Keeping your fleet safe is important, no matter how big or small your field service or delivery business is. Having a solid company fleet safety plan helps lower the chances of accidents, injuries, lawsuits, and financial losses. But it doesn't stop there. A thoughtful, and well-implemented fleet safety plan makes your business more efficient, productive, and respected. It can also work in your favor for insurance claims as well as any legal action.
Where to Start?
Below, we’ve outlined 5 key elements of a company safety program, along with tips to make the program better through GPS tracking tools. These elements and tips are designed to make your safety plan development easier and give you more confidence as your employees take to the road to support your customers in 2024.
5 Key Elements of Fleet Safety
A good fleet safety program is vital to keeping your fleet safe and sound. It helps to get things fixed correctly when they go wrong. But, more importantly, a good fleet safety program can help prevent problems in the first place. And that’s not just good for your business…it’s good for your drivers' safety, customer satisfaction, and everyone out on the road.
#1: Fleet Safety Policies and Procedures
Start by creating (and documenting) a fleet safety policy with simple and clear safety rules that you want all of your drivers to follow. Include things they should be accountable for, like wearing seat belts, following speed limits, staying focused on the road at all times (no texting/talking, no tailgating, no eating, etc.), and obeying traffic laws. Make sure all drivers know and understand your fleet safety policy, and have them sign an acknowledgement.
Implementation Tip: Add real-time visibility
A Linxup GPS tracking solution lets you monitor how your drivers are doing on the road—like if they're going too fast, braking too hard, or accelerating too quickly. Add a linxCam dash cam with AI and you’ll literally have eyes on the road and in the cab…where camera-generated alerts can address things in real time and equip you with data for coaching sessions to help them drive more safely.
#2: Driver Safety Training and Education
Create a standardized training program that includes safe driving practices, defensive driving techniques, and any specific risks associated with how you operate your fleet. Have employees take the training when they start, and then no less than once per year...and keep a log. Then, hold brief fleet safety education sessions each quarter to reinforce these principles and keep drivers informed about the latest safety protocols.
Implementation Tip: Get better results with historical data
With a Linxup GPS tracking solution, you are able to view travel, location, and operational data down to the individual driver, so you can see how everyone is doing, and how an individual is doing. This allows you to discuss important issues during regular fleet safety meetings and personalize coaching for employees who need more specific guidance.
#3: Fleet Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance, Inspection, and Operation
Create a documented plan for vehicle and equipment maintenance, inspection, and operation. For maintenance and inspections, stick to a regular checkup routine for all fleet vehicles and equipment to prevent deferred and delayed maintenance. Look over everything carefully, address any break/fixes right away, and keep good records of what you do.
For vehicle and equipment operation, create a clear, simple, and easy-to-access safety manual for each type that covers pre-use, use, and post-use safety procedures. Have employees read and sign a safety acknowledgement that they understand and will follow the requirements.
Implementation Tip: Get auto-reminders
With a Linxup GPS tracking solution, you can input all maintenance, inspections, safety training and updates, safety acknowledgement schedules, and more in one convenient, easy to access place… whether the item is tracked or not. Simply input basic information, set the auto-reminder date, and Linxup does the rest to help you not miss a beat. For tracked items, Linxup goes even further. You also get usage and location data to help determine any necessary changes in maintenance and inspection schedules.
#4: Incident Response Plan
Establish a specific, documented process for responding to road incidents, including everyone who should be notified and when. Document the time, date, location, people, vehicles, and equipment involved, any insurance information, and whether or not law enforcement or other legal was involved.
Also be sure to create an open door policy for incident reporting. This can be as important for 'close calls' as it is for actual accidents. Use the information to update training and processes that help make your company fleet safety program better.
Prevention Tip: Use smart technology
With a Linxup GPS tracking solution, you can take additional steps to prevent incidents from happening. In addition to route optimization to avoid bad weather and crowded roads, a Linxup system can alert you in real time to unsafe driver behaviors that increase risk…like harsh braking, hard acceleration, tailgating, not wearing a seat belt, and distracted driving (talking/texting, etc.).
#5: Annual Risk and Cost Reduction Audit
Perform an annual insurance audit to ensure you have the right kind and right levels of coverage. Be sure to ask about rate reduction opportunities for GPS tracking solutions and dash cameras. Also perform an annual compliance check up to ensure you are following all applicable regulations (ELD, Hazmat, OSHA, etc.) to avoid potential fines and service disruptions.
Risk Reduction Tip: Integrate technology for better data and evidence
A Linxup GPS tracking solution records location-based data and video that can be used to coach drivers to safer behavior. This data can also be used to exonerate drivers with insurance companies, law enforcement, and in legal proceedings. Linxup also offers a flexible FMCSA-certified ELD solution that can have your drivers in compliance in just a few days.
No Better Time Than Now
Fleet safety is increasingly important to field operations. Getting started on a company fleet safety plan can be easier than you think. Begin with these five key elements above and utilize the power of Linxup to make your safety program more robust.