Using proven, evidence-based studies on driver and fleet performance, we’ve compiled five verified ways to improve safety culture in your fleet. With these tips, your drivers will be less likely to get in an accident and more likely to stick around with your fleet for the long haul.
#1: Take Driver Input Seriously
A review of 20 studies analyzing safety culture found that driver input is one of the four key determinants of a strong safety culture among transportation fleets. A robust safety culture requires buy-in from every member of your fleet. By listening to your drivers and empowering them to speak freely, they are much more likely to participate in the overall culture of your fleet.
#2: Create Structured Channels for Discussion
The same review that identified the importance of driver input also discovered that creating structured channels for discussion also helps foster driver input and strengthen safety culture. If you set up a regular, organized way for your drivers to give feedback, they’re much more likely to feel appreciated by your fleet and contribute to its safety culture. Some tools to do this might include:
- Driver surveys
- Weekly check-ins
- Regular fleet meetups
Tools like the Idelic Safety Suite can help with this by automating surveys and communication between drivers and managers, making sure you always have your finger on the pulse.
#3: Safety Awards Work, So Use Them
A separate review of safety culture best-practices published by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies found that the highest-performing fleets all have a safety awards system implemented. Notably, they found that financial incentives for safe driving—without formal recognition to back them up—are significantly less effective than financial incentives alone. The main takeaway here is that implementing a low-cost awards system can make your high-cost incentive systems worth it, so you don’t have to fear the costs of implementing awards.
#4: Give Regular, Top-Down Safety Messages
The Transportation Research Board’s review also identified that daily or weekly safety messages from fleet leaders to drivers are essential for building safety culture. When executives demonstrate that safety is important to them, drivers are more likely to see safety as an important part of their job. This review also found that these messages are particularly effective when they travel down the chain of command from top leadership, through department managers, through front-line managers, and to drivers.
#5: Simplify Your Safety Message
Similarly, safety messages should be clear, simple, and consistent. Safety messages that are clear and simple are significantly more likely to be understood by your drivers, and consistently sharing safety messages helps drivers internalize them.
To implement these tips, you need a comprehensive fleet-management system that can be customized to fit your needs, like the Idelic Safety Suite. Beyond better facilitation and streamlining of engagement with your drivers, Safety Suite can generate a list of award winners and helps quantify what your drivers are saying.
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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