When managing a fleet of vehicles for your business, driver safety must be the priority at all times. Otherwise, it could cause financial losses, reputational damage, or even cost lives. To achieve the best results you will need all drivers to be fully behind the cause, but it is ultimately down to managers to set the tone to steer all workers on the path to success.
Investing in Vestige fleet tracking systems will certainly have a positive impact on company-wide driver safety protocols. However, understanding potential repercussions and forcing those points home to the drivers themselves is one of the most important steps you can take.
The risks of overlooking driver safety for drivers
Many people assume that truck drivers are among the safest road users simply due to the number of hours they spend behind the wheel. However, they are not immune from accidents, as is highlighted by the fact that 130,000 truck-related injuries are recorded in the US each year.
As a fleet manager, the following consequences of ignoring driver safety should be emphasized to all drivers to encourage a more conscious approach to driver safety;
Accidents cause death
Roughly 4,600 deaths involving semi-trucks occur each year, which should naturally be viewed as the ultimate risk of poor driver safety. And if it is another road user that dies as a result of an accident, the driver would have to deal with the emotional turmoil it brings.
Alternatively, serious injuries could leave the driver unable to work. Given that many truck drivers are contractors, it could spell financial disaster.
Poor driving can lead to driving penalties
Driving licenses are a valuable asset for all road users, but truck drivers would lose their livelihood if they incurred a driving ban. Frequent or severe safety violations could see their license revoked or terminated. Even if they don’t, bosses could let them go.
Aside from losing the current job, it would make it impossible to find other driving jobs, meaning that a change of career is needed. And the ban would impact personal driving too.
Poor driving brings financial costs
Aside from putting the license at risk, accidents are likely to increase a driver’s insurance costs. Even when truckers have accidents in business vehicles, the negative impacts will spread to their personal driving experiences too.
As such, bad driving habits as a trucker can be very costly indeed. Even if they do not lose their job as a result of it.
What can drivers do to remain safe?
Drivers should familiarize themselves with the biggest threats to their safety on the road. Tire pressure and tread is one of the most common problems while others include drowsy driving, distracted driving, speeding, and not adapting to adverse weather conditions. Taking the extra steps to avoid those problems will make a huge difference to individual driver safety.
Intuition does play a significant role. However, the use of a fleet management system that actively plots smarter routes and tracks vehicle health to ensure that quality standards are maintained is where true success will be achieved.
The risks of overlooking driver safety for companies
Driver safety is equally vital from a business perspective. Aside from the human responsibility to keep employees safe, there are several serious issues to consider. Some of the potential problems that you could encounter as a result of ignoring driver safety include, but are not limited to;
- Lost time caused by vehicle downtime. Businesses lose $3.3bn per year due to this issue and it may also cause delays to projects, productivity, or deliveries.
- Damaged reputation. When on the road, your vehicles are on public display. Breakdowns or accidents influence public opinions of the company.
- Increased operational overheads due to accident claims from other drivers, replacing damaged parts or vehicles, and increased insurance premiums.
- Reduced productivity as unsafe drivers are likely to overlook other key factors of their journeys. Driver morale could also take a nosedive.
- An inferior safety culture on the roads is likely to encourage the company to overlook safety in warehouses or other workspaces.
To ensure that driver safety is under control, managers must invest in the right vehicles and regular maintenance. Likewise, there is a need to support drivers with the right training while simultaneously protecting their physical and mental health.
Above all else, a fleet management system that uses real-time data tracking to help drivers and managers focus on driver safety and efficiency at all times will transform safety on the road.
To learn more about the best tools for your truck, lorry, and van drivers, contact Vestige to request a demo today!