Last year marked the eighth consecutive year of combined ratios over 100% in the commercial auto marketplace. Even if drivers are making improvements, there could still be gaps in any fleet management program. In this session at the RIMS 2019 Conference and Exhibition, Jim Noble, Vice President – Risk Engineering for eDriving, presented the essential steps for creating a 360-degree view of fleet risk.
Over the last several years, there has been a dramatic increase in traffic fatalities. In 2018, over 40,000 people in the United States were killed as a result of traffic accidents.
A successful fleet safety program should include five core pillars: culture, assessment, data, targeted risk reduction and benchmarking. To construct those pillars, you will need to incorporate leadership, a coherent policy, manager engagement, driver engagement, risk assessment, performance measurement, interventions and measurement of progress.
It is imperative to develop the right message for your fleet. This starts with the leadership of the organization establishing safety as a corporate priority. A coherent policy should be introduced that everyone can understand and follow. The policy could include a driving guide, policy knowledge checks, a company driving pledge, a privacy notice and templates and guides for managers and drivers. Manager engagement is of utmost importance in order to foster a culture of safety and adherence to the safety policy. Asking employees to sign a form when they have reviewed the safety policy can help mitigate legal risk going forward.
Predictive, validated risk assessment helps the employer understand the likelihood of a driver being involved in an incident. These assessments incorporate driver profiles, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. In addition, Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) should be checked on an ongoing basis.
Data Aggregation – Scoring
It is important to use objective data to assess risk. This could include risk assessment outcomes, collision data, in-vehicle intelligence, incident data and MVR/licence checks. When you aggregate all of this data and look at it holistically, you can develop a driving score for each of your drivers. However, coming up with a driving score is not enough. Once you have that score, it should be used to identify areas that need improvement and make changes or train employees accordingly. A lot of times, the problems are not the fault of the driver. You may have a problem with management asking drivers to operate in unsafe ways. This step will help you identify those problems.
Targeted Risk Reduction – Training
The modern learner is overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. Most people will not watch videos longer than four minutes and they unlock their smartphones up to nine times every hour. Most importantly, employees have only one percent of their work week to focus on training and development. You cannot change the way your employee learns, so you have to deliver content in a way that works for them. Training should be targeted to the individual, making it more likely that they will retain the information.
Benchmarking – Measuring Progress
This step will let you know if the program you implemented is effective. You can benchmark several data points to track your progress:
- Total number of crashes/incidents/injuries per 100 hours driven or one million miles driven
- Insurance cost per vehicle
- Repair costs per vehicle
- Total number of manager interactions
- Total number of trainings completed
- Reduction in negative driver behaviors
- Improved productivity
These five pillars provide an effective framework for any fleet risk management program. Though fleet/vehicle risk is an accepted risk, you can still make a positive impact on the organization’s risk and exposure by developing and implementing an effective program.