It should come as no surprise that road traffic accidents are extremely bad for business. While your number one concern is understandably the safety of your staff, the financial implications are just as severe. Accidents can eat into your finances on many levels, whether your business is shelling out for vehicle repairs, dealing with litigation costs, or simply having to fork out for an increase to its insurance premium, the argument for reducing risk is well founded.
The utopian dream would be for employees to go about their business and never be involved in an accident, but with over 1,700 deaths and 176,000 injuries on UK roads last year, clearly, all businesses and its staff should be doing their part to make our roads safer.
Here are four ways that your business and drivers can potentially play their part.
1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ACCURATE INFORMATION
Until you know exactly what’s happening in your fleet, it can be difficult to make substantive changes to improve your company’s road safety policy. It might help knowing how closely compliance is being adhered in order to have a comparative for any improvements being made.
By assessing driver performance, integrated telematics can help reduce driver instances of speeding by up to 53%; not only as a result of easier tracking for fleet managers but because it allows drivers to assess their own levels of performance in the field.
2. OFFER DRIVER TRAINING
With the average cost of a ‘slight’ road traffic accident costing the UK economy over £24,900, the financial implications are serious. Companies with fleets have a responsibility to work with drivers who are more prone to making mistakes. By focusing on a driver’s strengths and weaknesses you can offer them training tailored to their individual areas of improvement: such as speeding, tailgating, distractions on the road, driving without required break periods and engine idling.
Another way to encourage safer driving is through the construction of league tables to promote healthy competition between field staff. Like sales-driven businesses, drivers who frequently score highly on these league tables could be rewarded with incentives, such as holidays, bonuses and prizes.
3. CRACK DOWN ON MOBILE PHONE USE
The 2017 RAC report on monitoring states that 23% of drivers admit to having used a handheld mobile at the wheel. Those who use their cars for their jobs are more likely to use handheld phones: 26% of business drivers say they either rarely or sometimes make calls in this way, compared with 18% overall.
The increase in the number of people using their mobile phone whilst driving is a rapidly growing concern. This has resulted in the government imposing much stricter punishments for drivers, from March 2017 drivers found using their mobile phone will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. On top of that, if a driver is caught twice, their punishment doubles. The harsh crackdown doesn’t come without reason, it was reported that drivers using mobile phones killed one person every ten days last year.
4. IMPLEMENT AN INTEGRATED TELEMATICS SOLUTION
Solutions like TomTom Telematics OptiDrive 360 help promote safer driving by analysing driver behaviour based on 8 different performance metrics: speeding, driving events, idling, fuel consumption, constant speed, coasting, green speed and gear shift. (coasting areas are shown to help anticipate and influence driving style, and potentially reduce fuel.)
By linking up TomTom Telematics WEBFLEET fleet management system with a vehicle tracking link, a separate fuel consumption link and the PRO driving terminal, each performance metric can be monitored by both driver and fleet manager alike. By tracking speeding, for example, a telematics system can allow drivers to see what the speed limit is wherever they are and help them keep within it. It also alerts drivers to harsh steering and sudden braking, fuel wastage as a result of idling, overall fuel consumption, fluctuations in speed, and optimal performance.
All of this encourages a culture of safety among drivers, who will not only be more conscious of their performance in relation to meeting customer deadlines but also in terms of their wider responsibility as road users. And in this way, integrated telematics can help reduce road accidents.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
There are many obvious and immediate benefits to reducing the amount of road traffic accidents suffered by your fleet, not only for your drivers, or your business but for the community at large. By instilling a culture of safety in the workplace, your business can help to contribute to making the roads safer, decreasing the likelihood of litigation, protecting your company’s reputation and of course, helping to reduce insurance premiums.
Telematics can help to improve the likelihood of managing a safer fleet by providing an auditable record, encouraging safety, and of course, helping your company to save money. So have a look at our fleet management system today and reap the rewards of a more streamlined business.
To discover more on how a connected telematics solution can benefit your business departments please visit telematics islands.
If you would like to arrange an online demonstration or would like to take advantage of a free one week trial Then please either call us on 01420 478053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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