September 19, 2013 - by PinPoint
There is hardly any seasoned business that uses vehicle fleets, which hasn’t had the immense shock of a driving accident happening to one of its drivers and vehicles. In the worst case you will have lost an employee, either to death or debilitation. In the best case your vehicle will need a new paint job and a few fixes.
There are many facets of a vehicle fleet business that suffer from driving accidents. Some of the dire consequences are:
- Loss of reputation. First, your business will be marked by the fact that an accident was caused by one of the employees, which shows both irresponsibility and lack of control. Secondly, clients and potential employees will prefer to go to another business, which seems to be safer to work with or in. This way you will lose both a chunk of your profits and the potential to hire good drivers.
- Loss of money. Injured employees might be a burden on your profits, since they’ll be paid without being productive for at least a while. It also means you need to pay a new employee an extra salary until your injured one returns to work. Not to mention that your vehicles will need repairs almost every time an accident happens. Keeping your vehicles in good shape is one of those major expenses you will want to keep at a low.
- Stress in the working environment. It is never a nice thing to work in a place where every so often someone gets hospitalized or bruised. Productivity drops when employees are under stress and accidents rise.
- If another party is injured, you might be to blame and that costs your business quite a lot of money in reparations.
Reckless driving is usually the cause of most driving accidents. It is either the reckless driving of your employee or that of a stranger. In the latter case you can’t do much about it (apart from cashing in insurance money), but you can prevent the first from happening.
The reasons why a driver of your business might drive recklessly are plenty. Some examples are:
- Hurrying to finish an emergency delivery in time. If your drivers are pressed for time they might cross a few red lights and step too hard on the pedal. This is why it is important to make sure you drivers have a decent schedule and that they follow it correctly. It is often the case that the driver might take a longer break, hoping to make up for the lost time by speeding. This behavior is high risk for everyone involved and should be discouraged.
- Having little respect for the law. It is not so rare that drivers believe themselves above the law, considering laws something for inexperienced drivers. Because professional drivers spend a lot of time on the streets they come to believe that they have a keener sense of how things work when it comes to driving. This is sadly almost always an illusion, because even the best computer systems can’t predict human behavior at a hundred percent certainty.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol. While many professionals won’t touch alcohol during or before work, it is not unheard of that long distance drivers will stop for lunch and drink beers instead of non alcoholic beverages. The threshold at which alcohol can cause street accidents to happen is far lower than that of being drunk, so most drivers feel a false sense of safety when consuming what they think is just a little of alcohol.
- Inexperience. New drivers should not be pushed to work immediately at the same standard of an experienced colleague. An initiation period should be allowed during which new drivers can get accustomed to professional driving and to the streets used most by your company’s vehicles.
To prevent reckless driving you need to set certain rules to your employees and you need to do so clearly in written form and verbally. Speed limits should be checked by an expert GPS tracking machine, because when a driver knows his speed limits are being watched they do not dare surpass them. GPS tracking machines will also let you know if a vehicle stops for too long and speeds afterwards, so that you can nip that driver’s stressful behavior in the bud. Through the tracking system you will easily weed out those drivers that simply have no sense of responsibility, either to the business, the law or themselves. Drivers need to be protected by the innate desire to drive dangerously at certain times and the GPS tracking system is one of the most successful methods to keep such behavior in check.