Learning Zone

8 ways you can reduce road risk

By Ellen Sowerby
25 January 2021

We know how expensive it can be to deal with an accident, so let us help you make a plan to keep control of costs.

Motor vehicle crashes are the first or second leading cause of death in every major industry group. In 2018 alone, 1,276 U.S. workers died in a work-related crash (24% of all work-related deaths) on public roads. Incredibly, an additional 550 at-work driving deaths occurred off public roads.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates work-related crashes cost employers $25 billion, or $65,000 per non-fatal injury and $671,000 per death.

We’ve put together eight tips to help you reduce the chance of your staff having an accident:

1. Get the bosses on board

As with most operations in a business, if the management is committed to a course of action then the rest will follow – and this applies to road safety too. Pull together facts and figures that spell out how a safer fleet will help the business and get them to sign up to help.

The result will be:

2. Put it in writing

Put down in writing what your company’s road risk policy is. And then make sure your staff have read it.

Make your policy easy to understand. Use simple language and set out what you expect staff to do, and also what you will do to keep them safe.

There are a lot of resources here that can help shape your policy:


3. Get your facts right

Before you can take action, you need to know how big a problem you have – how many accidents have there been, who has been injured and what has it all cost?

Make sure you keep full records of drivers, incidents and all safety programs. Not only will you be able to build a picture of what is really going on out on the highway but in the case of litigation you will have the facts to hand.

Some businesses prefer to interview drivers in detail after every accident to get a clear picture of what really happened. Why not use Fleet Accident Management Software to store this information and use it later?

4. Learn from others

Why not check what you do against those other businesses? This is a great way to see if you’re missing a trick – organizations such as www.nafa.org can help with this. They organize special events where like-minded businesses get together to share what they’re doing and reveal which strategies are giving the best results.

5. Keep banging the drum

None of this will work unless your drivers take it seriously. They need to feel like they are part of the solution, so make them feel special.

Get them involved by:

  •     Talking to them about their actions behind the wheel
  •     Asking them to check their vehicles regularly
  •     Telling them what to do if they have an accident
  •     Warning them what will happen if their bad driving causes an incident

6. Check their driving

You should be checking your drivers on a regular basis. As a minimum, we suggest checking driving licenses and looking at health issues such as eyesight.

It’s also really important to repeat assessments in the aftermath of an accident – this may throw up an issue with a driver’s behavior, ability or suitability for the role.

7. Drink and drugs

We recommend a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug driving, making it crystal clear to drivers that you expect absolute adherence to the law on driving under the influence of drink and drugs.

8. Take it seriously

All your hard work will be undone unless everyone in your business follows the plan – for example, there is little point in coming up with an accident reduction strategy if employees are placed under pressure by line managers to follow unrealistic schedules or delivery times.

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