For all of the precautions that fleet drivers take, sometimes there’s just no way to avoid being in an accident. In fact, an average of 21 percent of fleet vehicles are involved in varying degrees of collisions each year, according to a survey sponsored by Fleet Response.
The survey, published in Automotive Fleet, has found that the costs associated with accidents are rising as well. Beyond inflation, the rise of costs is being attributed to fleets using hybrid or electric vehicles, technological advances in vehicles, and increases in parts and fuel costs.
Repairing electric vehicles has proven costly for fleet companies, as the average cost of repair is an estimated $1,000 higher than a standard vehicle. Hybrid repair costs are roughly $300-500 more than a standard vehicle.
Cutting Down on Preventable Accidents
The key to reducing preventable accidents is to have a management team that is all on the same page. Creating and enforcing an all-encompassing safety policy is one of the essential ways to achieving this goal.
Having a management team that understands an investment driver training may cost the company up front, but will pay off in the long run is an important aspect of preventing accidents. In turn, an investment in driver training can result in fewer fleet-related accidents, less money spent on repairs and potentially a lower insurance rate for the company.
Fleet managers should also have a comprehensive profile on each driver in order to determine which may present a higher risk of being involved in an accident. This allows the company to transform driver habits and reduce incidents.
Managers should also recognize what issues are surrounding their fleet and address these concerns within the fleet policy. By creating a safety program around targeted problem areas found from reviewing the trends, fleet managers can actively engage with their drivers to correct driving behaviors.
Working closely with every member of the fleet sends a message that safety is an important foundation for the company.
Reducing Accidents Through the Use of Technology
Increasing the use of safety technologies has become a big factor in accident management as well.
The use of GPS has enabled drivers and fleet managers to optimize for the most ideal routes and helped decrease the amount of driver down time. And being on the road for a shorter period means reducing the probability of drivers being involved in a traffic accident.
Companies are also investing in installing more safety technology equipment in vehicles to assist drivers. But while these may aid drivers, the price of vehicles, along with the accompanying maintenance, is costing fleet companies.
This means that fleet managers must do their research before investing in safety technology that they determine is best for their drivers. The more that a fleet manager knows about their vehicles and drivers, the better their understanding will be on each decision made for the company.