Changing Driver Behavior

How employees drive a company vehicle determines how safe they will be on the road. If you change driving behavior, you have a direct impact on the safety-consciousness of your drivers.
   It seems that safety is on everyone’s mind today – and for good reason. But not everyone realizes that safety starts with a focus on driver behavior. How robust is your company’s driver training policy? How effectively do you implement and hold your drivers accountable to the policy? Training drivers during onboarding is not enough. Are you providing ongoing training, updates and guidance? Do you have a no-cell-phone-use policy? A list of best practices? Regular vehicle inspections? Driver monitoring? Your employees represent your organization when they’re on the road. Are you doing enough to ensure their safety and your reputation?
   There is no question that risky driver behavior leads an increase in accidents, additional wear and tear on vehicles, and increased fuel costs due to poor driving habits. At the same time, poor driver behavior puts organizations at an increased opportunity for risk every time that driver gets behind the wheel. And it isn’t just the cost of the accident that can impact your budget. The additional soft costs that often get lost in the discussion revolving around risk, compliance and safety include the expense related to the repair of the vehicle, lost productivity and vehicle downtime. Simply put, a vehicle that needs repairs is not out on the road generating revenue for your business. Companies need to tackle this challenge head on, making safety a priority within the organization’s culture by implementing a proactive, well communicated safety program supported by training and regular monitoring.
   Similarly, technology will play a greater role in enhancing fleet safety programs. Advances in technology are also making training more impactful, gamification more viable, and communications among all stakeholders more pervasive. Going forward, these are the building blocks of a sustainable foundation for driver behavioral modification and enthusiastic support of a safety policy that goes beyond compliance.
   Another growing trend is the convergence of safety and sustainability. There are many similarities between eco-driving techniques and safe-driving techniques. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between safe driving and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It’s been proven: the safer the driver, the lower the GHG emissions.
   Although two very different factors, they are playing a larger role in fleet consideration because they are being influenced by directives from the top. Companies recognize the value in both safety and sustainability to their employees, customers, and shareholders. Fleet managers need to understand and somehow quantify the value of both to their company.
Bottom Line: Managing driver safety will positively impact a company’s bottom line for the better.