Better and Safer Drivers Can Reduce Fleet Costs

by Aigerim Berzinya - Oct 31, 2018 Category: Business
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Your drivers can play an important part in reducing your fleet overheads. How? By fostering a culture of good driver behaviour!

The reason your fuel consumption might be burning a hole in your budgets is because bad driver behaviour and traits can cause the operational costs of a fleet to needlessly soar.

Having bad drivers in your fleet can increase costs by around 13% per year. Good drivers, on the other hand, can save around 12% per year.

Which would you sooner have in your fleet?

Four main causes of accidents

Accidents can cost around an eye-watering 36 times more than the expense of a basic repair caused by poor driver behaviour. If you haven’t done so already, it’s worth investing in trying to reduce both accidents and bad driver behaviours within your fleet. And the first step in achieving this is knowing what the main causes are.

Four main causes of accidents
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Four main causes of accidents

There are the four main causes of accidents:

Speed

Speeding contributes to approximately 11% of injury collisions, 15% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions that resulted in death. By simply increasing awareness amongst your drivers of the hazards caused by speeding, you’re likely to see a change.

What your drivers may not be aware of is that a person struck by a vehicle at 30mp/h will be injured but likely survive the accident. Had this same vehicle been travelling at 50mp/h, then the outcome will be very different and probably result in a fatality.

Many drivers needlessly drive above the national speed limit which, as we are all aware, is set at 70m/ph.

What drivers may not realise is that speeding by only 10mp/h above this limit increases the risk of crashing by a whopping 60%!

A statistic worth mentioning to your drivers before they head out on their next journey?  

Distracted driving

Another common cause of accidents is distracted driving. 72% of drivers have admitted to being distracted whilst behind the wheel.

Drivers are four times more likely to be involved in an accident when using a mobile phone.
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Drivers are four times more likely to be involved in an accident when using a mobile phone

And mobile phones remain one of the biggest distractors behind the wheel. Drivers are four times more likely to be involved in an accident when using a mobile phone. Even worse, they are 24 times more likely to crash whilst texting.

Eating whilst driving is another increased risk of crashing. Those having a bite to eat behind the wheel are over three times more likely to have an accident. Much better to pull over to make that call or eat that sandwich.

Alcohol and fatigue

This may sound like an obvious one, but reinforcing the dangers of drinking and driving is imperative for all fleet managers. Drink driving still accounts for around 14% of all road deaths in Britain.

Fatigue can be a killer too, with research suggesting that it is a contributing factor in up to 20% of accidents. It’s worth gently reminding your fleet drivers that taking a designated rest break or having a coffee could save their life.

Alcohol and fatigue are dangerous
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Alcohol and fatigue are dangerous

Not wearing a seat belt

Seatbelts are there for a reason. Drivers who neglect this vital safety feature are around eight times more likely to be killed in a road crash if not wearing a seatbelt. Men aged below 40 being the most common offenders at this.

So, how can fleet managers create better drivers?

Education and awareness are one of the best methods for achieving this. Include safer driving information in toolbox talks, induction and training modules, literature in staff restrooms and canteens can all go a long way in preventing an accident.  

Fleet management software and telematics can play their part too. Driver behaviours and vehicle performance can be monitored remotely for worrying trends and action taken against those that pose a higher risk.

Prevention can pay as much a part of the solution as the cure.