A safety management program, powered by the right tools, can help managers identify at-risk drivers, measure their performance, and increase fleet safety.

On December 12, 2018, we hosted a webinar on fleet safety.

The webinar, Secrets to Improve Your Fleet’s Safety in 2019, was hosted by three Motive presenters: Compliance Product Manager Jason Pesek, Customer Education Manager Chelsea Kendrick, and Customer Success Manager Chris Hanie.

Why focus on fleet safety?

Chris Hanie began the webinar by citing the average cost of collisions in the U.S.

In general, large truck collisions that don’t result in either injuries or fatalities cost an average of $91,000. The average cost for collisions that lead to injuries is $200,000. For crashes that result in fatalities, the average cost is $3.6 million.

Despite these figures, unsafe driving habits are still prevalent in the trucking community.

Between December 2017 and July 2018, the Motive fleet management software recorded over 582,000 critical safety events from around 200,000 drivers. Here is the approximate breakdown:

  • Hard braking — 361,000 events
  • Hard acceleration — 169,000 events
  • Hard cornering — 52,000 events

Note: Critical safety events (hard braking, excessive acceleration, hard cornering) demonstrate poor driving practices that may increase the risk of collisions.

These numbers emphasize the importance of a culture of safety and promoting safe driving practices among drivers.

Let’s explore the key takeaways and lessons from the fleet safety webinar and how fleets can increase fleet safety.

1. Establish a culture of safety

Road safety is a team effort that starts at the top management level and goes all the way down to safety managers, fleet managers, and drivers.

Hanie identified three crucial pillars for a culture of safety within a fleet:

Identify at-risk drivers

Safety managers should start by identifying at-risk drivers.

According to Hanie, 80 percent of safety risks only come from 20 percent of drivers. Changing the habits of this 20 percent could lead to 80 percent of improvement.

The Motive Driver Scorecards feature sorts drivers by safety scores and helps you quickly identify drivers that require immediate coaching.

Provide driver training and coaching

Safety managers should then develop a customized coaching and training program for at-risk drivers.

Your coaching and training program should include open discussions where the people involved can share insights and feedback. This ensures that every single high-risk driver behavior is recognized and resolved collaboratively.

During coaching sessions, keep the focus on critical safety events and ways to prevent them. This should lead to the formulation of formal training sessions centered around key safety issues in your fleet.

Measure, track performance, and improve

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to fleet safety plans.

Different fleets may have different safety goals. To meet these goals, safety managers may need to adjust their coaching and training methods over time. That’s why they should constantly track key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure progress.

The number of critical safety events recorded in the Motive Dashboard is an example of the KPIs you should track.

Safety and fleet managers can also use our Driver Coaching feature to manage safety events. You can easily filter performance events by different coaching statuses. Driver Coaching will also proactively notify you of any events that are pending review to reduce administrative burden and make you more productive.

2. Monitor driver performance with dash cams

Another way of tracking driver improvement is to use road-facing dashcams to record what drivers see during critical events. This will enable safety managers to identify and address various factors affecting driver judgment in risky situations.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, safety technology, which includes onboard video monitoring systems, can prevent 63,000 large truck crashes per year.

Jason Pesek took the lead after Chris Hanie to showcase Motive’s video-based monitoring solution.

The Motive Smart Dashcam is a proprietary device that captures video footage of critical moments. It automatically saves 10 seconds of HD footage before and after a safety event, namely excessive acceleration, braking, and cornering.

Safety events can occur for various reasons, and only videos can show the true picture. For example, hard braking can happen because of driver fatigue or a stray animal on the road. Identifying the root cause, which is possible with the footage recorded by the Motive Smart Dashcam, makes driver training conversations more productive and targeted.

Aside from irresponsible driving behaviors, the Smart Dashcam can also record how skilled drivers navigate their way around dangerous situations.

Halfway through the webinar, Jason Pesek presented a video showing a Motive driver successfully evading a collision with a distracted driver. It was the perfect material to demonstrate how to perform a timely course correction and the importance of reaction speed.

3. Take one step at a time

Chelsea Kendrick concluded the webinar by sharing Norman Bright’s experience.

Bright is the safety and fleet manager of Woodford Oil, a Virginia-based fuel and lubricant distributor. He facilitated the successful installation of the Motive Smart Dashcam in all 50 vehicles.

When asked about his experience, Bright shared how he started with their veteran drivers first. This allowed him to collect useful insights and leverage the veteran’s credibility to get more drivers on board easily.

Bright also highlighted the importance of transparency in a fleet safety program. To get drivers to approve any strategy or technology, they must also understand the benefits.

In the case of dashcams, video footage can be used to exonerate drivers who aren’t at fault in collisions. This should give drivers confidence as they focus on their duties on the road.

Take your fleet safety to the next level in 2019

To minimize the risk of collisions and increase fleet safety, commercial drivers need to be more safety-conscious. With the tips mentioned above, safety managers can develop a fleet safety program that can help protect drivers and others on the road.

If you have questions about the Motive fleet management solution, call us at (844) 325 9230 or email at support@gomotive.com.