It’s hard to sum up the things a fleet manager can do to proactively drive a top safety program, but Lytx VP of Safety Services Del Lisk took a stab at it, though he pointed out that safety isn’t just a fleet manager’s responsibility:
Here are Del’s top three:
“It’s important to focus driver safety efforts on prevention, and that requires identifying and correcting unsafe behavior before an incident takes place.”
The Lytx driving behavior database – with more than 50 billion miles of human-reviewed driving data -- shows that for every 190 unsafe driving behaviors, there are six near-misses or minor collisions, and that’s usually an indication that bad luck and bad timing caught up with the ongoing unsafe behaviors. Addressing the unsafe behaviors before circumstances catch up is the most effective way of preventing a serious collision.
“Keep communication going. Conversations about safety should be ongoing not just during initial orientation or annual training. Most fleets have constant turnover, and that introduces new risk into the fleet each and every day. It’s important to promote a clear and consistent understanding of your safety expectations, keeping an open channel of communication with your drivers.”
A true safety-driven culture, he said, means that safety discussions are integrated into every touch point with drivers, from one-on-ones to team meetings. Safety discussions should also be taking place upward, Lisk said, to make sure that the C-suite is making safety a company priority, not just a fleet priority.
“Share the safety program’s positive outcomes. Celebrate and reward drivers who are doing everything right to help set an example for the rest of the fleet, and help them understand what exceptional safety looks like.”
It’s human nature, Lisk said, to devote the most energy to drivers who are causing the most problems in your fleet, but those great drivers on your team are real leaders and should be recognized for their good driving performance.
They’re the reason you can report to your higher-ups that the safety program is delivering a healthy return on investment, by keeping people, cargo and the company’s reputation safe.