As a driver we know we have a responsibility when driving. But do we take that responsibility seriously enough?
We have knowledge and we have our company’s policies, processes and procedures in regards to driving within the driver’s handbook and fleet driving policy.
How well do they cover the following fleet driver behaviour issues?
- Speeding and hazard perception
- Mobile phones
- Drugs and medical conditions
Many grey fleet drivers and their employers will say they know everything about them, but does stop them being done. You might have heard that a local police authority near me stopped a female driver who provided a road side breath test of 191 when the legal limit is 35. She was over 5 and a half times over the limit and still driving, so they still remain the most common issues where drivers and employers flout the law and have a massive effect on motor insurance policies. In some unfortunate circumstances they also lead to serious and fatal consequences for all those involved, so will ask again, who is actually responsible while driving for work?
The employee driving for work or the employer?
Do you understand that by not driving responsibly the penalties and consequences of your actions and the impact it will have on your business, or your life and those in your life such as your family?
What should be in a well written fleet driver policy handbook? If you were given a fleet vehicle were you supplied a company driver handbook? Do you know what the company will expect of you driving their vehicle, also how will they pass over to you any speeding fines or parking fines you may get whilst driving their vehicle? (this also goes for Grey Fleet although Grey Fleet will get the fines direct)
Guidance for Fleet Risk Managers
Grey fleet drivers should also provide their employers all their information relating to their vehicles such as servicing and MOT information, insurance and tax.
A Few Questions for Fleet Risk Managers
Should Fleet Managers, fleet risk managers, or Transport Managers be phoning up their drivers to check where they are? Does this condone the use of using a phone whilst driving? What does your company fleet driver policy say about the use of phones whilst driving? Why are you expecting grey fleet drivers to answer whilst driving? Could you not ask them to call when they arrive?
Should you use in-vehicle cameras just to watch what the driver is doing? I can understand if drivers are doing things they should not, like moving the visor in the way so they use the phone, what is the reason that driver needed their phone? Why could they not park safe to call first? Do they know they should park up first? How many points will they get if they are caught driving and using the phone? If whilst on the phone they have a crash and it was your fleet manager calling them to find out where they are, who actually was the cause of that crash? The driver for answering or the fleet manager for calling?
Should you be giving the drivers a job that is impossible to get to and back in time? Have you taken into account the new speed limits on the roads? Increased congestion in areas? Road closures or incidents?
Should you be asking drivers to go over their driving hours? Driving cars will not have tachograph like in trucks, so how do you manage how much time your staff are driving company cars? If they were involved in a serious incident, how would the company be held liable if they can prove that being over their hours contributed towards the incident?
Should you be asking drivers to come in on their day off? Will this have an impact on drivers’ down time? Will they be tired? Will this have an effect on how well that driver does on his deliveries or going from meeting to meeting?
Would fleet drivers who are responsible and love what they do mind doing random alcohol and drug tests? I love driving and I have done a variety of driving jobs before becoming an instructor, and I would not have minded being asked to do a drug or alcohol test if needed. But not all fleet drivers are the same.
Would fleet drivers like to drive from one meeting to the next and have time to rest and plan for that meeting, instead of rushing to leave one to get to the next? A fresh mind with time to plan has a better mindset when it comes to a sales meeting, generating a much better presentation and increased sales.
So fully understanding the impact of not having properly trained fleet and grey fleet drivers who understand their responsibilities and drive in a way that demonstrates that is a massive impact on your business.
The Impact of Fleet Driving Policies on the Company
Having correct fleet driving policies and procedures matters when it comes to dealing with things that drivers do, when they are not driving in an acceptable way and may be the cause of a serious incident.
Having fleet drivers who drive in a way that is defensive, and well planned can have an impact in a positive way to your business, your drivers will use less fuel, you will have less incidents with the reduced insurance claims, better and more valued vehicles resulting in less maintenance needed.
Drivers have better chances on doing their jobs better increasing business prospects.
Get in touch to get a driver assessment and talk about fleet driving policies.