If you want a safe fleet, start with safe drivers. Studies have shown, again and again, that your drivers are your largest exposure to risk.1 And your risks are all over the map, literally. Here are four steps to help you identify your safest drivers.
1. Check the MVR (Motor Vehicle Record)
Every driver comes with a history.
- Obtain MVRs for anyone who drives on behalf of your company.
- Review MVRs regularly to be sure they meet your standards.
- Apply your MVR policy consistently with all driving employees.
2. Monitor Driver Performance
You hire and train the best drivers possible, but you cannot be with your drivers all the time.
- Review all accidents and incidents.
- Conduct ride-along evaluations.
- Keep track of motorist call-in reports.
- Check vehicle performance data from engine computers and telematics devices to find evidence of speeding, aggressive acceleration, hard braking and cornering.
- Review Department of Transportation (DOT) roadside inspection reports.
3. Prevent Driver Fatigue
Even the best driver gets tired. Fatigue is natural, and we all need regular rest to recharge our batteries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 100,000 accidents reported every year are due to driver fatigue.2
- Create policies and work schedules that mirror safety regulations on fatigue management.
- Provide training on the dangers of driving while fatigued.
- Manage work schedules and monitor hours of all drivers, even those who work from home or at remote locations.
- Require drivers who are operating regulated commercial vehicles to adhere to applicable rules.
- Establish a written policy that specifies when employees must use a hotel or similar accommodations to rest.
- Encourage drivers with signs of a sleep disorder to consult with their doctor.3
4. Promote Good Health for Drivers
Most commercial drivers need to meet minimum DOT driver medical certification requirements, but good health is important for anyone who drives at work.
- Ensure that all commercial drivers meet minimum health requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).4
- Publish minimum health requirements for all drivers using DOT standards as a guide.
- Inform drivers about the ways smoking, drinking, mental health and other conditions may affect their driving.5
- Encourage drivers to eat healthy on the road.6
1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811059.pdf
2 National Safety Council, https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/fatigued-driving
3 Driving Healthy, https://drivinghealthy.org/sleep/conditions.html
4 Driving Healthy, https://drivinghealthy.org/trucking-resources/medical-certificate.html
5 Driving Healthy, https://drivinghealthy.org/health/index.html
6 Driving Healthy, https://drivinghealthy.org/eating-healthy/road.html