According to the Department for Transport, in the year ending September 2016 there were 180,000 road casualties and 1,800 deaths in the UK. With business drivers having a 30-40% higher incident rate than those of private drivers, many organisations are concerned about driver safety.

Risky drivers can easily be identified after an event - an incident, a speeding ticket or complaints. But what if you could reduce risky behaviour before an incident happens? Here are 10 best practices that our customers have adopted to lower driving risk.

1. Introduce a safe driving policy

This is the first step to behavioural awareness. Clear guidelines show your business cares about your drivers’ safety and start the dialogue.

2. Hold ‘toolbox talks’

In-person training on safe driving and company expectations help to drive home the message that there is true risk in speeding and harsh driving.

3. Provide instant in-cab coaching

For behaviour change in the right moment, use an in-cab coaching device to give drivers instant visual and auditory feedback on harsh driving, and encourage subconscious driving style adjustments.

nickie hunt-mason, Strategic Account Director, Masternaut, giving a talk on driver safety

Nickie Hunt-Mason, Strategic Account Director at Masternaut giving a speech on driver safety 

Masternaut Connect dashboard interface on a tablet

Masternaut Connect platform user interface on a tablet

4. Get the data

Use telematics devices to establish the facts. You can measure speeding events, harsh acceleration and braking, and automatically create a risk score.

5. Focus coaching efforts

Instead of expensive company-wide re-training, you can focus on those drivers that need a refresher. This will free up resources to work more intensely with each individual, increasing the likelihood of success.

6. Deliver actionable feedback

Lasting behaviour change comes from specific feedback at the right time. Use individual driver behaviour reports linked to Google Maps street view to jog a driver’s memory and address specific events.

7. Develop a driver education program

Auto-enroll drivers who reach a certain number of ‘at-risk points’ in externally provided compulsory training, from online driver safety courses to speed awareness courses and driver development seminars.

8. Give drivers access to their data

The Masternaut Driver Companion App allows drivers to see their own driver scores, tips for improvements as well as in-depth analysis of driving style with peer comparison.

a driver checking his performance against peers on a tablet

Driver checking his performance versus his peers on a tablet

a manager congratulating his employee on being the safest driver in the fleet

Fleet manager congratulating his employee on being the safest driver in the business

9. Incentivise good behaviour

Awards such as a ‘Driver of the Month’ title give drivers something to aim for, and are easy to compile with Masternaut’s live online behaviour scores. Some of our customers have also seen success through publishing leaderboards to create gentle competition and increase awareness.

10. Launch a fleet safety committee

Quarterly, nominated departmental representatives meet to review recent incidents and discuss ways to help change driving habits of high-risk drivers.

summary

Training risky drivers is not an overnight fix, but it is worth it.

In the long run, safer drivers lower fleet costs. Our customers see less wear and tear, lower fuel spend and incident claims, as well as the option to negotiate better insurance premiums.

For more information about driving behaviour, please click here.

Author: Mike Hemming, UK Professional Services Director, Masternaut

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