There were 4,824 fatal accidents in 2020 that involved large trucks. Let’s face it, operating fleet trucks takes skill, stamina, and, most importantly, safety precautions to avoid traumatic consequences.
If you are wondering how to reduce the number of accidents in your fleet then you need to enforce safe driving.
Start with these 5 strategies.
1. Train Your Drivers
Your first step should be driver training. Your drivers need to know how to properly operate the vehicle before they get on the road for long periods. Include training for emergency situations like flat tires, accidents, and vehicle malfunctions.
Drivers should also understand the difference between driving a fleet truck and a regular car. Therefore, they need to know about blind spots, turn radiuses, and stopping distances.
2. Use Commercial GPS
Help your drivers with fleet safety by providing commercial GPS tracking systems in all vehicles. These devices aren’t just for assisting with directions. They also track vehicle locations to give estimated arrival times of your cargo.
In addition, GPS tracking notifies you of unsafe driving practices and produces activity reports to limit the misuse of company time. They can also notify you of speed violations and give trip summaries according to each driver.
3. Offer Incentives
When drivers follow these safety policies then they should be rewarded. Offer incentives for meeting safety goals. For example, going a whole year or more without any accidents could lead to promotion. Or, give them a bonus for staying the speed limit for a month.
Drivers will be motivated to never miss a safety measure.
4. Maintain Vehicles
Another large part of the fleet safety program includes caring for fleet trucks. Therefore, be sure that part of the training includes fleet maintenance— both for preventative checks and roadside breakdowns.
General inspection of the brakes, fluids, and tires can prevent accidents by ensuring that the trucks are safe to drive. More specialized skills like how to change a tire and check the engine can be included as well.
5. Limit Distractions
It should be a major part of your safety policies to enforce rules against creating voluntary distractions such as cell phone use. Company phones could be used that switch to a driving mode when the vehicle is in motion could help prevent this occurrence.
Also, make it a practice to limit extended travel times that lead to driving while too tired. This can also be a distraction since the driver’s reaction time and sensory perception are impaired.
Safe Driving Starts with Management
Having safe driving skills start with proper training. It is the manager’s duty to show their drivers how to safely operate a fleet. It is worth investing time and money into preparing your employees before they are allowed on the road. This is the best way to stop accidents from happening.
See our Business section for more information about ways to improve your company’s work safety.