When you have a company fleet, it’s essential to prioritise safety. One of the ways to achieve this is by learning how to deal with risky and irresponsible drivers effectively.
Compared to regular drivers, fleet drivers often spend hours operating commercial vehicles. These vehicles are used to deliver goods across various regions or pick up employees and passengers from different destination routes, depending on the company’s needs. Unfortunately, fleet drivers can be prone to road accidents.
According to statistics, most accidents happen due to the driver’s lack of focus when driving. Often, drowsiness and the use of smartphones are the common causes of driver inattention. Fleet drivers are also prone to dangerous acts, such as running a red light and speeding, which may lead to accidents. Once it happens, your company may spend more on vehicle fines, repairs, and claims.
Knowing what age group has the most drunk driving accidents is one thing to consider. But, regardless of your driver’s age, as a fleet manager, you should know how to deal with irresponsible and risky drivers. This avoids liabilities such as injuries, lawsuits, asset downtime, and expensive repairs.
If you don’t know where to start, below are things to keep in mind:
1. Have A Written Policy And Take It Seriously
Having a written policy for your fleet drivers to follow is critical. It should include clear rules about what they should expect from regular operations and the possible consequences once they act recklessly while doing their job. Moreover, you should take your policies seriously so your drivers will do their work responsibly and avoid incidents that may impact your business and escalate costs unnecessarily.
If you don’t want to miss anything in your policy, you can contact other fleet managers to know what to include. It won’t only help you implement policies successfully, but you’ll also improve your current policy or determine which ones can benefit your business.
2. Train Drivers Regularly
As mentioned, risky and irresponsible driver behavior may cost your company a lot of resources, especially if it’s a recurring issue. Because of this, regular driver training is essential to keep your fleet drivers competent and skilled. Training teaches new drivers safety skills and can also be an excellent strategy for maintaining a safe fleet of vehicles for your business.
It would be best if you understood the risks associated with your daily operations, drivers, and drivers for the best results. Using a fleet analysis tool to analyse historical data on poor behavior, accidents, and theft will help you conduct a risk assessment.
You can consider various training solutions, each with its pros and cons. Depending on your company’s unique needs, here are some of your options:
- Online Training: Aside from being affordable, this training approach is convenient when scheduling sessions relevant to every driver’s specific duty and responsibility. However, online training can be less engaging than face-to-face sessions, which may impact the driver’s learning rate.
- Training Workshops And Group Sessions: It’s a cost-effective training approach that enables you to train more drivers simultaneously. It’s best to resolve and target common issues that most drivers often experience.
- On-Road Fleet Driver Training: Unlike other training methods, on-road fleet driver training adds value when specialised equipment and vehicles are used. This training approach is effective as the instructor can work directly with all drivers to practice a safe operating procedure. The only disadvantage of this training is that it’s expensive and time-consuming.
Whatever types of training you use, each one must be routinely updated and reviewed based on its effectiveness. You can also ask your fleet drivers which training approach they prefer.
3. Use Fleet Management Tools
Managing a company fleet can be challenging, regardless of its size. This is why fleet managers should use an effective fleet management tool to help support their daily operations and manage fleet drivers effectively.
One of the benefits of fleet management systems is that it provides real-time visibility into your fleet’s operations. It also reduces fuel usage and increases driver satisfaction through accurate reporting and predictive analytics.
4. Provide Rewards Or Incentives For Good Behavior
Another way to deal with risky drivers is to implement an incentive or reward program for good behavior. Good incentive programs can help improve your drivers’ behaviors off and on the road. These may also boost your fleet driver’s performance and maximize your company’s bottom line by decreasing insurance premiums, fuel consumption, and associated costs with accidents.
5. Dismiss Drivers If Necessary
Once you’ve tried everything to discipline an irresponsible driver, but the issue is recurrent, the best thing you can do is dismiss the team member. It’s ideal to spend time and resources on drivers willing to change their behaviors. Otherwise, risky and irresponsible drivers would only cost your company more resources and cause reputation damage. If you don’t want that to happen, it’s time to hire more reliable drivers in your fleet.
Dealing with irresponsible and risky drivers in your fleet isn’t easy. Implementing the necessary policies and improving your fleet safety program takes time, hard work, and effort.
Luckily, regardless of how big or small your fleet is, following the above strategies can make a difference in managing your fleet drivers properly. When implemented correctly, you’ll have reliable drivers and lessen potential expenses associated with fleet driving accidents.