By Bryan C. Calloway, Enterprise Fleet Management
Businesses that have a fleet of vehicles recognize that good drivers hold the keys to saving money and increasing productivity. In addition to the obvious savings that result from having fewer traffic tickets, vehicle collisions, personal injuries and worker compensation claims, good driving habits can conserve fuel and reduce the frequency and expense of repairs caused by excessive wear and tear on a vehicle. But, knowing how to develop, implement and enforce an effective driver safety program can be a challenge, especially for companies that depend on having drivers on the job instead of attending classes.
Working with a professional fleet management company can streamline the driver training process. It can also ensure that all of the necessary factors are taken into consideration, from developing a written safety policy that’s tailored to the company’s needs, to recommending options for driver training courses.
Because good driving is good business it’s important to begin with a written fleet safety policy, and good examples are easy to find on the Internet. According to Automotive Fleet magazine, an excellent source of information on this topic, the content of the policy should cover a number of areas:
- Introduction, including general policy statement
- Basic driver policy, including cell phones and seat belts
- Driver education and training
- Accident reporting, classification, and consequences
- Violation classification, points, and consequences
- Safety reward program (if applicable)
- Motor vehicle records (MVRs) checks
- Driver sign-off
In addition, for businesses with fleet operations in multiple states, cities and counties, it’s important for the policy to specifically address differences in laws covering everything from hands-free cell phone use to personal versus commercial driver’s license requirements.
Featuring high-impact graphics and audio to keep the user engaged, a variety of interactive driver education and training courses are available online, making it easy and convenient for drivers to log on and complete lesson modules that may be specifically selected to focus on issues for individual drivers. Courses that include quizzes at key intervals and tests at the end of a module enable business managers to monitor their drivers’ progress and scores.
As in every business situation, a fleet safety policy is only as good as management’s commitment to enforcing rules, changing behaviors and rewarding accomplishments. The most important factor is to develop an organizational standard for safe driving and commit to enforcing those standards for every driver without exception.
Although it’s not necessary to reward drivers for maintaining a good driving record, a rewards program that creates a sense of competition can go a long way in increasing awareness and motivation for other drivers. Programs can range from simple letters of congratulation from top management and an article in the company newsletter to monetary rewards or access to a newer vehicle with upgraded equipment.
No matter what approach or programs are chosen, it’s possible for every business to improve their company’s bottom line and most importantly, help keep their drivers safe and sound.
Bryan C. Calloway is director, business development and manufacturer relations for Enterprise Fleet Management, a full-service fleet management business for companies with medium-sized fleets, supplies most makes and models of cars, light- and medium-duty trucks and service vehicles across North America. With 58 fully-staffed offices nationwide, Enterprise Fleet Management has been recognized with the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) “Blue Seal of Excellence” award for 14 consecutive years, an industry record. For more information about Enterprise Fleet Management’s environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of the fleet management business, visit http://drivingfutures.com/fleetmanagement/. For more information about Enterprise Fleet Management, visit www.efleets.com or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.