Whether you operate in the transport domain or have a small fleet of vehicles for regular business operations, road safety should be your top priority. Accidents can be expensive for any company because they cause litigation that often ends with hefty compensation to the injured victims and employees. Moreover, they can also cause reputational damage to your business, which is the last you may want to happen. Rather than dealing with these implications, it would be better to take a proactive approach to reduce the accident risk in the first place. Although it sounds like a lot of work, implementing a few strategies can help you minimize the risk of accidents to a considerable extent. Let us list the ones that offer extensive benefits.
Incorporate a driver policy
To start with, you must have a well-documented policy for all the people who are authorized to handle the vehicles in your fleet. The objective of the policy is to generate awareness about road safety and adherence to traffic rules. Ideally, it should provide guidance about on-road driving behavior, regular inspections and maintenance of vehicles, post-accident procedures, and the penalties they may face due to poor driving. Ensure that everyone in the fleet reads and signs the policy. Also, regular communication is essential to keep them on top of road safety norms. Regular checks of driver licenses and road records should also be a part of the policy.
Ensure managerial buy-in
Apart from having a policy for drivers, you need to involve people in the management positions as well. It is important for them to realize that driving for work is among the most dangerous activities and contributes significantly to work-related serious injuries and accidental deaths. So they definitely deserve as much attention as any other critical issue for business. Highlight the benefits that the management could gain by investing in a road risk management plan. Managerial involvement will make it easier to implement the plan at an organizational scale.
Assess driver skills
Another key aspect of cutting down the road accident risk for your fleet is a regular assessment of driver skills. It should be something that you should do at the time of onboarding itself. If you fail to do so, the car accident lawyer representing the victim can use the fact as the mainstay of their client’s claim. Apart from assessing the new hires, you will have to keep an eye on health issues and risks for all your existing drivers. Assessing their practical skills and on-road driving behavior would also help. While you must conduct assessments on a periodic basis, repeating them following mishaps should be mandatory so that you can identify the possible cause of the accident.
Convey zero tolerance on drink and drugs
Since driving under influence is a criminal act, make sure that every single driver in your fleet understands that you have a zero-tolerance policy on drink and drugs. Convey your expectations on absolute adherence clearly and take strict action against people who fail to obey. Apart from imposing stringent rules, you can also help them with therapy and medical support. If you need to complain about hangovers, you should do it as early as possible. You may even consider making them sign a pledge to make sure that they never flout the rule.
Gather accurate information
Another proactive measure to cut down the accident rate is gathering detailed information about any mishaps within your fleet. A careful recording is required, with details about the kind of journey, the duration the driver had been driving, and the vehicle status in terms of recent inspections and maintenance. Some companies also conduct detailed interviews with the drivers after every accident to have every area covered. You may also consider investing in high-end technologies such as vehicle telematics and digital maintenance to keep close track of driver behavior. Being well informed about the causes of accidents gives you reliable insights for preventing them in the future.
Create a road safety culture
Whether you have a few dozen vehicles or hundreds of them in your fleet, road safety should be a part of your company culture. From having a comprehensive accident reduction strategy in place to ensuring realistic schedules and delivery times for the drivers, you should do everything that can make a difference. Employee education and awareness is the key to influencing the workplace culture as a whole. Ensure that you involve everyone, from new recruits to experienced people, and from drivers to people in the managerial roles.
Every effort is worthwhile when it comes to ensuring road safety for your fleet because it can save you from big trouble in the long run. Make safety a habit for your people, rather than just an obligation.