Altering driver behaviour to create safe roads
Are your employees safe drivers? The answer could reveal whether your company is part of the solution or the problem of dangerous roads.
Safer drivers not only serve your company by minimising fleet downtime, limiting costs, and reducing liability and risk; they make the roads safer. This enables your brand to earn a solid reputation while creating safer daily commutes for all Kiwis.
Follow these tips on changing driver behaviour, and your fleet operators will be better positioned to protect themselves and other motorists.
1. Learn to recognise harmful driving habits
Driver behaviour is the difference between a safe fleet and one surrounded by constant crashes, budget blowouts, and high risk.
Some of the most harmful habits include:
- Mobile phone usage while driving. Texting and making calls, even when using hands-free smartphone functions, can severely limit a driver’s focus and lead to deadly crashes within seconds.
- Distracted driving. Aside from using phones, manipulating navigation devices, playing music, and eating food are also highly distracting activities.
- Fatigued driving. Driving while fatigued can be just as hazardous as driving while intoxicated. Rest stops are crucial: 20% of fatal crashes and 30% of severe single-vehicle accidents in rural areas involve fatigued drivers.
- Aggressive manoeuvres. Tailgating, speeding, dangerous overtaking, sudden braking, and zooming through yellow or red lights can have deadly consequences.
These habits either take a driver’s attention off the road or give other motorists little time to react. On average, fleets have a 20% accident rate per year, and your fleet’s risk will remain high unless these behaviours are rooted out.
2. Understanding the importance of driver training
Modern transparent reporting technologies can provide instant visibility into journeys and enable you to act quickly. But tech isn’t the whole solution.
Ultimately, preventing crashes comes down to driver behaviour — and upskilling your fleet through a comprehensive driver training programme.
There are several benefits to structured training:
- Drivers gain better road risk awareness, enabling them to drive safely no matter the conditions.
- They gain an understanding of risk management, so they always know how to avoid danger and reduce the risk of future incidents.
- You can track skill improvements.
- Drivers stay accountable for their own progress.
- Online driver training can be used anytime and anywhere, nationally or internationally.
SurePlan’s driver training offers all the above and more. Our programme gives your fleet drivers the practical, real-world skills they need to stay clear of potential hazards and keep themselves and fellow motorists safe.
3. Maintain a culture of safety
Safer roads result when drivers personally care about safety. Achieve this within your fleet by building an enduring safety culture.
Teachings and open discussions around safety should be held, but not just once. They should be repeated often. This will help refresh awareness of your company’s safe driving policy and the importance of always following it.
Also, go beyond ‘lectures’ and incentivise safe driving by recognising or rewarding drivers who maintain incident-free records. This will help build motivation, aspiration, and accountability among your staff.
Building a safety culture in this way reduces poor driver behaviour and the dangerous crashes, huge costs, and legal troubles that go with it. By taking the lead on safety, you can keep everyone on the same page, minimise incidents, and build a safety-conscious brand over time.
Road safety is a critical concern in New Zealand, and your fleet has an opportunity to be a leader on this issue. Improve driver behaviour by addressing dangerous habits, starting a training programme, and creating a strong safety culture. This will produce lower costs, safer employees, and ultimately, a safer commute for everyone.
Could outsourcing your fleet risk management save you money? Find out here!
Topics: Driver Training