The Health and Safety Executive estimates that up to a third of all UK road traffic accidents involve someone who is working at the time. This could account for more than 20 fatalities and 250 serious injuries every week.
People are typically less cautious when driving for work purposes. For instance, 80% of drivers who make business trips use their phone while driving, according to AXA Prevention, compared to 59% of people during personal journeys. Clearly, road safety needs to be a huge priority for fleet managers.
So, how can you reduce the risk of accidents and respond effectively when there is a problem? Here are five areas where fleet management services and solutions can help you to take action.
1.Reducing and optimising journeys
Lost or misused time isn’t good for any business but, when it comes to your fleet of vehicles, it could mean an increased risk of road accidents for your drivers. Therefore, it’s essential to eliminate unnecessary trips or limit the distances your drivers travel.
The data obtained using fleet management solutions will let you contextualise and geolocate your company vehicles to accurately analyse their movements. This will help you optimise the allocation of your fleet resources and limit the time spent on the road.
When travel can’t be avoided, caution should be exercised and encouraged when driving. In-cab coaches can inform a driver of any poor behaviour, such as speeding, sudden acceleration and braking, and idling. This real-time feedback is proven to make big improvements to a driver’s road conduct.
In addition, the data you’re able to collect, such as about your most-at-risk drivers, and the most frequent types of dangerous behaviour, will allow you to better define and personalise your needs for road safety training.
3.Ensuring optimal driving conditions
By taking good care of your fleet, you’ll also reduce the risk of accidents. So, be sure to:
- Use the most appropriate vehicles for their loads, journey types, and the roads they’ll travel.
- Regularly check the operating conditions of your company vehicles, logging any problems and ensuring they’re addressed as quickly as possible.
- Eliminate phone use while driving by installing real-time monitoring via the geolocation of vehicles. You won’t need to make phone calls to find out where your technicians or delivery drivers are — a quick glance at your fleet management platform will allow you to locate them.
- Make all your employees aware of the need to learn automatic safety reflexes. For example, they should check at the beginning of each phone call whether the other party is driving. If they are, ask them to call back later and hang up.
All of these tactics can be implemented by installing fleet management solutions and offering robust driver training.
4.Providing assistance in the event of an accident
Providing drivers with the best driving conditions doesn’t always prevent accidents. And, when an accident does happen, fleet management services and solutions can once again play a vital role.
For example, in April 2018, one of our clients’ technicians suffered a heart attack while driving. With no strength for anything else, he was able to press the E-call button (SOS) on his vehicle’s onboard eco-driving coach. This simple action triggered an immediate SMS, raising the alert and providing his exact GPS location to the regional manager. The fleet manager was then able to alert emergency services, who quickly took charge of the situation and saved the driver.
Collision detection also provides real-time notifications of the exact position and the severity of a road accident. This is reassuring for the driver, who knows that their employer has been informed and can act quickly.
5.Identifying dangerous road sections
The safety of your drivers isn’t purely determined by human behaviour and good equipment. The roads your workers use can also play their part in how dangerous your fleet’s journeys are. Plus, often, the safest roads aren’t necessarily the ones you would expect.
The right analysis can help to make drivers aware of the most dangerous sections of road in their areas of travel. Then, once identified, your routes can be planned and modified to avoid them.