Small businesses that operate with fleets need to go the extra mile with fleet safety because the risk of accidents runs high despite the best preparation. While accidents can cause massive financial loss to the company, they can bring lawsuits and cause reputational damage as well. A safe environment for drivers and motorists on the road, therefore, should be the top priority. A proactive approach towards fleet safety can make all the difference but businesses are seldom aware of what needs to be done. Fortunately, there are options to improve fleet safety and without investing a fortune. Here is an actionable fleet safety guide that every business can trust to prevent mishaps and improve its bottom line.
Selecting the right vehicles
The choice of the right vehicles is critical for fleet safety. Ideally, businesses should opt for the makes and models that have a good reputation from the safety perspective. When it comes to selecting the vehicles, the kind of loads to be carried, weight and volume, and other specifications are to be considered. Further, there is also a need to bear in mind the future needs in addition to the current ones. Apart from being careful about choosing the right vehicles, getting the safety reports for them before leasing or buying is crucial.
Being vigilant about the drivers
Apart from picking the right vehicle, the company needs to be vigilant about hiring experienced and capable drivers. If there are specific types of vehicles in the fleet, the operators should have the right credentials to handle them. Driver records provide relevant information for assessing their ability. As a precaution, the business should go the extra mile to check convictions for traffic violations, crimes, and suspensions. They must avoid having drivers with bad records on board.
Investing in driver training
While having only the right drivers to operate fleet vehicles is crucial, investing in driver training isn’t a choice. As business capital and people’s lives are at stake, it is just a small investment that a responsible employer can make. A program that addresses the value of a positive driving attitude can make all the difference. It makes the drivers capable of handling stressful situations that are often a part of operating larger vehicles and traveling long distances.
Being proactive about vehicle maintenance
Even the safest vehicles and best drivers are susceptible to mishaps if the business goes slack with the maintenance part. As a victim, you can hold them liable for negligence if a mishap happens because of the lack of vehicle maintenance. A lawyer can help you get full compensation for your auto accident injury by proving the company’s fault in the court. So it makes sense for businesses to have a proactive vehicle maintenance schedule in place to prevent mishaps in the first place. It is equally important to take quick actions for repairs as and when there is a need.
Implementing stringent safety guidelines
Another crucial aspect for businesses that operate fleets is to implement stringent safety guidelines for their drivers. Issues like distracted driving and DUI need to be handled with a zero-tolerance approach because the company ends up being responsible for the negligence of the driver. If they are not strict enough about safe driving, they can get into a fix even without being directly liable for the mishaps. Also, there should be rules related to driving hours, rest breaks, and long-distance driving to minimize the chances of mishaps.
Going the extra mile with fleet safety tech
For businesses that want to go the extra mile with safety, investment in technology is a smart decision. Tools such as GPS and onboard cameras can help them keep track of vehicles and drivers at all times. Telematics can provide key data for driver behavior monitoring, which can be useful for nailing the culprits and ensuring that they are no longer on board. Although these smart applications may be a considerable investment, they can go a long way in saving the business from lawsuits and loss of reputation.
Building a company culture that prioritizes safety is equally important, whether a business operates a few taxis or runs a multi-million dollar fleet of trucks and trailers. Ultimately, employees care about safety only when employers are serious about it. So it boils down to making it a focus in the daily operations rather than just emphasizing its importance once in a while or during the periodic training sessions. Safety has to be the top concern, not just an afterthought because a little effort can save lives.