It’s been all over the news in the last couple of years: Traffic fatalities are rising at a concerning rate. And while it’s never been more important for companies that operate vehicle fleets to build a culture of safety, the truth is that fleets have always had compelling incentives to embrace safety. Safe driving standards improve driver performance and typically lead to more efficient operations in addition to protecting businesses from costly insurance rate hikes and even nuclear verdicts.
So, what does that culture of safety look like? Let’s take a closer look.
Driver safety begins with driver training. But training is a continuous process, not just a tool for getting new hires prepared for their jobs. Businesses that maintain ongoing training programs find that the dividends are many. That continual on-the-job training pays off in fewer traffic incidences is to be expected, but it also contributes to a more efficient workforce.
That process of continuing training is assisted by developments in the in-cab technology fleets are using, too. Video-based safety programs use data from drivers’ logging devices and cameras mounted both inside and outside the vehicle cabin to assess areas in which drivers need to brush up on safe practices. This allows for custom training solutions aimed at specific needs, working on potential problem areas and not wasting drivers’ time with lessons they already know. In addition, video collected from the cameras can be used to defend against false accusations in the case of an incident.
Speaking of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), these tools have grown far beyond the simple monitoring of hours and miles. Today’s ELDs certainly take much of the work out of logging for drivers, eliminating manual processes and letting them concentrate more on safe driving, but they also reduce the workload of keeping track of documentation and provide near real-time monitoring of driver performance and metrics. This reduces driver stress and fatigue, while also offering greater oversight capabilities for supervisors.
Route planning is another factor that can contribute to a culture of safety. After all, every unnecessary mile driven offers more chances for something to go wrong. Optimized routes reduce fuel costs as well as driver stress, while leading to more efficient delivery times and ultimately more satisfied customers. Last-Mile delivery logistics have become essential to the success of eCommerce.
Yet another part of creating and maintaining a culture of safety is license monitoring. Expired credentials and incidents such as impaired driving citations can expose your business to liability, not to mention decrease the overall safety of your operations.
So, we’ve looked at the systems that help businesses build a culture of safety and how they work together. We’ve seen that businesses that embrace that culture of safety benefit in tangible terms. But what does this culture of safety look like from the desk-eye view?
When you build a culture of safety in your business, your employees will benefit. They will approach their jobs with more confidence and competence because they have had the appropriate training. They will see that your company cares about their wellbeing and is working to protect them. Problem areas can be addressed sooner, and their solutions will be better focused. The upshot is that a culture of safety doesn’t just make for a safer and more profitable business – It makes for a happier one, too.