How to Make Safety a Priority for Your Drivers
For companies with vehicles on the road, one of the most important, yet difficult, tasks is getting your drivers to take the topic of vehicle safety seriously. For many, it’s a topic that elicits eye rolls and glazed-over expressions. If this sounds like your employees, then read on because in this article, we’ll discuss several tips that you can use to make safety a priority for your drivers.
Devise a Safety Policy
One of the first, and most important, steps in making safety a priority is to develop a vehicle and safety policy. This policy will serve as the standard to which all of your drivers will be held. It needs to cover a variety of topics including: distracted driving, seat belt usage, driver education (more on that later), violation and accident procedures, Motor Vehicle Reports, consequences, rewards, and more. By outlining your expectations in writing, there is little room for interpretation when a situation arises. A comprehensive policy also conveys to your drivers the seriousness in which the company takes the topic of safety. All drivers should read and sign that they understand the policy prior to getting behind the wheel. Their acknowledgement should also be kept in their employee file.
Monitor Motor Vehicle Reports
It should go without saying, but if you are going to hire an employee to get behind the wheel on company business, you should do your due diligence prior to handing them the keys. That means that every employee you hire to drive a vehicle should be required to sign off on a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) check. By ordering a potential employee’s MVR, you’ll be able to take a look at their driving history and see any violations or patterns of behavior that may be disqualifying.
However, it’s not enough to check a driver’s MVR upon hire. Drivers can receive violations or be involved in accidents during their course of employment too. It’s for that reason you need to be continuously monitoring drivers’ MVRs. There are various companies out there who can perform this service for you so that you’re aware of any potential issues before they become a potential liability for your business.
Introduce Training Tools
In today’s technologically advanced world, driver training doesn’t have to mean 6-8 hours sitting in a classroom. While that is certainly still an option, driver education can be done in a variety of ways. There are numerous online options that allow drivers to complete the training at their own pace. For more advanced instruction, there is even the option of having in-vehicle training with a driving safety instructor. Regardless of which method you prefer, it’s important to introduce this ongoing education so that drivers can continue to hone their skills. Implementing training programs lets the drivers know that safety is indeed a major focus and not something to be ignored.
While not for every company, many have decided to implement the use of telematics to bolster their safety initiative. Telematics aids safety in several ways. Firstly, when drivers know that they are being monitored, they are more likely to drive conservatively and avoid taking any unnecessary risks. Secondly, telematics allows the company to identify patterns in driving behavior and head off any potential issues before a situation arises.
Reward Safe Driving
People are motivated in different ways, but one of the most successful motivational tactics is by offering rewards. These rewards can vary from something small such as recognition among peers, to tangible items such as plaques or trophies, or even something monetary such as cash, an additional day off, etc. Regardless of what incentive program you choose, be sure to clearly outline what is going to be measured, and how you’re going to measure it. This will ensure that all drivers understand the rules of the program and eliminate any potential appearance of unfairness.