During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, drivers traveled 430 billion miles fewer than they did the year before. And yet, despite fewer drivers on the road, fatalities rose from 39,107 in 2019 to an estimated 42,060 in 2020.
What went wrong?
Rather than leading to safer driving, empty roads tempted drivers to move faster and more dangerously than they would normally. Product shortages also pushed large trucks to make more deliveries faster, further increasing the dangers.
Improving driver safety starts one vehicle at a time. Use the tips below to prioritize fleet driver safety and ensure your employees are protecting themselves from unnecessary dangers.
5 ways to encourage driver safety
1. Hold safe driver training sessions
When you drive often, it’s easy to slip into bad habits. Keep your employees focused on safety by holding regular training sessions. Cover both the behaviors you encourage and why they are important. You can discuss the potential consequences of distractions, speeding, and harsh braking. Show your drivers why safe driving is important at all times.
2. Create clear safety policies
Even with training, you need to tell your drivers exactly what you expect from them. Create clear rules about acceptable behaviors, company procedures, and standards for the maintenance of their vehicles. Most importantly, keep your safety policy up-to-date with the latest information. As regulations, technology, and the understanding of driver safety change, ensure your policy remains relevant and active.
3. Educate drivers on compliance needs
You can’t maintain compliance without getting your drivers involved. Take the time to educate them on industry regulations and the actions you have to take to stay compliant. You can gather feedback on the processes you use to meet regulations to develop more efficient steps. From vehicle inspection reports to ELD use, make compliance a team effort for better results.
4. Gamify safety
Everyone enjoys a little competition. Gamifying your safety program gives your drivers incentive to make safety a priority at all times. Use your telematics solution to track individual behaviors, awarding points to those with the safest records. Along with encouraging active participation, it is an easy way to show drivers how well, or poorly, they’re performing. This continuous feedback offers real goals that everyone can use to improve.
5. Use telematics
More than anything else, using data to back your safety program will empower better driving. You can use this information to focus on weak spots for each driver, offering specific ways to improve. Telematics also allows you to monitor everyone’s activity at all times, ensuring that you see every problematic situation and giving you the opportunity to address it.
How do you prioritize driver safety in your fleet?