Hitting The Brakes on Driver Risk
Fleet managers are constantly juggling a number of tasks and managing a range of key issues - one of the most challenging of which is driver risk. Adopting a fleet risk management strategy can help to significantly reduce accidents, damage, and insurance claims through driver management tailored training and maintenance.
Recommended Driver Risk Strategies For Fleet Managers
As with other industries, digitalisation is helping to streamline fleet insurance management and to cut down on costs. Digitalising your operation helps fleet managers to improve time efficiencies and to create faster responses to security, driver safety, maintenance and repairs. All of these things improve performance, therefore, help to keep insurance premiums as low as possible.
The value of driver training
Driver training should be an ongoing process, starting with a comprehensive training program for new drivers and regular refreshers for existing employees. The standard of training should be laid out clearly in the company policy and each driver should be trained to the stated standards.
Driver training allows the company to standardise and monitor the skills of all of its drivers as well as reinforcing best practices that reduce the risk to themselves, other road users and the company.
Collecting data from your fleet managers and drivers allows you to create a bespoke training programme for the business. Survey questions may include, ‘What are the recurring risks?’ For example, data collected on speeding and harsh braking can identify poor decision making and driver error, which can then be addressed within your training program.
As more and more aspects of business become automated, fleet managers become tempted to let the technology take all of the strain. As useful as a digital dashboard can be, it's also important to create strong relationships with drivers and to add the human touch to training, development, adherence to policies and, dealing with non-compliance issues. By doing this, managers can more effectively monitor skills, deliver training and manage the metrics in order to maintain a motivated workforce and improve staff retention.
Choosing the right insurance policy can save the company a significant amount of money over the course of a year. Ensuring that the company secures the most competitive rates, along with the most comprehensive cover, is a vital part of the fleet manager’s role. Insurance represents between 13% and 24% of the TCO, the most desirable insurance policies are those with built-in risk management which allows premiums to be reduced in real-time to stay in line with risk reduction. Similarly, cost reductions are implemented in-policy rather than post-policy.
An increase in the use of data-based systems means that fairer policies are produced and managers should make it their business to gain knowledge of the changing levels of automation and data collection and their impact on the driver. This is vital for ensuring value for the business and good relations with both the insurer and driver.
A major priority for fleet managers is ensuring that the company secures the best possible service and maintenance options for vehicles. This is important as insufficient maintenance leads to vehicle downtime, driver risk and reduced revenue for the company. Data-led insights can be used to implement predictive maintenance and to prevent breakdowns by reducing upkeep costs by predicting parts failure based on performance data and other factors.
Fleet management software is an invaluable tool when it comes to reducing driver risk. Connected apps and dashboards alert managers to factors that add to risk, including incidents, maintenance timelines and insurance renewal deadlines. These dashboards make it much easier to track and implement maintenance in a timely manner and are much more efficient than spreadsheets and paper-based solutions. Software is also available to monitor drivers’ adherence to safety and behaviour policies.
For the fleet manager, balancing safety concerns and skills with financial factors such as vehicle and driver availability requires a great degree of attention to detail. Modern digital services and applications present vital data at the right time in order to ensure effective decision making and, therefore, reduce risk to drivers, vehicles and the business.