Fleet safety is a hot topic. Hotter still, as we approach the FMCSA final ruling date for the mandated use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) – an initiative that’s sole purpose is to make our roads safer.
But talking about safety and doing something about safety are two different things and as a recent Automotive Fleet article points out, are quite often not as joined-at-the-hip as you might hope.
The article’s author, Mike Antich states that while many senior managers say safety is a top concern, suppliers of fleet safety programs and related services indicate the concern for safety often doesn’t translate into action.
More and more fleets are experiencing increases in preventable accidents, which statistics support, are mostly caused by driver distraction. In fact, 25-30% of all fleet-related accidents are caused by distracted drivers. These, by their very nature, are considered preventable.
The article asks a really great question too. The overall total commercial fleet accident rate averages around 20%. The author suggests we consider a manufacturing analogy – so now we are talking about a 20% defect rate. The question – what industry would view a 20% defect rate as acceptable? It makes you think right? The scenario becomes even more unreasonable when you consider again that these accidents or defects are completely controllable. How many accidents could you avoid? How significantly would you be able to lower costs? How much money would you save? And most importantly, how many people would be better off?
It’s all about Fleet Safety, and being safe reduces costs
Studies indicate accidents make up at least 14% of a fleet’s total expenses. The author of the Automotive Fleet article mentions that while a fleet manager’s job consists of reducing accident repair costs, many find it counter-intuitive that costs can be reduced by incurring expenses. To quote the article, “the real cost savings occur when you train your drivers to drive safely. If a driver training program results in fewer accidents, the payoff is tremendous.”
Focus on your drivers
Back to the fact that fleet managers focus on reducing repair costs. In the example offered in the article, you have 100 repairs for the year and you manage to reduce repair costs by $100 per repair. You have reduced your overall repair costs by $10,000. Let’s say you also manage to reduce your repair costs by $10,000 per year for 10 years straight. One lawsuit can change all that – wiping out all ten years of cost savings in the matter of a second.
So it’s really about avoiding the accidents in the first place. And the way you do this is to focus on driver behavior. There is no better tool to do this, than your fleet management solution (such as Webtech Fleet Center). As we are in the business to help commercial fleets be more safe, reduce costs and generate competitive advantages – we have a few examples (Coach Canada, Driver Scorecard blog post) of how organizations have used their fleet management solutions to better train their drivers for maximum organizational benefit. Your fleet management solution empowers you with the ability to track hard-braking, speeding and excessive vehicle wear and tear. You can now take that data and use it to educate your drivers, use it to coach, re-train and re-visit when required. Use that data to engage and reward drivers for great behavior and celebrate with them for having made such significant, positive impacts on their organization, the industry, their families and the public at large.
Do you have a fleet management solution? Now is the time to start using your driver behavior data for the betterment of your business. If you don’t have a solution, we can get you started. Contact us to learn how a fleet management solution can work for you.
To read the full Automotive Fleet article, click here