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What is a Fleet Safety Culture and How to Promote One

Jun 20, 2024

In this post we’ll explore some key aspects of a fleet safety culture and show you how you can promote best practice guidelines in your fleet.

For more information on how we can help you and your fleet, get in touch with us on 020 8290 9099 or email us at commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

What is a fleet safety culture?

In short, a fleet safety culture means that everyone in your fleet – from the drivers to the managers – commits to a set of policies and procedures to promote total operational safety.

Benefits of a Fleet Safety Culture

A fleet safety culture can:

  • Keep your drivers safe. According to a recent report, 21% of all UK road casualties, and 29% of all UK road fatalities, occur when people are driving for work. You have a duty of care to your drivers. A fleet safety culture helps you meet that duty.
  • Boost operational efficiency. Safe driving practices, such as smooth acceleration, turning, and braking, can help save fuel, along with wear and tear of tyres and other vehicle components. So in this way, a fleet safety culture can help you save on fuel costs, maintenance and repair costs, and vehicle downtime.
  • Lower insurance premiums. If you can demonstrate to your insurer that you are committed to preventing accidents and minimising downtime, you may be able to make savings on the price of your commercial motor insurance.

How to Promote a Fleet Safety Culture

To create a promote a safety culture in your fleet, you need:

  • Clear guidelines. Put your commitment to fleet safety in writing. Outline exactly what you want to achieve, and exactly what risks you want to overcome. This way, drivers will know what you expect from them, and what they can expect from you. Setting targets and schedules will also help you determine what sort of investments you may need to make in terms of tech, training, and more.
  • Effective communication. Make sure everyone can access and understand your policies and procedures. Effective communication also means you’ll tell drivers why you’re imposing certain changes, which can help to overcome resistance. Drivers may be more willing to accept new training or tech if they know it’s part of an overall suite of changes, and not just imposed for the sake of it.
  • Company-Wide consideration – Everyone should commit to a fleet safety culture. Beyond the fleet managers and the drivers, you should also consider the part that operational and other support staff can play in contributing to an overall safer culture.
  • Ongoing commitment – This isn’t a box-ticking, one-and-done exercise. It’s an ongoing commitment. This means you’ll have to continuously measure the impact of your policies and procedures and review your practices whenever necessary.

Key Aspects of a Fleet Safety Culture

When working on creating a fleet safety culture, you’ll need to consider these key aspects:

  • Drivers – All drivers must commit to their ongoing training commitments. You may also choose to implement some advanced training to help your fleet get up to speed with certain principles as smooth, safe, and efficient driving. Thorough driver risk assessments at the recruitment stage is another key aspect of a fleet safety culture. And remember that the policies and procedures apply to all drivers, including your grey fleet drivers.
  • Vehicles – At the acquisition stage, you’ll set some minimum standards for every vehicle in your fleet, in terms of emissions and NCAP ratings. You’ll establish and enforce an ongoing vehicle maintenance schedule including a number of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual procedures to keep every vehicle in your fleet roadworthy.
  • Technology – All drivers will commit to the correct use of their vehicle tachographs to ensure they never exceed the legal driving hours. You may also consider investing in additional tech to manage your drivers’ behaviour. This might include driver safety apps and driver-facing cameras. Your drivers may be resistant to certain tech. But as we explained above, if you can clearly outline why you’re imposing any piece of tech, drivers may be more likely to get onboard.

Be Proactive With Your Fleet Safety Culture

Unfortunately, far too many fleets might only understand the value of a fleet safety culture when it’s too late.

Say one of your vehicles is involved in an accident, and your driver’s badly injured. In this case, would you be able to evidence your approach to health and safety? Would you be able to document the training and guidance you gave the driver to help them avoid accidents, and to keep themselves safe on the road? If not, you’ll have a serious problem on your hands.

At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance and risk management for the transport and logistics sector. If you have any questions about your legal obligations as a driver or fleet manager, or if you want to discuss any aspect of a fleet safety culture, call us on 020 8290 9099 or email commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.


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