Have you ever considered the way your employees drive? And how much of an impact that has on your business? It may be more that you think.
How the Behaviour of your Fleet Drivers Affects Your Business
Consider for a moment a scenario, this is one I have seen in person.
I was waiting at traffic lights, first in the line, two vans behind me. The right turn lane was empty, as the lights turned green I set off, looked into my right mirror and saw a van driver coming up from behind very fast.
A central pedestrian crossing point was on the other side of the junction, just wide enough for one lane. The speeding van overtook the two vans and was coming to pass me, but I was close to the exit of the junction.
The van squeezed past me with inches to spare, endangering me and the public. The driver was in a rush, not following the road rules and marking correctly. In short, the driver had no consideration for himself, other road users and of course the vehicle he was driving.
He was driving a van with the company logo all over each side, then I watch him approach a roundabout, move to the right lane to overtake a vehicle in the left lane, push out on to the round about cutting up vehicles on the roundabout and make a left turn from the right lane. Is this the type of driver you want working for you? Is this how you want your vehicles being driven? Is this how you want your company logo to be seen, so my point is how much of an impact do your drivers have on your potential customers as they are driving about?
Now imagine those fleet drivers in your vehicles tearing around towns, cities, rural roads and motorways.
- Brand Image
- Fines & Insurance Premiums
- Unrecorded Accidents
- Sky Rocketing Service Costs
- Poor Petrol Performance
Your fleet vehicles are nicely signed with your company logo, contact details and branding. Members of the public take notice of this branding as they are cut up, tailgated, honked at and aggressively overtaken by your employees.
So now you start to get people calling up to complain, others are remembering your business and going to your competitors as their only experience of your business is the way they see your drivers treat others on the roads of the UK.
How Much Bad Fleet Driver Behaviour Costs Your Business?
Your employees are might be constantly getting speeding fines, parking fines, and you will be getting strong words of advice from the local constabulary. Further, the courts or Highways England will be sending letters of bad driving behaviour as they have recently been sending out notices of drivers, driving past the RED X on the motorways. In our career as a fleet training company, we have seen 400 of such notices from one business alone.
A number of fleet drivers also get banned from driving and are now lurking around the business looking for something else to do. Do you have other work duties for these employees?
Meanwhile, your insurance company gets wind of the issue and your fleet insurance premiums go through the roof. Can you afford insurance price rises?
Monitoring Your Fleet Driver Behaviour
Not having vehicle tracking or dash cam to monitor poor driving events, your employees are involved in a large number of incidents with other road users or street furniture and the is doubt as to who is to blame. There is no way to prove responsibility either way, so it could be your business suffers from payouts, vehicle repair cost and a bad reputation.
Drivers’ driving style can be costing you, by aggressive acceleration, hard braking and a rally driver style attitude to corners, means your vehicles are in the garage more for new brake pads, discs and tyres. But will it stop there, what of engine wear and tear, means clutches are being replaced and your service bills will be increasing.
With drivers driving around with attitudes of rally drivers or drag race drivers, your drivers are making the MPG not go that extra mile but adding up high fuel bills, turning MPG into metres per gallon.
You might be having these drivers getting goods or passengers to their delivery points on time, but how much more efficient can they be in doing their job?
Does all this sound Familiar?
This may not happen, it may just be the very few out there, but if some of these points are hitting home are true, without proper training and good quality driver behaviour the chances are your fleet is experiencing some of the negative effects of poor or inefficient driving.
Now fleet managers have the challenge of improving their driver’s attitudes and driving techniques without having it feel like big brother is being imposed upon them.
Getting Your Fleet Drivers On-board
Employees are not likely to appreciate being told how to drive, but if they were told from the start in your driver policies, and the logic of your decisions is explained to them as to why we have the driver policies and training and telematics in place this may encourage driver improvement.
You could give an example of using the cost saving, if the training of drivers and tracking of vehicles demonstrates a saving of ££££s per year, then maybe that can be reinvested into the company employees as a reward for their efforts in taking part in promoting safe driving, good driver attitude and giving the company good visual presence on the roads.
There are other non-financial rewards may work such as creating a driver behaviour league table, creating a driver of the month competition, or just give them positive feedback when they have improved their driving out there.
By adjusting your fleet drivers’ attitude and combining this with the tracking and fleet management, you will certainly cut costs, improve efficiency and generally enhance your business performance. It might seem daunting at first, but once you have started to see the benefits you will be glad you went through with it.
Worried about your fleet drivers’ behaviour? Arrange a free fleet training consultation.