10 Ways Employers Can Improve Driver Behaviour

Employers are required by law to manage safe driving for work. While many organisations proactively manage vehicle risk - i.e. maintenance and standards - significantly fewer take steps to address the number one cause of 84.8% of fatal crashes*, i.e. driver behaviour. While the human cost of crashes can't be counted, the financial cost can. Employers who don't manage driver behaviour end up paying more for insurance, fuel, servicing, maintenance and repairs and business disruption.

While enforcement seems to focus on the vehicle element and road traffic law, if you want to reduce the frequency and severity of collisions in your company, the good news is that you have a wide range of "instruction, information, training and supervision" measures that actually work. What will work best for you will depend on your types of vehicles you have as well as your access to technology, resources and budget.

Here we will take peek at 10 tools and activities that will help you create an environment that allows and expects staff to drive safely. As a rule, none of these function on their own, so "blend" as appropriate. This approach reinforces your commitment plus, the more you do, the more likely it is that you are approaching best-practice and will achieve better results!

i. Leadership - quite simply, the more support for your Driver Behaviour programme, the more successful it will be. If you don't have it, try everything to get it

ii. Policy - be clear on what is expected of drivers and managers, make it real and review it regularly with feedback from all involved

iii. Individual Driver Risk Assessment - this helps raise awareness of risk and the analysis should feed into policy, awareness programmes, training and supervision

iv. Comms - regular messaging of good practice, tips, insights and alerts can be shared via email, WhatsApp, SMS, posters, team meetings etc.

v. Driver's Handbook - a simple but tangible aide-memoir for drivers. Keep it short, engaging and practical

vi. Driver Training - whether it's personalised online training, group workshops or 1:1 in-vehicle coaching, take a risk-based approach to target resources and maximise return

vii. Crash Analysis - look for trends across your fleet, take mitigating action and follow-up with individuals as this emphasises you are serious about crash reduction

viii. Recognition - incentivising good driving can take the form of announcements, awards and rewards for individuals or teams. Ensure the basis is objective and doesn't lead to under-reporting

ix. Penalties - like speeding fines, in-house sanctions can deter negative behaviour behind the wheel. Whether it’s a contribution to an insurance excess or a donation to a charity, the measure should be fair and reasonable

x. Telematics - last, but by no means least, telematics is a powerful ally. Choose a system that gives you the behavioural insights you need, not just lots of data. Driver scoring is a useful, simple and objective tool to measure and manage performance.

* Source: RSA Strategy 2013-2010, Pg.15 - in case you're wondering, vehicle factors account for a mere 0.3% of all fatal crashes!