You have a policy around seat belts – drivers must wear them. You have a policy around cell phone use behind the wheel – drivers must not use them. Here’s the problem: if everyone followed policy, why not just have a “no collisions” policy?
The truth is that written policies are guardrails that guide drivers to make safe choices, but without a plan for enforcement, the best a fleet manager can do is send their drivers out the door and keep their fingers crossed.
There are effective ways to encourage policy compliance without having to wield a heavy hammer. Here are three ways to help put teeth into your safety policy:
- Know what’s happening once your drivers hit the road. We hear from clients all the time that when they first see DriveCam® video clips of driving events like a sudden swerve or a hard brake, they’re shocked at how frequently the root cause of the event is a safety policy violation. Cell phone use and other distractions are no-nos on everyone’s safety policy list, but they happen, and the only thing keeping them from resulting in collisions is pure luck. Event-based video clips can make you and your drivers aware of their on-the-road behavior, and can provide an opportunity for a coach to sit with a driver and review safety policy.
- Focus on the little things to help improve the big things. A seat belt violation here and there is no big deal, right? Well, actually, according to data derived from Lytx’s analysis of more than 50 billion driving miles, drivers cited for seat belt violations are 3.4 times more likely to get into a collision than an average driver. Another compelling fact from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: of the approximately 35,000 people who died in U.S. traffic collisions in 2015, nearly half were not wearing a seat belt. The key takeaway: focusing on policy compliance for even seemingly small things can influence more serious risks in your fleet.
- Favor reward over reprimand. It always helps to remind drivers what good driving looks like, and recognizing drivers who consistently follow policy can do just that. Reward and recognition programs -- from gift cards to a free lunch -- give drivers an added reason to follow policy and gives fleet managers an opportunity to refresh the safety policy specifics without the fear of reprimand.