The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that motor vehicle crashes cause fatalities at a rate of 11 per 100,000. Many of those accidents occur during peak workday travel times and with company vehicles. For managers who oversee company fleets, a thorough safety and training program can be instrumental in preventing these accidents. In addition to stressing defensive driving, properly caring for vehicles should be a key component of any safety program. Fortunately, evolution in technology has made enforcing safety initiatives a more manageable task. A fleet management system can provide an easy way to set reminders for preventive maintenance, collect important information about your vehicles, promote driver safety, and protect your company from liability.
Routine maintenance and inspection of vehicles are critical for peak performance. Without a fleet management system, managers often rely on memory or outdated monitoring methods such as manual logging. Whether logging has taken place on paper or digitally, information can easily get lost, damaged, or deleted. With today’s technology, a fleet management system can now serve as a centralized and permanent cloud-based hub for these important reports.
Consider the importance of oil. Aside from the fuel your vehicle requires, no other fluid is more vital. It keeps your engine running smoothly by lubricating metal parts and breaking up motor-clogging deposits. As any fleet manager knows, a vehicle running low on oil can overheat, causing a breakdown. Even worse, it can cause an accident and put your driver’s safety at risk.
A fleet management system can improve vehicle health and driver safety. The FMS thoroughly tracks your vehicle’s maintenance history, triggering alerts for repairs and check-ups. Most fleet management systems can report on the health of a variety of your vehicle’s parts, including tires and brakes.
A fleet management system can act as a manager’s eyes and ears from afar. The FMS can require your drivers to self-identify through a unique code or tag when starting a vehicle. This connection between the driver and a specific vehicle creates a user profile. The FMS gathers information throughout the trip and compiles this data into a driver report. Recorded data can cover a variety of activities, including seat belt usage, speeding, and hard braking. Managers can use this data to search for trends and track employees in real-time via GPS for immediate feedback.
Some fleet management systems even offer coaching opportunities through communication tools. Immediate communication between you and your drivers can allow you to directly address negative behavior. Reducing reckless or unsafe behaviors quickly can decrease the chance of accidents and injuries among drivers.
It has been reported that emergency medical services (EMS) in the United States respond to around 37 million calls per year. According to that same study, the average time for an EMS unit to arrive is seven minutes (double that number for rural settings). The important thing to remember with those figures is that they are from the time of call. What happens if no one is there to see the accident? Or cell phone reception is spotty? With a fleet management system, managers can track the location of their drivers in real-time. In the case of an accident, the software can even trigger an alert to the manager with situation details. Once equipped with this information, the manager can quickly relay all facts to EMS.
While employee safety is paramount, using a fleet management system can also add business benefits. OSHA reports that motor vehicle crashes set employers back an estimated $60 billion annually. That figure encompasses medical and legal expenses, property damage, and the resulting loss of productivity. There’s also the potential cost of your company’s liability from a negligent employee’s accident. An employer may be liable to the tune of $25 million for some employee crashes. Not only this but with preventive maintenance in place, the likelihood of an accident is reduced as vehicle health is guaranteed, rather than assumed. Combine good driving with good vehicle health, and both the safety of your fleet and your budget will improve.
No course of action can completely eliminate the risk of motor vehicle accidents. However, a fleet management system can improve your drivers’ safety and promote safer driving behaviors. If you’re interested in implementing a fleet management system in your department, book a demo with EnSight Plus.
All monitored by you, in real time. Are you ready to take control?