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    Fleet driver safety culture

    With the IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey recently being updated for 2016, it is clear to see from the results that the reinforcement of safe driver training and creating a safety culture within your fleet is of upmost importance and becoming more and more prevalent. Plus taking proactive steps in risk management can have a positive effect on your premiums for your fleet insurance policy. The survey itself looks at 2,000 UK motorists’ safety attitudes and behaviour and highlights both the potential and perceived threats to the safety of drivers on the road today.

    Some of the key findings in this report highlight:

    •    Over 85% of UK drivers believe that mobile phone distraction has worsened in the last three years
    •    Following mobile distraction, congestion is believed to be the second largest threat to drivers with 81% of those surveyed stating this and the increase of vehicles on the road is a cause for concern
    •    72% of drivers think that aggressive driving has worsened in the last three years
    •    And more than 60% feel that drug-driving has worsened in the last three years

    The report also addresses areas such as speeding, and ignoring red lights as well as asking respondents about their own driving habits and If they support potential new regulations in these areas.

    Most drivers know how and what they need to do to drive safely. The problem is enforcing the correct driving behaviour and creating a safety culture within your fleet to accomplish the change in behaviour. So what can you do to start creating a safety culture within your fleet? Here are a few of our top tips:

    Start with communicating the desired culture

    Implementing a safety culture begins with communication. Drivers should be leaving every meeting with safety on their mind. Ensure you add a small safety session within every meeting or written communication to your drivers and don’t forget to include the rest of the team. After all it’s not just the drivers for your business that represent your business whilst behind the wheel so include accounts, human resources, customer services, marketing, etc. Repetition of the safety message will increase day-to-day awareness of the issue and it won’t take long for safety to become part of your business culture this way.

    Implement a seat belt policy

    You would be surprised just how many drivers don’t use their seat belts. This can be enforced via regular safety checks and some telematics systems will even measure and record non-usage.

    Consider safety in your vehicle selection

    A safe driving culture is a two-way street and it’s not just all about placing demands on the driver. Drivers need to be supported not only with the correct fleet policies, but also with vehicles and equipment selected by considering their up-to-date safety features. Be aware of the options available out there and consider your fleet replacement cycle in terms of having leading edge safety features you can rely on.

    Recognise employees for their contributions towards safety accomplishments

    Whilst safe driving should be considered as an every-day expectation, it is also worth considering rewarding or providing recognition to individuals who have gone above and beyond expectations. So for example, recognising those having years and years of clean driving records, or those that consistently execute safe driving behaviour. Competitions and incentives based on driver safety can push home the message of a safe driving culture within the business.

    Provide measurement of safety accomplishments

    In order to drive a culture of safety it is also a good idea to provide measurable information and proof of improvements in safety. Statistics such as accident ratios, or percentages of chargeable accidents, percentages of drivers with clean records, the average costs of accidents, etc will help to reinforce the message to drivers. Everyone should also be aware of the cost of accidents and how this relates to company profitability.

    Fleet driver selection

    Investment in a good driver goes a long way to achieving maximum value for your fleet, with efficient fuel consumption, increased road safety and protection of the company image and reputation. Sensible recruitment decisions should therefore be based around safety as well as education, experience and industry knowledge. It is important to investigate driver records and be aware of any violations or issues from previous employment. Choosing your drivers should be undertaken with as much care as recruiting your top level executives.

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