No, really! Let’s start with that question: Do you (really) know who is behind the wheel? The reality is that for many enterprises with employees who drive as part of their job, the answer is, “I think so,” or maybe, “no.” While most drivers are perfectly responsible, hard working employees, when it comes to risk, it’s important that your company can answer that question for every one of its employees.
Driver risk management is a top issue for many organizations since it directly affects budgets and the bottom line. According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, on-the-job accidents cost employers $25 Billion. The fact is, there are more than 100 million people driving for work-related activities on U.S. roads and some of them have invalid, suspended or no driver’s license at all.
Managing driver risk may seem like a monumental task, but it is money and time well spent. Industry stats show that for every $1 spent on improving workplace safety, more than $4 can be returned on investment. If a 400% return on investment doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. So what can companies do to create a culture of driver safety? They can start with three simple best practices that focus on monitoring, insight, and action.
- Continuously Monitor: Understand driver behavior from hire to retire Industry research shows that companies with the lowest number of crash incidents take a comprehensive approach and monitor drivers all year long as opposed to the traditional method of pulling one Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) per year. An MVR pulled once a year merely captures a snapshot of a driver’s performance but a lot can happen in 365 days. For a comprehensive view, employers should consider harnessing cloud-based solutions that manage all driver information in one place.
- Leverage Insights: Create a single source of truth about your drivers The next generation of driver risk management requires employers to create a single source of truth — violations, MVRs, accident reports, costs, compliance documentation, etc. — for all driver information and performance. While the information contained in the single source of truth is incredibly valuable and allows the employer to build driver and fleet profiles, what’s more important is that it provides assurance that the employer has qualified people behind the wheel.
- Take action: Ensure correct behavior Employers can then leverage the “single source of truth” about driver performance to take action on problem areas or to proactively improve driver safety. For example, providing a way to deliver online training courses, benchmarking individual driver and fleet performance against industry averages, and enforcing policies gives employers the ability to understand key trends — for the driver and the entire company. Documented driver performance and actions.
With so many drivers on the road today, creating a culture of safety is an ongoing effort. Businesses must recognize and understand their risks and take proactive steps to ensure they understand real-time changes in driving behaviors that warrant concern. But they also have a duty to then take action on that knowledge. The good news is that tools are available to cost effectively manage driver performance. Best of all, when implemented correctly, a good driver risk program can pay for itself within 12 months.
So when it comes to your business drivers, ask yourself: Do I really know who is behind the wheel? Learn more in our upcoming webinar "Your Business Vehicle Program is Risky Business"!
About the Author
Matthew Betz is Vice President of Fleet Channels for SambaSafety, the market leader in providing actionable driver information with respect to increasing safety, reducing risks, and saving money. He joined SambaSafety on August 17, 2015, after spending 30+ years in the fleet industry helping clients reduce fleet costs, increase driver productivity and reduce the administration associated with running a fleet.More Content by Matt Betz