As time goes by and more vehicles enter the street every year, navigating traffic becomes an increasingly difficult task. With the things as they are, even the smallest mistakes are paid with scratches, fender benders, and, in the worst-case scenario, head-on collisions.
Covering the costs of these accidents can range anywhere between a couple of hundreds to a couple of thousands of dollars. With the new recession lurking around the corner, this is a commodity your company simply can’t afford.
Let us take a look then at a couple of tips that will help you and your employees to cut the chances of these collisions to a bare minimum.
Set up a comprehensive driving program
Every far-reaching project starts with a plan, and your efforts towards reducing the company vehicle crashes are no different. The first thing you should do is to take a look at the data produced by your fleet management department. Going through these records will help you identify the situations that have caused the largest number of accidents, and potential weaknesses in your staff’s traffic behavior. With these figures on the table, you will be able to write a comprehensive driving program that will cover the following topics:
- Guidelines for changing the drivers’ attitudes
- Promote the “be safe” culture
- Tips for navigating difficult traffic situations
- Tips for economical driving
- Explanation of common traffic rules
- How to use common tools and accessories
- Set of incentives for following the guidelines
- Penalties for breaking the rules
Conduct regular training sessions and screenings
Of course, all the things we have mentioned will remain wishful thinking if you don’t put a conscious effort to realize them in practice. Incentives and penalties are one way of doing it. The other, even more, efficient way of bringing your program to life is to schedule regular training sessions that will allow you to see how your drivers are behaving in real-life situations, assess their skill, and see how far they have progressed from the previous session. To get the best results, you hire the services of a professional driving instructor.
Take care of the fleet maintenance
No matter how much effort you put into the training of your employees, they will be able to stay safe on the road only as far as their vehicles allow them. So, schedule weekly, monthly and annual inspections. The first signs of attrition, whether we are talking about deflated tires or worn-out brakes, should be addressed immediately. Nowadays, you can easily find a reputable online auto parts store with a great offer of top-quality replacement parts, so you should have no problem stocking your supplies for any case of emergency.
Root out the distractions
According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), distracted drivers have caused 3450 deaths on US roadways in 2016. Once again, the number of accidents that hadn’t had a fatal outcome is far higher. There are a couple of ways to mitigate this issue, though. For instance, employees should be assigned with wireless headsets that will allow them to answer emergency calls without looking off the road. Also, the ancillary equipment (e.g., GPS navigation) should, preferably, utilize voice commands. Finally, all vehicles should feature a decent level of sound-proofing that will protect the drivers from excessive traffic noise.
Consider updating your fleet
This may seem like an excessive move, and yes – buying a car for your business does require thoughtful consideration and noticeable upfront investment. However, keep in mind that these costs can be partially recuperated by selling one or more of the older cars from the fleet. For the difference in the price, you can get a brand new vehicle with better fuel efficiency, that is far easier to maintain, has better safety features and, hopefully, has driving assistance tools that will keep your employees protected and focused. We are talking about things like:
- Lane departure warning
- Collision sensors
- Driver attention monitors
- Blind-spot monitors
- Park assistance
- Automated emergency braking
- Rear cross-traffic alert
We hope these five tips gave you some general guidelines on the steps you can take to protect your employees and keep your fleet intact. Traffic accidents are a fact of life. But even though we can’t rule them out, we can make a conscious effort to cut the chances of one happening to a bare minimum. The mistakes and oversights in this regard are paid too dearly to take this gamble.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus in business, technology, entrepreneurship, and real estate.