Road safety has been an issue for a long time, and it is an issue that won’t resolve itself. It is the responsibility of every fleet manager, every private company, and every public company to do due diligence. Play a role in improving the base standards, and reducing accidents leading to deaths and/or injuries.
With over 3 million heavy-duty trucks on the road, the safety of drivers, passengers, and the citizens should be of primary importance. As a fleet management company, it must be of utmost importance that the business fleet poses a minimum to no danger to people who are commuting using roads.
This can only be done if corporates and companies take it upon themselves to enforce road safety practices with a clear call to actions, mitigation plans, and risk analysis.
Whether you own a transportation company or you work at one, below are five pillars you should work with in order to incorporate a risk management program.
As a corporate, the first step in enforcing road safety program is to formalize policies which encompass safety standards, establish hierarchy, responsibilities, and ensure best practices.
The Road Safety Policy framework should cover the following ecosystems:
- Driving guidelines clearly stating speed limits, drug usage, alcohol limits, active driving hours per week, and route-specific state guidelines.
- Driver reinforcements with positive and negative incentives. This will help keep the morals high and encourage drivers to keep their best foot forward (or on the pedal).
- A vigorous driver training and supervision program to reiterate the importance of road safety.
- Set up processes for reporting issues, malfunctions, accidents, or collisions.
- Quantitative and qualitative metrics to derive safety performances of the drivers.
- Establish random drug testing protocols and regular medical examinations to eliminate any accidents.
- Training and disclosure of monitoring systems like GPS Vehicle Tracker.
The key to safer roads is PRE-JOURNEY PLANNING.
The inherent risk of constantly being on the road as drivers are the probability of accidents, delays, injuries, and loss of cargo. From a strategic selection of transport routes to milestones setting, pre-journey planning will lead to a more systematic and safe transportation fleet.
Transportation journeys must be designed in a manner that enables safe driving practices and selection of routes that are safest and can be utilized to the optimum.
Any corporates road risk can be minimized with an efficient plan for transportation. From setting realistic schedules to having milestones/targets in place, which ensures the driver’s well-being and keeps a monitor on speed limits. These plans can also account for variables causing holdups or delays.
It is also necessary to map potential hazardous routes that might impact the safety of any traveler/employee/driver on the road with consignments.
Though not the first pillar, SAFE COMPANY VEHICLES must be a mandate for any and every corporate. Vehicles are primarily purchased depending on the tasks they will be expected to perform – consignment size, travelling distance, etc.
As corporate, set guidelines and criteria requirements for selecting a particular vehicle for said journeys. Since we know the one-size-fits-all approach does not necessarily work in this category, due diligence is a must.
While purchasing the vehicle, also keep a tab on all the licenses that need to be procured along with any reporting that must be maintained for the same. For example, IFTA reporting.
While purchasing/ selecting a vehicle is step one for safer vehicles, it is also imperative for you to have a reporting system for maintenance and servicing of the vehicles.
Regular monitoring of vehicle efficiency will help maintain vehicle safety levels. This can be done by Adhoc and regular vehicle inspections. They will not only help identify any vehicle faults but will also pre-empt malfunctions.
Corporate cultures are always built top-down. As a company, it is your responsibility to develop a safety culture. This culture should be reflective of company practices, policies, and tolerance.
The building block to a culturally driven safety program is employee participation and commitment. This can be done by expanding your employee knowledge, offering training for extended driving skills, introducing L&D teams for incorporating said culture.
You can do this by some of the following tools:
- Develop an internal safety culture
- Deliver uniform messaging
- Incentivization schemes for driver performance
- Set the reporting process for ongoing programs
It is necessary for you to clearly demarcate your tolerance for driving behaviour and performance. Clear penalizations for poor performances, and incentives for good performances.
What is the main component for safe roads?
For a company to recruit safe drivers, there should be qualification criteria, from attitude, knowledge to health status. Recruitment mandates, repeated performance evaluation, and skill upgrading seminars are some of the drivers to safer roads.
Preparedness in case of any mishap is as important as any of the other four pillars. Organizational road safety can be optimized when employees are prepared to respond efficiently in the event of a collision or a mishap.
Companies should develop standard procedures and training in case of a crash. These procedures should be clearly communicated and understood by all the employees.
As part of the post-crash response – step one is reactive, and step two is investigative. It is vital to understand the cause of the collision and analyze how you can avoid repeat occurrences.
Another pillar of road safety is a new entrant – technology. Investing in IoT for reporting, monitoring, and analyzing is an efficient way of bringing your ecosystem together. Not only does it make sense from a financial viewpoint, but it reinforces your cultural values, and helps with risk analysis and public reputation.
Industrial IoT not only helps collect vehicle information like location and speed but also brings into consideration engine diagnostics, fuel consumption, and brake intensity. This data from different systems can also help set benchmarks. With systematic analysis and implementation, you can reduce vehicle downtimes, reduce mishaps, and even negotiate on insurance premiums.
Start by taking simple and basic steps that refine corporate safety and policies for the road ahead. This will not only protect the well-being of your employees but also of all road users.
The transition to best practices will help respond to the global issue of road safety. By incorporating processes, programs, and policies in place, you can take a step closer to safer employees and drivers.