How well do you know your fleet drivers? In particular, do you know how they're handing themselves on the road?
It's essential to know the most common unsafe driving practices and to ensure your drivers aren't committing them. Educating employees through driver training or other risk management tools is a major part of having a more stable, less risk-prone fleet.
Here are the top nine bad driver behaviours, and how First Rescue can help you curtail them within your fleet.
- Using cell phones while driving
Phones are more distracting than drivers realise. Despite the constant link to deadly accidents, phone usage behind the wheel has become an everyday behaviour for citizens and fleets alike.
Fleet drivers should never make calls, text, or even talk hands-free while on the road. These activities seriously short-circuit reasoning and operational skills, immediately endangering the driver and other motorists.
Speeding impacts reaction times and the ability to adjust quickly to traffic. It vastly increases the chance of hitting other cars or pedestrians. Fleet drivers should strictly observe speed limit signs, or whatever speed limit is locally enforced.
Tailgating reduces the distance in which drivers can brake safely in response to traffic or other road issues. And the aggression can create anxiety in the other motorist, leading to sudden, hazardous actions.
- Dangerous overtaking
Dangerous overtaking takes many forms, such as racing ahead of others to get on a highway, weaving in and out of lanes, and ‘cutting off’ other motorists without checking. Fleet drivers should avoid these risks by being considerate and only overtaking when traffic allows.
- Failure to indicate while driving
Failing to indicate throws off other drivers. Without advance notice, others are forced to guess what is about to happen. This can result in rear-end collisions and other incidents that raise fleet accident management costs.
- Last-minute braking
Harsh or erratic braking, or braking at the last second, gives the driver in the rear little or no time to adjust. This is a prime cause of rear-end impacts, and can even lead to being pushed into traffic further ahead.
To avoid costly accidents like these, be sure to get your drivers trained properly on manoeuvres such as braking smoothly and responsibly.
- Disobeying traffic lights
Running a red light causes other motorists to think it’s safe to proceed when it’s not. Similarly, speeding up at yellow lights can result in sudden braking on red, often leading to costly collisions and speeding tickets.
- Being distracted by navigation devices
Navigation technologies like GPS are highly distracting behind the wheel — potentially even more than texting. When fleet drivers use new routes, it helps to go over them on a map or to have verbal directions beforehand. The GPS should be programmed before the driver sets out, and drivers should pull over if maps or GPS adjustments are needed mid-journey.
- Being fatigued
The role fatigue plays in driving is often overlooked, but it’s a dangerous, even fatal distraction behind the wheel.
For fleets, it’s a well-recognised crisis. Drivers on long, monotonous journeys find it hard to maintain alertness. Fleet drivers should take pre-drive naps if necessary, or pull over to take a short mid-drive nap on longer trips.
How to eliminate bad behaviours through driver training with First Rescue
The most reliable way to address these behavioural issues within your fleet is through a driver training programme with First Rescue.
Because New Zealand fleets must adhere to the Health and Safety at Work Act (HWSA), you must supervise and provide the right information to ensure your drivers’ safety. With First Rescues’ driver training, you can instil critical road safety skills and proper driving technique in your drivers, so they stay out of trouble at all times.
With the right training, your drivers will commit fewer mistakes, and your fleet will be better for it. That means fewer accidents, lower costs, and most importantly a safe, healthy workforce. Make your next step a smart one and train your drivers before they get on the road.
Could outsourcing your fleet risk management save you money? Chat with us and we can help crunch the numbers.