Do you have processes in place to prevent accidents and improve driver safety? How much are your fleet-related accidents costing your company? Repairs, vehicle downtime, lost business and diminished productivity all add up even with each fender bender. But, it is possible to prevent many fleet related accidents from happening while keeping your drivers safer.
The best way to reduce fleet costs related to your driver's accidents? Prevent them. Driver safety and accident management tend to be a major challenge (and cost) for fleet managers. Preventing fleet-related accidents can drastically lower your operating costs and keep your drivers safer. Did you know you already have what you need to prevent accidents?
Take a minute to recall how many accidents your company has paid for in the last 3 years. Now imagine that you had a key to unlock all the information needed to prevent many, if not most, of those accidents. How much would that have saved your company in cost, time, and lost productivity? In this technologically savvy world there is a proverbial key that can prevent many of your drivers’ accidents from happening while keeping them safer: DATA. You see, like any key, data doesn’t work unless you actually use it. Joe Voors, a National Client Partnership Manager for Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, agrees, “The information is there. It’s knowing the ‘so what’ of it all: what is actionable and what you do with all that information that counts.”
Which data is key to preventing accidents?
Annual motor vehicle reports (MVRs)
Annually run, track, and analyze driver performance to reduce risky driver behaviors and accidents on the job. Once you have identified those riskier drivers, you can assign them to specific training based on any frequent offenses. This helps uncover what type of potential risks there are and pro-actively stop accidents. It also allows you to continuously monitor drivers over time to discover which drivers continue to struggle with safety, despite training.
Take a closer look at your accident data to determine if accidents are truly avoidable. Are the accidents that are identified as “non-preventable” really impossible to prevent? It might surprise you just how many accidents you can prevent that you once thought you couldn’t.
Reviewing the various types of driver accidents helps determine which are most frequent. You can use this information to identify necessary training, issue changes in policy, determine the need for additional driver assistance technology, or simply reorganize vehicles or routes to directly address and prevent these recurring accidents.
Time of day
Do most of your driver accidents seem to happen during rush-hour? After hours? When you have this kind of information, you have the opportunity to potentially restrict drive time and enforce safer driving routines.
The highway, back-roads, parking lots… discovering where most of your fleet accidents happen can help you arrange alternate routes, establish new policies,and provide driver-specific training.
Data discovery driver details One delivery company was surprised to find that 40% of their accidents were coming from only 15% of their fleet drivers. Solution: The company required the drivers to attend training to improve driving habits. Results: Claims reduced by 14% and adding $124,000 to bottom-line annually.
Making sense of your fleet data to improve driver safety
Typically fleet managers are stuck with the timeconsuming task of sorting through mountains of driver data, then trying to interpret that data to identify trending issues. Based on that interpretation, fleet managers can make changes to driver policy and/or training to prevent future accidents. This alone can become a full time job. Many fleet managers choose to partner with an Accident Management program to review all the data and put it to good use. According to Voors, “It’s important to have an experienced partner who will interpret and provide effective insights and recommended solutions. This will help deliver increased driver safety and reduce accident-related costs for any fleet.” The effectiveness of those changes can then be measured by comparing the results of new safety efforts.
What’s next for managing accidents?
In a perfect world, all accidents would be preventable. Who knows? Since an estimated 97% of all accidents are related to human-error, maybe autonomous vehicles will eventually take over the fleet industry and make accidents a thing of the past. But, until then, make friends with your fleet’s accident data, or - better yet - partner with a driver safety and vehicle accident mitigation program to wield that “key” for you. Using this valuable data is a company’s best defense against higher operating costs, increased downtime, and diminished productivity that inevitably comes with fleet-related accidents.