Driver safety: How fleet managers can put the brakes on speeders
Stopping speeders requires action.
There’s no denying that employers have an important role — and responsibility — in helping reduce the number of deaths and injuries related to vehicle collisions. Stopping fleet speeding requires action. Employers can positively influence the employee safety on (and off) the job through safety-focused leadership.
Despite common belief, speeding doesn’t save time and is actually not a more efficient way to get from one place to another. See an explanation of the math here. For example, on a trip in the city, any time saved can be easily added back if you run into traffic or get a string of red lights. So, allowing employees to speed is a false economy — any time saved is marginal as compared to the increased risks and indirect collision costs. Additionally, speeding is illegal and the related fines are highly expensive for drivers and their companies.
For everyone’s safety, there is no need to speed. Getting to your destination without breaking the law or being involved in a crash is the best goal.
Companies truly need to take a stand on whether or not speeding is worth the increased risk of crash and the related potential for bodily injury and legal cost. Launching a company-wide safe driving campaign for employees is highly recommended by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and others.
See also: Going from reactive to proactive safety
Opportunity for employers: Reduce speed and save lives with driver safety
Employers can find opportunities to save significantly — save fuel, save collision costs, and save lives by introducing a speed reduction initiative in their company. A speed reduction campaign can support a company’s overall fleet safety program and enhances driver safety and productivity. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that a safe driving program can “protect your organization's human and financial resources” and ward off “potential company and personal liabilities.”
With many companies, fleet costs take up a large portion of the total operating budget. A safe driving campaign presents a new avenue for cost savings, and is a win-win for everyone.
How can fleets stop speeding?
Launching a workplace safety campaign can help companies reduce speeding and aggressive driving in their fleets. Telematics is a great addition to any fleet safety program by providing objective insights on performance for coaching drivers. A telematics platform like Geotab makes it possible to take a baseline on speeding activities, set rules, and then track progress towards goals.
For example, fleets can track vehicle speed (among many other things) with the Geotab GO device. Speed information can be viewed in MyGeotab, right from the map. A more detailed Speed Profile is also available.
With a telematics-based speeding report, fleet managers can see who has been speeding and how often. For example, the Top 5 Speeding Violations report in MyGeotab displays the top 5 drivers with the highest number of speeding events by day, week, or month. Whether the fleet manager has received complaints about speeding drivers or simply wants to improve overall fleet safety, this report can help identify which drivers in the fleet have the most dangerous driving habits.
Managers can also use telematics software to reinforce driving policy, by setting up an exception in MyGeotab for speeding, or creating a rule around speeding against a posted speed limit (where available). For more information on managing speeding and aggressive driving, read these articles on driver scorecards and Geotab GO TALK, which is a real-time driver feedback add-on for the Geotab GO device.
Benefits of launching a Driver Safety Campaign
Here are three compelling reasons to implement a Driver Safety Campaign focused on managing speeding for your drivers.
1. Save on fuel and reduce emissions
These fast facts on fuel make a convincing argument for a no speeding campaign:
- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph (U.S. Department of Energy).
- For every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, you are paying an extra $0.16 - $0.32 per gallon for gas (U.S. Department of Energy).
- Driving the speed limit and maintaining a steady speed while driving can reduce CO2 emissions by more than a ton per year (Carbonfund.org).
2. Cost savings opportunities (per 100 vehicles)
Reducing speed can add up to significant cost savings for employers. This money can be redirected to other areas of the business or straight to the bottom line.
- Using 118 gallons of fuel per year at an additional cost of $.84 per gallon, including wear/tear and risk = $100 extra per vehicle per year. $100 over 500 vehicles = $50,000 annual savings opportunity.
- Total fleet average collision repair cost is $2,300 x 100 vehicles = $230,000 annual savings opportunity, just for physical damage (BusinessFleet.com/NETS).
- If we use half ($8,250) of the industry average ($16,500) which includes liability, workers comp, etc., $8,250 x 100 vehicles = $825,000 annual savings opportunity (NHTSA).
3. Reduce the cost of crashes - save lives!
- In the U.S., traffic crashes cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses including medical care, liability, productivity losses, and property damage (NETS).
- Speeding alone resulted in $8.4 billion in crash-related expenses for employers. Distracted driving resulted in $8.2 billion (NHTSA).
- Speeding is a top contributing factor to traffic crashes. In 2013, speeding was linked to 29% of all fatal crashes, and 9,613 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes (NHTSA).
How to launch a successful Driver Safety Campaign
- Set a goal. In this case, the goal would be to reduce, or eliminate driver speeding violations (as defined in your Driver Safety Campaign).
- Identify a campaign manager and internal stakeholder.
- Create your campaign. Include a communication and compliance strategy.
- Promote your campaign.
Assemble a team of people who will champion the initiative. Be sure to include employees on the campaign committee. Share safety best practices, plan activities and communications to promote the campaign. Posters with facts and visuals can be very effective. Communicate regularly throughout the campaign to keep interest and enthusiasm going.
Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to crashes and traffic related deaths. In addition, speeding increases fuel expense. Therefore, targeting driver speeding is a truly worthwhile effort for employers.
Implementing a “No Need to Speed!” initiative can potentially save a company thousands of dollars, in a conservative estimate. Protecting employees from motor vehicle crash injury is a profitable investment of time and resources. Importantly, it helps companies underscore that they care about the well-being of each employee.
It only takes a second for your life to change — and someone wants you home tonight, so why wouldn’t you choose safety?
VTTI study shows automated driver training reduced risky driving
3 ways to save money with fleet safety management
Using telematics big data for road safety analysis
Originally published February 7, 2017. Updated October 24, 2019.
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