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Safety KPIs: How to Set Achievable Goals


You want to reduce your company’s accidents with your non-CDL drivers, but if you don’t have a goal in mind, you won’t get anywhere. That’s why you need to set realistic accident-reduction goals related to your safety key performance indicators.

To be clear, the only acceptable number of accidents is zero. You can honestly get there in the near-future. However, you need some benchmarkers along the way to be sure that what you’re doing is working.

What Are Safety KPIs?

Key Performance Indicators (or KPI for short) are measurable indicators that have a direct impact on success. In sales, a KPI might be the number of potential leads contacted. In recruiting, a KPI would be the number of qualified applicants in a month. KPI exist for safety as well.

Here are the top three safety KPI that we believe every company with drivers should be tracking:

  1. Number of employees trained in safety and defensive driving
  2. Number of near-misses reported/recorded
  3. Number of unsafe behaviors reported/recorded

You might have noticed that we didn’t include accidents. That’s because accidents are a lagging indicator. They’re what you need to prevent, but once they happen, there’s nothing you can do.

On the other hand, the three KPI mentioned above are leading indicators. They predict the likelihood that a lagging indicator like an accident will happen. That’s why tracking these KPI and setting goals related to preventing accidents is much more powerful.

Number of Employees Trained in Safety


This number needs to be 100%. If someone is getting behind the wheel of one of your vehicles, they need to have received defensive driving and safety training from you. Driver’s ed isn’t enough, and you can’t rely on their driving record to predict the chances they will have an accident.

When you have 100% of your drivers trained, your accident numbers will be sure to drop.

How to Achieve This Goal

100% of employees trained seems far-fetched, but regardless of the size of your company, there are easy solutions:

Follow this model, and you will have 100% of your drivers trained whether you have 5 drivers or 500. You can do it in a matter of days.

Number of Near-Misses Recorded/Reported


It’s important to track near-misses because they predict the likelihood of an accident happening. If you have dozens of hard-braking events and panic stops a week, there will be a rear-end collision very soon. When you reduce the number of near-misses, you reduce accidents.

How you set this goal depends on how many near-misses you have.

The more near-misses you have, the more aggressive you need to be with your goal. A large number will drop much more rapidly than a smaller number. Therefore, you might want to set a goal such as a 50% reduction in three months if your drivers have many near-misses.

However, if you have fewer near-misses, it will take more to drop that number. You may want to set a less aggressive goal of 25% reduction in three months.

Regardless, you eventually want that number to get to 0.

How to Reach Your Goal

Before you can reach your goal (or set it for that matter), you need a reliable way to measure and record near-misses.

The easiest way is to use event video recorders and vehicle telematics. These systems will record near-misses and store them for you to review.

This isn’t feasible for every company, though. If that’s the case for you, we recommend an accessible and anonymous reporting system. Have a way for employees to electronically submit a near-miss event. It needs to be anonymous so people aren’t worried about repercussions. It also needs to be very easy to use so people will actually do it.

Then, once you’ve collected data and set your goals, follow these steps:

  1. Categorize the data based on near-miss type
  2. Find your top-ten most frequent near-miss types
  3. Train your employees to avoid these specific near-misses
  4. Make your goals known to your employees and track progress visibly
  5. Reward your employees for meeting the goal (make this reward known from the beginning)

A program like The Fleet Safety Course makes it easy for you to train to specific safety topics. You can assign full courses or shortened follow-up lessons hyper-focused on a specific accident type. Your employees then take them anywhere and from any smart device.

Number of Unsafe Behaviors Reported/Recorded


This is the most powerful KPI you can track. Accidents don’t “just happen.” They’re caused by people’s unsafe behavior. If you are able to reduce employee unsafe behaviors, you can have a huge impact on accident numbers.

You set this goal exactly how you set your goal for near-misses. You need that number to 0 in the near-future, but for now, set a percentage reduction based on how immediate your need is and how big your risk is.

How You Reach Your Goal

Just like setting the goal, reaching it is very similar to how you reach your near-misses goal. However, it starts with educating your employees. You need them to realize that their unsafe behaviors are causing accidents.

Show them your data on near-misses, unsafe behavior, and accident correlation. Use programs like The Fleet Safety Course or our Monthly Safety Initiative that educate on the foundation of what safety is and how accidents happen. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Record unsafe behaviors with an anonymous reporting system
  2. Focus on the ten unsafe behaviors that cause your most common and costly accidents
  3. Train your employees to avoid these specific unsafe behaviors
  4. Make your goals known to your employees and track progress visibly
  5. Reward your employees for meeting the goal (make this reward known from the beginning)

You Can Get to Zero Accidents

It seems like a pipe dream, but zero accidents is achievable. It won’t happen overnight, though. That’s why you need to start with smaller goals based on essential safety KPI.

When you utilize the steps we mentioned in this article, you can:

  • Track progress to ensure what you’re doing is working
  • Immediately reap the rewards of fewer accidents
  • Start protecting your employees from easily-preventable accidents and injuries

If you need help setting your safety KPI, book a meeting with me for free. We can work together one-on-one to tackle your specific safety issues.

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