Poor driver behaviour: Why and how you should address it
Dealing with ballooning costs as well as accidents and the ensuing downtime are all hassles that can arise when managing your fleet operations get out of hand. But how do you avoid these inevitable problems and help keep more vehicles on the road?
One of the key things to address is poor driver behaviour. Driver performance is a major factor in the success of any fleet, and tackling your drivers’ behavioural issues swiftly and decisively is a must if you aim to keep your fleet running smoothly.
In this blog, we’ll go over why managing poor driver behaviour is essential, and some of the tools you can use to do it well.
Why it’s important to improve your employees’ driving behaviour
Improving the way your drivers handle your fleet vehicles is key for your company’s long-term outlook, for a number of reasons.
First, poor driving behaviour hurts a company’s brand image. If your fleet drivers behave erratically or irresponsibly on the road, it will reflect poorly on your company. Other people — including potential customers who share the road with your drivers — are watching and noticing.
Second, poor driver behaviour can lead to major costs and legal troubles. Bad driving form, such as hard acceleration and braking, speeding, ‘road rage’ and other unsafe actions, can waste fuel, incur traffic violations, and cause expensive accidents.
In the event of a collision and injuries to employees or third parties, the burden could be on your organisation to take full legal responsibility. If your business is found to be at fault, the admin and costs involved can be devastating.
Needless to say, regulating driving behaviour should be a top priority.
Some of the keys to better driver behaviour management include having better visibility into individual employee driving patterns, getting buy-in for a driving safety culture across your company, and using the right tools and technologies.
3 tools for managing poor driver behaviour
Here are a few essential parts of the driver behaviour management toolbox:
1. Driver reports
Driver reports, with detailed analysis on incidents and driver profiling, give you a complete overview on how individual drivers are performing and adhering to your health and safety program over time.
Today’s transparent mobile reporting technologies allow you to carefully track how each driver performs behind the wheel — and this data can form the basis of your driver reports. By reviewing these reports, you can spot unsafe driving immediately and conduct remedial training for those employees who need it. You will also be able to incentivise good performance by rewarding drivers with a track record of safety.
2. Clear safe driving rules.
Having clear driving expectations outlined in company documents such as a vehicle policy or health and safety notices, that drivers can easily access, is extremely important when you have a mobile workforce. By communicating these expectations in a clear and concise way as well as keeping the ‘message alive’, will ensure drivers have them front of mind at all times.
Another tool you can use to gain drivers commitment to safe driving is in a Safe Driving Pledge. Choosing a few of the most important safe driving topics to your company, you can communicate to employees the standard of driving that is acceptable and not acceptable and get them to agree by signing their name to it.
2. Real-time training
While trends are important, real-time feedback and training for drivers are also key.
With technologies that monitor and audibly alert drivers to poor vehicle handling, such as harsh movements or failure to observe speed limits and other road rules, you can keep your drivers accountable and train them to operate more responsibly while on the job.
In-vehicle training can be just one part of an overall driver training programme that makes your fleet operations safer and lowers overall risk.
Don’t ignore the role driver behaviour plays in your fleet operations. By emphasising the importance of driving safety in your organisation and using a few key tools — such as driver reports, in-vehicle training, and video monitoring — you’re on your way to running a safer, more efficient fleet.
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Topics: Accident Management