Linxup Blog

How to Create a Fleet Safety Policy

By Jessica Stoddard Back to Home on Jun 27, 2017
Fleet Safety

No matter how large or small your fleet is, every fleet-based business needs a comprehensive driver safety policy.

Fleet safety policies are formalized rules and guidelines that establish the policies and procedures required to maintain a safe workplace. They achieve this by:

1. Providing rules for safe conduct and vehicle operations.
2. Outlining disciplinary procedures for unsafe driving and moving violations, as well as reward programs for safe drivers.
3. Defining protocol for accidents or collisions
4. Giving drivers the confidence of knowing that their employer is committed to their safety and the safety of all motorists.

Creating a new fleet safety policy takes time and effort, but can bring significant benefits to your business, including:

  • Encouraging safe driver behavior, both on and off the clock.
  • Reducing accident costs.
  • Lowering insurance costs.
  • Improving fleet operations.

Learn more about fleet safety policies and why your business needs one.

To help your business define your own fleet safety policy, we've created a simple step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process.

1. Identify stakeholders

The first step in creating a new fleet safety policy is to identify who will be affected by the policy. At a minimum, this will include your drivers, human resources and legal teams, and management.

When you understand who will be impacted by your policy, you can ensure that every team and individual employee in your organization has a chance to contribute to the shaping of your new rules and guidelines. This helps to create a stronger policy that actually addresses the issues faced by each stakeholder.

2. Get management support

The most successful fleet safety policies are applied and enforced throughout the entire organization. Buy-in from the highest level of management is essential for achieving company-wide support.

In order to earn management support for your policy, create a brief outline that explains what the policy is and why your fleet needs it. If possible, get a statement of support in writing that you can pass along to key stakeholders or include in your finalized policy document.

3. Decide on the content of your policy

The specific content of your policy will depend on your business, but there are a few things every fleet safety policy should include or address:

  • Introduction: The introduction serves as a statement of purpose. Explain why you are instituting the policy and who will be affected.

  • Basic driver policies: All fleet safety policies should outline basic safety rules relating to cell phone use, driving under the influence, and seat belt use.

  • Driver education and training: Your fleet safety policy should outline how often driver training will take place, who may be exempt, and when additional seminars are required. The purpose of driver training is less to teach safe behaviors, and more to keep safety top of mind; repetition and reinforcement are key.

  • Accident reporting and procedures: Outline how accidents are to be reported and classified, as well as the consequences of such incidents. Collisions can be classified by fault and/or preventability to determine whether the offense should be chargeable to the driver. You may also wish to create an accident review committee to review and classify accident reports and communicate disciplinary decisions to drivers.

  • Disciplinary procedures for violations: Your fleet safety policy should clearly explain the consequences for chargeable accidents and violations. Always have legal and human resources teams review your proposed policy before implementation. Point systems, where points are issued based on the seriousness of the violation, are common. Consequences can include letters of reprimand, suspensions, and even termination.

  • PRO TIP: The best GPS tracking systems provide real-time alerts that can help you identify and take appropriate action on safety violations such as speeding and harsh braking. Learn more.

  • Reward programs: Rewarding drivers with proven records of safe driving behavior provides incentive to adhere to safety policies. Rewards can include letters of commendation, prizes, vehicle upgrades, and monetary rewards.

  • PRO TIP: Keep track of driver safety using a GPS tracking system. The most comprehensive systems collect driver behavior data and create driver safety report cards for individual drivers and entire fleets. This information can be used to identify and reward safe drivers. Learn more.

  • Motor vehicle reports (MVRs): Your fleet safety policy should outline how often MVRs will be pulled. Most fleets pull MVRs at least once per year. New hires should give the company permission to obtain a state MVR, as well as MVRs for family members who might be operating the business vehicle.

  • Vehicle inspections: Outline how often your drivers are required to inspect their vehicles for possible safety issues such as tire wear, burned out lights, or worn down internal components.

  • PRO TIP: Automate your preventive maintenance and routine inspections by using a GPS tracking system to schedule and create maintenance reminders. Learn more.

  • Telematics: Many effective fleet safety policies rely on data collected by GPS tracking devices. If your formal fleet safety policy includes the implementation of telematics devices, create a timeline that details your plan for implementation, as well as outline what information will be collected. You may also wish to create training programs to familiarize your drivers with how their tracking device will work.

  • Driver sign-off: All new hires should sign off on your business's fleet safety policy before starting.

4. Consult your drivers

Drivers are the primary stakeholder in any fleet safety policy. Soliciting their input while you're forming the contents of the policy helps ensure driver buy-in, and also ensures the policy's effectiveness by incorporating the expertise of those behind the wheel.

5. Implement the program

Once you've decided on the content of your policy and consulted with your drivers and other key stakeholders, you can formally announce and implement the program. Formal announcements should be led by approval and endorsement from the highest level of executive in order to ensure company-wide implementation. When you announce your new fleet safety policy, explain why you've created the program and outline the details, as well as how the new policy will benefit drivers and the entire company.

The key to ensuring a successful roll-out is to create a company culture where safety is a part of your everyday operations. Regular memos and safety reminders, discussions of safety policies at meetings, and ongoing communication are key to the successful implementation of your fleet safety program.

Safe driving makes business sense

By formalizing expectations, rules, and guidelines for safe driving behavior, fleet safety policies create a culture of safety that can help reduce accident costs, lower insurance premiums, and improve your overall fleet operations.

GPS tracking devices support fleet safety policies by providing valuable insights into how drivers operate their vehicles, enabling fleet managers to identify unsafe behaviors and reward safe drivers.

Read more about how GPS tracking devices can help improve your fleet safety.