The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Steps for Reducing Preventable Accidents

July 2012, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

Accident management costs are consistently increasing year-over-year. Several experts shared their recommendations and steps to reducing preventable accidents.

There are five basic safety steps to reduce preventable accidents:

1. Collect motor vehicle reports on all job applicants and existing fleet drivers to prevent the hiring of problem drivers and help identify high-risk drivers who require extra attention, such as remedial training.

2.  Keep current files on driver behavior, and include as many data points as possible. In addition to motor vehicle violations, include accident history, traffic camera violations, and public driver re-porting data.

3. Set up a system where every driving event is equally applied to a driver’s risk summary, any-where it happens. Create a for-mula for identifying different risk levels based on each driver’s cumulative performance.

4. Make it easy for drivers and their managers to know the risks they present to fleet, what can make increase or decrease risk, and what the consequences are.

5. Take action for poor driving as soon as possible after drivers pass into a higher risk level, and reward drivers for good driving performance.

It is imperative fleet managers monitor drivers through a driver records program,” noted Eliot Bensel, director, vehicle accident services and risk safety for PHH. “Also, choosing the right safety program is critical. Clients should always seek the consultation and advice of qualified safety training providers to ensure positive results.”

According to Bob Martines, president and CEO for Corporate Claims Management, driver training is the best combatant to accident prevention.

With all of its benefits, technology can have its downsides. “If drivers be-come too dependent on rear sensors, back-up cameras, or automatic braking, driving skills will deteriorate over time,” according to Martines. “I am willing to bet most drivers with back-up sensors in their vehicles do not turn completely around to look behind their vehicle or just glance into the side view or rear view mirrors because they have become ‘programmed’ to rely on the back-up sensor. What happens if the sensor fails? Every licensed driver needs to have reminders that their driving skills must always be fine-tuned just in case a mechanical failure occurs.

Fleet Response recommends identifying issues and addressing them with a comprehensive approach that includes reviewing policy, reviewing trends, and creating a safety program that includes sending a message to drivers that safety is important, training drivers and identifying drivers that need attention.

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During her 18-year career with PHH, Patsy Mance worked in a variety of positions at the Hunt Valley, Md., headquarters office until 1974, when she was promoted to account executive and assigned to a field position in New York City.

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