How to Mitigate Fleet Risk
Originally published on June 12, 2020
As a fleet safety manager, the mitigation of fleet risk is a top priority. Statistics show that in the year ending June 2019, 1,870 road fatalities were reported in the UK.
With your employees on the road, you want to rest assured that you’re doing what you can to keep them safe. While this is a collective effort, there are some things you can do to mitigate fleet risk:
Create a Thorough Fleet Policy
When is the last time you reviewed and updated your fleet policy? Your fleet policy should act as a central piece of information that covers all bases regarding driver safety. A successful fleet policy should address the following areas for anyone who is affected by them:
- Driver recruitment criteria – interview procedure, medical, license, and reference checks.
- Required training - company induction, equipment use, routes, emergencies, driving technique, hazards, regulations, etc.
- Vehicle maintenance – inspection and servicing protocol.
- Routes and schedules – efficiency, road conditions, hazards, and communication while driving.
- Operations – compliance with regulations, fleet security and haulage protocol.
Choose Reliable Vehicles
It goes without saying that choosing safe vehicles is a fundamental facet of mitigating fleet risk. Though it may be tempting to select the most cost-effective vehicles, this should never come at the cost of your drivers’ safety. Additionally, you may end up spending more on cheaper vehicles in the long-run if their quality isn’t quite up to scratch. So, take the time to assess the vehicle’s safety carefully before acquiring new cars or HGVs.
Stay on Top of Servicing
Ensure everyone knows exactly which team member is responsible for booking vehicle inspections and servicing so that they aren’t in danger of slipping through the net. Once this task has been clearly delegated, it’s this person’s responsibility to ensure vehicles are inspected and serviced as often as needed to ensure they’re running safely. It’s also essential that your fleet knows who to contact if their vehicle has any issues, to ensure it is looked at as quickly as possible, to prevent accidents.
Ensure Drivers Have Satnavs
As a fleet risk manager, it’s up to you to ensure your drivers are equipped to drive handsfree. The most common cause of road accidents is drivers failing to look properly. It’s challenging to pay attention to the road when you’re looking at your phone. Make sure each driver has a current and functioning GPS fitted in their vehicle, as well as a handsfree method to receive and place calls safely. By knowing your drivers’ schedules, you can do your best not to call them unless necessary while they’re on the road.
Enforce Regular Breaks
Tiredness is a leading cause of road accidents, and drivers who feel under pressure are more likely to skip breaks to get the job done. If your drivers are skipping breaks, it’s time to examine the efficiency and the reason behind them feeling under time pressure. Remind drivers how important it is for them to take breaks at least every two hours and do what you can to take the pressure off them. Additionally, if a driver is in a rush, they’re much more likely to speed. Exceeding the speed limit is the 10th most common cause of road accidents and being careless or in a hurry is the 3rd most common cause. By ensuring your driver feels there’s enough time to get the job done, you help mitigate the risk of them speeding as well as making judgement errors due to fatigue.
These are just a few primary considerations to mitigate fleet risk, but they’re a good starting ground. For more help with fleet risk management, check out our comprehensive guide to fleet management.