No matter the size, there are certain commonalities and practices that the safest fleets share. Using rigorous, science-based research, we’ve identified three key operations that fleets who see positive safety outcomes have in common.
In a study published by the Journal of Transportation and Statistics, authors Kristen Monaco and Emily Williams discovered the following:
|Number of Employees||% of drivers who had an accident in the last year|
|> 100 drivers||20%|
|500 – 1,000 drivers||8.01%|
|1,000 – 5,000 drivers||5.45%|
Based on the University of Michigan Trucking Program Survey
Despite how the numbers appear, there’s actually nothing inherent to the size of a fleet that makes its drivers more or less safe. Instead, the authors found that large fleets are typically safer than small ones because they have the time and money to establish large-scale safety programs. Fortunately, no matter what size your fleet is, you can emulate the safety practices observed by the safest fleets and reduce your accidents too. The three things safe fleets are doing include:
#1: Heavy Emphasis on Talent
A separate study published by Research in Transportation Economics found that smaller fleets—often without established safety programs—can achieve the same safety outcomes as larger fleets if they heavily emphasize recruiting good talent. Small fleets who pay their drivers more, offer generous benefits packages, or provide better quality-of-life conditions tend to attract highly skilled drivers, which in turn lowers their accident rates.
Jeremy Reymer, CEO and Founder of DriverReach, one of the industry’s leading driver-recruitment platforms, emphasizes the importance of hiring quality drivers. “The most rewarding recruitment strategy is when an organization focuses on hiring quality drivers. Professional drivers want to find an organization that has the right fit for them. If you can provide that, they’ll do a better job and become your safest drivers on the road. Why? Because they’re happy!”
#2: Pay Drivers by the Hour, Not the Mile
Monaco and Williams also found that drivers paid by the hour are 10.2% less likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who are paid by the mile or by a percentage of revenue. They propose that when paid by the mile, drivers are incentivized to drive their routes faster than drivers who are compensated based on time spent driving. When paid by the hour, however, drivers don’t feel the need to rush their routes and instead maintain safe driving speeds, reducing accidents for everyone on the road.
#3: Seek Drivers with 6-8 Years Experience
The above study also found that the safest cohort of drivers has six to eight years of experience behind the wheel. While 28% of drivers with one year of experience reported getting in an accident in the last year, only 10.48% of drivers with six to eight years of experience reported the same.
When recruiting new drivers or retaining your established talent, you must pay special attention to this segment of the driving population.
Though these three qualities are attainable and actionable, it’s challenging to improve your fleet without knowing what’s happening under the hood. The Idelic Safety Suite helps fleets understand their data by:
- Integrating the systems you already use, making them more valuable
- Organizing and visualizing your data so it’s easy to understand
- Allowing you to add and edit data in the platform, so you’re not bogged down by multiple systems
- Using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to identify your at-risk drivers and recommend targeted training
With Safety Suite, everyone can keep safety top-of-mind, and making it a priority doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Watch a short video on how you can simplify your safety here.
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