can either- make or break your fleet operations.
In a fleet, drivers are always away from the back office, which creates a communication gap. In such a case, you cannot choose to rely on a phone. First, it is dangerous to use a mobile phone while driving. Secondly, it is illegal, so you will have to pay a fine if caught.
But this doesn’t mean you are left helpless. You can use fleet management solutions, such as Matrack fleet management, to boost effective communication in your fleet.
Analyze Individual Driver’s Driving Behaviour
Around 20% of fleet vehicles are involved in accidents due to reckless driving behavior. It is enough to understand how it is significant for you to analyze individual drivers driving behavior and take action accordingly.
You can choose an advanced telematics solution to get detailed driver behavior reports. It can help you identify any driver involved in dangerous driving.
You can also use this data to refine your fleet safety guide. Also, implement a driver safety reward program to acknowledge decent drivers, i.e., one with safe driving behavior. You can provide certificates, hampers, or monetary prizes to the winner.
How To Handle Accidents?
Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, but you can still reduce their impact by handling them well. Here are some quick steps you can follow:
- Never leave the site of the accident.
- Always alert the police about the incident.
- Collect any evidence that can prove your innocence.
- Take pictures from various angles
- Call 911 if any casualties are involved.
- Immediately notify your fleet manager and your insurance company.
- After handling the issue, don’t forget to look for the reason why the accident occurred in the first place.
Matrack Fleet Management Solution
Matrack offers affordable and advanced fleet management software that can help you improve the safety of your fleet, along with optimizing fleet operations. It provides better visibility and control over different aspects of your organization.
Benefits Of Matrack Fleet Management Software
- Matrack can help you to boost efficiency in your fleet by making optimum use of the given resource. You can streamline various jobs and save time.
- It can help you monitor each vehicle and identify any fault code. It also sends you real-time notifications for preventive maintenance schedules.
- It can help you reduce the communication gap in your fleet and connect you and your driver well.
- Real-time GPS tracking technology with a 4G cellular network helps you to monitor your vehicle in real-time. It is beneficial to provide immediate help to your driver if they meet any unexpected accident.
- Other notable benefits include detailed driving behavior reports, better compliance with rules, automated IFTA reports, and many more.
Road accidents are a constant concern for a fleet manager or business owner. It has an immeasurable impact on your fleet. You can follow these steps to improve safety but don’t restrict yourself to this only. Develop your plan according to your fleet need.