How to Improve Fleet Safety in Your Organization
Erin celebrates building the fleet community with 50 episodes and 11K followers on LinkedIn [Podcast]
Share this resource
IntelliShift Team

Building for Fleet Safety 

When fleet safety is put first, everything else will fall into place. However, safety and efficiency can only happen through culture, technology, and data stewardship. When you surface insights from these big three every day, you can see and address risks. It’s a major part of succeeding on a mission to zero accidents.  

The Dangerous Cost of Inaction 

In today’s competitive business environment, it can be tempting to focus on profit margins instead of safety. According to the National Institue of Operational Safety and Health, 73% of drivers felt rushed by their delivery schedules. This can easily lead to aggressive driving, speeding, and skipping inspections. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that last year’s International Roadcheck blitz led to nearly 25% of vehicles placed out of service due to tires, brakes, lights, and more (source: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance). These are all contributing factors to the fact that commercial vehicles were a staggering 47% of all fatal accidents in 2020 (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). 

However, there is a strong business case for creating a culture of safety. In fact, studies have shown that companies with strong safety cultures have lower accident rates, lower insurance costs, and higher employee morale and retention.  

How to Build a Culture of Fleet Safety 

When it comes to fleet management, safety should be more than just a priority—it should be a core value embedded in the DNA of the organization. Furthermore, a culture of safety sets the stage for success by creating an environment where drivers feel empowered, valued, and motivated to prioritize safe practices. 

Leadership Commitment and Accountability

By consistently emphasizing the importance of safety and setting clear expectations, leaders set the tone for the entire organization. They must also hold themselves and others accountable for adhering to safety policies and procedures, creating a sense of responsibility and collective ownership. 

Communication and Collaboration

Transparent and consistent communication helps ensure that safety concerns and best practices are shared effectively throughout the organization. In addition to clarity, it promotes a sense of unity around safety goals. Involving drivers in safety-related decision-making processes and seeking their input fosters a culture of collaboration and demonstrates “what’s in it for me” across the organization. It’s all about defining your “why” and living it.  

Establishing Clear Safety Policies and Procedures on Fleet Safety

Establishing clear safety policies and procedures provides a framework for safe operations and should be communicated clearly to all stakeholders. Regular reviews and updates are also necessary to adapt to changing regulations and industry best practices. 

Continuous Training and Education

Drivers must be provided the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the challenges they may encounter on the road. It helps reinforce safe practices and keeps drivers up to date with evolving safety standards. Training programs should cover defensive driving techniques, awareness of potential hazards, and the effective use of safety technologies within vehicles.  

Leading by Example

When leaders consistently demonstrate safe behaviors and adhere to safety protocols, it sends a powerful message to the rest of the organization. Leaders should actively participate in safety programs and prioritize their own safety. Most importantly, they must hold themselves accountable for their actions to build trust and motivate drivers to follow suit. 

The Role of Technology in Fleet Safety 

Your organization must be on the same page with getting drivers on the road and successfully completing the day without a breakdown or unplanned event that could put their lives in danger and your organization at risk. In fleet management, leveraging technology is key to optimizing safety and mitigating risks. Advancements in technology continue to reshape the industry. This means fleet managers have an unprecedented opportunity to embrace innovative solutions that enhance safety practices.  

Telematics

Telematics can track and monitor various aspects, including driver behavior, vehicle performance, and location data. With real-time data at their disposal, fleet managers can make proactive decisions, take immediate corrective actions, and implement targeted training programs to enhance driver safety. 

AI Video Dash Cams

AI video dash cams can help prevent accidents, mitigate risks, exonerate drivers from false claims, and promote safe driving practices. Fleet managers can review and analyze the footage to identify areas for improvement. They can also reinforce safe driving habits and protect their drivers when they are not at-fault. Video-based safety solutions act as a valuable tool. They can be used for coaching and training, promoting continuous improvement and overall safety. By equipping vehicles with AI video dash cams, fleet and safety leaders realize fast ROI with fewer accidents and lower insurance premiums. 

Digitized Inspections

Inspections properly done can increase safety but far too often they are done half-heartedly or not at all. By digitizing the process, you’ll get more compliance and consistency from drivers. As a result, vehicle life is extended and fewer accidents or roadside breakdowns occur.  

Fleet Intelligence

By analyzing historical data, patterns, and trends maintenance needs are more predictable. Drivers at higher risk of accidents can be identified, and potential safety hazards can be detected. Fleet, safety, and operations leaders can leverage these insights to implement proactive measures. Then, targeted maintenance, personalized training programs, and route optimization can mitigate risks and enhance safety. 

Fleet Management Software

By having all data in a single platform, fleet managers are able ditch data silos and gain insights that will drive safety practices on both a people and vehicle level. From driver scorecards to C-suite reporting, an all-in-one platform can help organizations be safer and more agile. 

Practice Data Stewardship for Fleet Safety 

Data analytics is a game-changer in fleet management. It enables organizations to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of data. Fleet, safety, and operations leaders can proactively identify risks, implement targeted interventions, and foster a culture of safety. 

Identifying Risk Patterns and Trends in Fleet Safety

Leveraging historical data and advanced algorithms, fleet managers can uncover correlations between variables such as driver behavior, vehicle maintenance, and accident rates. These insights enable proactive risk mitigation strategies, such as targeted training programs and refined operational procedures. 

Predictive Maintenance for Preventive Measures

By collecting data on vehicle usage and maintenance history, fleet managers can identify potential maintenance issues before they escalate into major problems. Timely maintenance interventions not only enhance vehicle safety but also contribute to cost savings by reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and costly repairs. 

Driver Behavior Monitoring and Improvement

Through the analysis of telematics and AI dash cam data, fleet, operations, and safety leaders can identify risky driving habits and trends. This data can include speed, acceleration, harsh braking, and cornering, following distance, distracted driving, and more. This information allows for targeted driver training programs, meaningful driver scorecards, coaching sessions, and personalized feedback to address specific areas of improvement. By monitoring and improving driver behavior, fleet managers significantly reduce the risk of accidents and enhance overall safety on the roads. 

Real-time Monitoring and Alert Systems

By integrating telematics solutions and data analytics platforms, fleet, safety, and operations leaders gain access to real-time insights into vehicle location, speed, and other critical metrics. Then, fleet managers can respond swiftly to these alerts, taking appropriate action to rectify potential safety issues and ensuring compliance with safety protocols. 

Benchmarking and Performance Evaluation

By leveraging aggregated data, fleet, safety, and operations leaders can establish safety benchmarks. These should be based on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as accident rates, near-miss incidents, and driver compliance with safety policies. This data-driven approach allows fleet managers to set goals, track progress, and implement strategies. It will continuously improve fleet safety performance, ultimately raising the safety standards across the organization.  

Power Up Your Fleet Safety 

Embracing culture, technology, and data and, most importantly, taking action, can drive a significant shift towards enhanced fleet safety. It can protect your drivers, the public, and your organization’s reputation. Remember, safety is not just a responsibility—it’s an opportunity to excel and ensure a brighter, safer future on the roads.

Ready to power up your fleet safety? Then talk to the experts at IntelliShift and see our fleet management platform in action! Book your demo today!  

Featured Resources