If you have multiple company drivers on the road at any one time, you must be efficient in the way your fleet is run while also confident that these drivers and others who share the road are safe.

Fleet risk management includes the tasks and programs involved in running a safe fleet. It’s a fundamental aspect of fleet management, while also crossing into the domain of a company’s health and safety management.

Proper fleet risk management helps to avoid or minimize the impact of incidents, meet regulatory and compliance needs as well as uphold brand and company reputations.

We dive further into the benefits and potential improvements of fleet risk management below.

What Areas Does Fleet Risk Management Cover?

Driver Safety

When it comes to fleet risk management, establishing and maintaining driver safety is critical. Companies must ensure that their drivers have the tools, knowledge, skills and confidence needed to make the right decisions. They can do this by establishing a proactive driver safety program.

A driver safety program should include these six components:

  • A well-crafted driver safety policy
  • A way to continuously monitor drivers
  • A program for ongoing driver training
  • A strategy for remediating poor driving behavior
  • A means of recognizing safe drivers
  • An expert resource that can provide guidance and evaluate your program

We dive into each of these components and discuss the countless benefits of establishing and enforcing a strong driver safety program in our webinar, 6 Steps to Implement a Comprehensive Driver Safety Program.

Compliance and Regulations

One of the biggest headaches fleet managers experience is keeping up with the rules that govern commercial fleet operations and all the related paperwork that surrounds it. It’s the fundamental responsibility of a fleet manager to ensure that their fleet complies with each of these regulations.

They must also make sure that:

  • The fleet’s vehicles are all fit for purpose, inspected regularly and follow a planned maintenance schedule
  • All drivers are fully trained to operate their specifically allocated vehicles
  • All drivers are fully aware of the company’s safety policies and the broader compliance regulations that it operates in
  • Each driver is in good health and holds a valid driving license
  • The fleet’s operations provide realistic and reasonable working schedules with proper driver breaks built it.

Fleet Maintenance

Maintenance is a vital part of fleet risk management as it affects both driver safety and fleet efficiency. Beyond the importance of meeting regulatory requirements, if a vehicle is properly maintained and kept in good condition, it will be safer to drive. Companies need to monitor and be alerted of issues before they turn into costly fixes, and most importantly, jeopardize driver safety. Fleet maintenance also promotes better safety behind the wheel by ensuring drivers feel comfortable and confident knowing that their vehicle is in good condition to drive.

What are the Benefits of Fleet Risk Management?

Employee Safety

Fleet risk management ensures that a company’s drivers and other staff work in a safe environment. It also ensures that those drivers don’t put their own lives or those of others at risk.

Regulatory Compliance

An effective fleet risk management program ensures that a company’s fleet meets its compliance requirements, and thereby avoids the costly fines and legal battles associated with non-compliance.

Cost-Savings

Insurance costs, incident management costs and legal fees and fines are all significantly reduced through an effective fleet risk management program.

Brand and Company Reputation

Keeping a fleet’s operations out of the headlines for putting lives at risk and playing fast and loose with employee safety is a key business benefit. It helps maintain a company’s reputation, which at the corporate level is a paramount benefit of any fleet risk management program.

How Can Fleet Risk Management Be Improved?

The goal of any fleet risk management program is to reduce risk. Therefore, to reduce risk the following areas should be addressed.

Regularly Identify and Monitor Areas of Risk

Establish driver risk profiles, and monitor them to see how they perform over time. It’s critical to implement a strategy that allows you to identify at-risk drivers and provide them with individual training and management support to address their specific problems as soon as possible.

Hire Good, Qualified People

All managers know that hiring good people can make a huge difference. First, check and confirm qualifications to avoid any compliance or regulatory issues. After that, hire people that you trust to drive safely, behave correctly, complete jobs properly and get the job done with no risk or drama. Remember, it’s always okay to be picky about who gets hired – customer satisfaction as well as company and brand reputations are all on the line.

Use On-Board Telematics

Telematics provides a range of insights on driver behavior — from hard braking and speeding to the location and time of such events.

With this insight, both drivers and their managers can better understand driving patterns and identify the driver’s risk factors. Further, these can be put into context by comparison to other drivers so that the risk can be ranked and training resources can be deployed accordingly.

Simply put, telematics can reduce crashes and prolong the life of vehicles – key parts of any fleet risk management program.

Automate Vehicle Maintenance

Fleet maintenance must be a top priority in fleet risk management. Regular, scheduled maintenance is part of the fleet manager’s role and should not be left as the driver’s responsibility.

Telematics systems and onboard sensors can be combined with automated scheduling assistants to alert fleet managers when vehicles are due for service. This automating of vehicle maintenance means fleet managers can be proactive and planned about taking vehicles off the road for servicing. This optimizes fleet uptime and ensures that vehicles that require servicing are not in use.

Digitize Document Management

The logistics and delivery industry is benefitting greatly from digital technology thanks to the use of telematics, onboard sensors and even the ability to communicate with drivers when they are on the road. But another area where digitization can help deliver better productivity is in document management. This makes information more available to everyone who needs it. It also allows information to be combined in a way that generates more and better insight.

With the ability to combine and aggregate vehicle and driver data, fleet risk management programs take a huge leap forward in reducing risk and keeping people safe.

Elevate Your Approach to Fleet Risk Management

Protecting your drivers, brand reputation and bottom line requires a proactive, well-thought-out approach to fleet safety management.

To discover the gaps your company may need to fill in order to establish a stronger driver risk management strategy, download our checklist below!