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Tech and Techniques to Increase Safety: Recap from the Fleet Safety Experience Event

tech and techniques to increase safety

Are you experiencing high accident numbers for your light-duty vehicle fleet? Do you have little to no budget or time to solve your safety problem? These are the issues Mark Gardner tackled in his presentation during The Fleet Safety Experience.

Mark G. Gardner was one of several presenters for “Non-CDL Drivers: Tech and Techniques to Increase Safety.” The presentation covered cost-effective strategies that fleets of any size can implement to:

  • Reduce accidents and injuries
  • Reduce cost of loss
  • Save time and headaches while dealing with safety/driver training

Let's recap some of the highlights in this article.

What Is Safety? 

Safety is defined as “freedom from risk.”

In other words, safety and risk have an inverse relationship to each other. When risk goes down, safety goes up. When risk goes up, safety goes down and we have accidents.

However, we can never be 100% free from risk. Risk is all around us. We face risk just sitting at work, and your drivers face tremendous risk out on the road.

With that in mind, you need to focus your efforts on reducing risk for your fleet of non-CDL drivers if you want to reduce accidents.

Where Does Risk Come From?

We have accidents when we take too much risk. As such, it’s important to point out that accidents are caused by human behavior.

You stub your toe because you aren’t watching where you’re going.

You slip going down the stairs because you’re going too fast and not using the handrail.

Similarly, your drivers have rear-end collisions because they’re following someone too closely and driving too fast.

Risk comes from people and their unsafe behaviors, and these unsafe behaviors lead to accidents. 

This is actually good news. Since accidents are caused by people and their unsafe behaviors, we can prevent accidents from ever happening. You do so by focusing on reducing risk.

Download eBook: How to Choose a Defensive Driver Safety Program

How Can You Reduce Risk in Your Fleet?

This is the million-dollar question. And I don’t mean that hypothetically. Depending on your company size, you’re probably spending a million dollars or more on your cost of loss.

A minor accident where no one is hurt costs companies, on average, $16,000 or more. An accident where someone is hurt will cost a company more than $70,000.

You stand to gain so much by investing in solutions to reduce your drivers’ risk.

As Gardner covered in his presentation, there is a five-step approach companies should take to reduce their risk and prevent accidents:

  • Avoid Risk. We can prevent accidents by avoiding risk in the first place. For the most part, this isn’t possible for you. Your company has to accept the risk of drivers being out on the road. There is one crucial step you can take to avoid risk, though: don’t hire unsafe drivers. Do background checks, run MVRs, and avoid hiring high-risk drivers.
  • Eliminate Risk. We do our best to eliminate risk. Fire drivers with repeated motor vehicle violations. Remove or repair unsafe equipment. When you eliminate risk, you reduce the risk of an accident.
  • Engineer Risk Away. You can implement technology that will reduce risk. Back-up cameras, lane-assistant technology and something as simple as seat-belts are all examples of engineering solutions to risk.
  • Reduce Human Factors of Risk. Remember when we said risk comes from people and their unsafe behaviors? That’s still true. You can avoid, eliminate, and engineer solutions to risk, but your people will still have accidents. You need to educate and train your employees to be safer drivers.
  • Transfer Risk. This is the final step to reducing risk. We transfer it away. In other words, we purchase insurance. We all put our money in one pot and say, “None of us loses their shirt when one of our people gets hit now.”

You need to follow this comprehensive 5-step approach to risk reduction. Some of it, you’re certainly doing today. However, other areas are lacking - that’s a guarantee. 

Specifically, companies nearly always fail to adequately address the human factors that cause risk.

The Human Factors: How to Train & Educate Your Employees to Prevent Accidents

You need to offer training and education to your employees if you want them to be safe, defensive drivers.

  • Educate your employees.

This is the first step in reducing the human factors to risk. Educate your employees on the principles, concepts, and ideas behind safety and defensive driving.

This is best accomplished through an online defensive driving program such as The Fleet Safety Course.

  • Train your employees.

After you educate your employees, you need to train them. Training is quite different from education. Training is the hands-on practicing of skills. Your employees need to practice in order to actually learn how to be defensive drivers.

Employee training is best accomplished through a driver certification program like LLLC Driver & Instructor Certification.

When you invest in these approaches, you will benefit from:

What Difference Could Safety Training Make for Your Company?

You may wonder: Why should I invest in safety training? What happens if I train my employees and they just leave?

The better question is: what happens if you don’t train your employees and they stay?

Invest in safety training to achieve better results, reduce your risk of litigation, and protect your people.

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