Identifying and assessing at-risk drivers: 3 key steps
Fleets normally cost a lot of money to run. But at-risk drivers can cause budget blowouts and long-lasting damage to your fleet operations.
In seeking to control costs and keep more vehicles on the road, it’s essential to look at the risks presented by your drivers. By determining which drivers are most likely to cause road incidents and other issues, you can take quick remedial action, and enjoy fewer late-night awakenings, admin hassles, damaged vehicles, and unexpected costs as a result.
This blog will share how to watch out for at-risk drivers, so you have a better shot at protecting both your employees and overall fleet operations.
1. Consider key risk factors
Drivers expose fleets to risk in three major areas: safety, security, and efficiency. Fleet managers must consider each driver’s performance in those categories to get a complete picture of fleet risk.
Safety is a primary concern. When drivers do not handle company vehicles responsibly, they put themselves and others in harm’s way. Costly vehicle damage is often part of the picture as well.
Security is another important risk factor. Some disgruntled or terminated workers vandalise vehicles, commit fuel fraud, or steal from their employers — whether the loot is an entire vehicle or valuable items inside.
Lastly, at-risk employees can threaten your fleet’s overall efficiency by neglecting maintenance requirements, driving recklessly, or engaging in fuel-wasting behaviours such as idling or hard braking. Aside from causing downtime, these practices can severely diminish a vehicle’s value and useful life.
2. Uncover existing safety risks
Out of the above categories, safety is the one to focus on immediately. Uncovering safety risks posed by drivers is key to keeping everyone out of harm’s way, and protecting your fleet as a whole.
One key risk is personal injury. Accident injuries range from minor scrapes to permanent disability or death. This goes hand-in-hand with physical vehicle damage, whether the incident is a fender-bender or the damage is catastrophic.
Next, questions of liability arise. Your company may be held responsible for accidents affecting other motorists or pedestrians. Penalties and legal costs, combined with higher insurance premiums in the aftermath of third-party claims, could be high enough to put your company out of business.
Finally, reputation matters. Multiple fleet accidents can tarnish your company’s public image in a way that’s difficult to overcome.
3. Implement plans to successfully navigate the risks
After a hard look at the risks, it’s time to address them systematically for a safer, higher-performing fleet. Here are three important steps in managing fleet risks:
- Run criminal record checks during the hiring process. Your drivers’ past behaviour can be a powerful predictor of future risk, particularly in cases of drink-driving or major traffic violations. Use Driver Check to determine whether a driver’s license is in good standing and the Ministry of Justice procedures for requesting criminal records.
- Implement a consistent programme for assessing fleet risk. All employees should be assessed regularly. Drivers should know what is required of them, and how they are being evaluated, at all times. This involves looking at general driving safety performance and metrics such as length of time without road incidents.
- Implement driver training. A driver training programme can effectively root out unsafe driving behaviours, sharpen awareness of road rules, and keep drivers accountable.
Risk within your fleet can be hard to contain and minimise, but it is possible. It begins with understanding the risks and carefully evaluating your drivers. Review the major areas of risk, hone in on safety vulnerabilities, and regularly review and train your drivers to keep your fleet operations secure.
Topics: Fleet Risk Management