Driver and fleet safety must go beyond the traditional fleet

Traditionally the focus of the majority of Driver Risk Management programs has been to track, monitor, and assess the safety of drivers who are driving company-owned or leased vehicles. Yet, across the globe, the nature of work-related driving is changing very fast. There has been a real paradigm shift in how companies now enable the mobility of their workforce. 

Most organisations are moving away from the traditional fleet vehicle ownership and leasing model to a policy that includes one or more of the following options:

  • Employee car allowances

  • Reimbursement for the use of private vehicles 

  • Pooled vehicles rather than one vehicle per employee

  • Short Term Rental cars

  • Maybe even a significant reliance on taxi firms as we are witnessing in countries like Russia

  • Forward-thinking businesses are starting to experiment with mobility allowances as opposed to a just car allowance to promote the wider use of shared mobility services

This new reality means companies are needing to move away from 'in-vehicle monitoring' to a much more driver-focused approach.

Ultimately a company's duty of care and their most valuable assets are their people. The language of these programs is changing as we move away from phrases like 'fleet risk management' to 'driver safety' with companies, ultimately taking a more holistic approach.

"Companies are now seeking solutions to improve the safety of all company employees who drive for work or to work - or even get driven by others on company time!"

Driver Safety for many companies also now includes consideration of how programs can help employees and even their families in their personal travel as they are considered as part of an overall employee well-being concern.

Why shouldn't an engaged employee also have the opportunity of understanding their driver behaviour outside of work hours without worrying about their boss finding out? Because ultimately, how you drive in your own free time will inevitably influence how you drive whilst you're at work, as well as having an impact on the overall well-being of the workforce.

So, our main focus is to empower our drivers to understand and improve their behaviour - whether they are driving a company vehicle or not! Self-assessment then needs to be further supported by positive reinforcement and rewarding good driving. An employer's responsibility should then be first to celebrate and reward genuine behaviour change and to prioritise interventions and coaching when repeated patterns of bad driving behaviour are spotted.

Businesses with strong safety cultures and a focus on employee welfare are already on this path of change. We have observed an early majority of companies who are making this move from a focus on the vehicle to a laser focus on the driver.

Move from a focus on the vehicle to a laser focus on the driver. This can only be a good thing in moving the needle when it comes to work-related driver safety in the coming months.    

If this is a change you're considering as a business, then please talk to us at Brightmile. We'd love to discuss our viewpoint on driver-centric risk management.

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