Originally published in Fleet Management Weekly 11/16/21
By Sarah Bechtold, Senior Vice President, Global Driver Risk Management, eDriving
Whatever the size of your fleet, a formal, comprehensive safety program is important. Official statistics remind us regularly that vehicle crashes are a common cause of work-related injuries and fatalities, and we know that such crashes are very costly for organizations. According to the latest NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety) report , on-the-job highway crashes cost employers $26,081 per crash, $66,119 per million miles of travel, and $78,418 per injury.
A comprehensive driver risk management program addresses employers’ responsibilities to keep those driving for work purposes safe. But there’s one common hurdle that can prove the biggest challenge for organizations: getting the program funded.
Here are some recommendations to help you obtain that all-important funding approval:
- Identify your stakeholders
Beyond Safety, Procurement, and HR, who are the business and operations stakeholders? These are the people at the top of the hierarchy where the drivers are aligned. They’re the ones who will support your initiative within their organizations/divisions/teams, and they’re critical to the success of any programs you implement.
- Know their pain points
Identify the pain points and goals of the key stakeholders. Ask questions; find out what challenges they have in the driver risk management space, and what specific program elements are important to them. If you include them, and can show them that their opinions, wants and needs matter, this will go a long way in getting their buy-in, trust, and engagement in the program long-term.
- Identify gaps
Leverage all internal company data available to you to support your case. This might include current Collisions Per Million Miles (CPMM), crash and injury-related costs, fatalities, lawsuits – and anything else that supports your case and directly impacts the organization and its stakeholders. Managing costs and keeping people safe are always top priorities on the operations side of an organization.
- Make a business case
Educate stakeholders on what you know, what the issues are, and where the gaps lie. The aim is to get them hooked and obtain agreement that there IS a need for improvement.Remember that crash costs are not just bent metal. Consider wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor vehicle damage, and employers’ uninsured costs. There are also other soft costs such a recruitment costs for replacement or temporary workers, reduced vehicle values, and brand erosion. On the positive side are potential gains in areas including well-being, engagement, customer satisfaction, sustainability, and marketing opportunities.Identify the possible paths to reduce or solve the problem, and recommend a way forward based on your research.
- Propose a pilot
This is your opportunity to prove that the program you’re proposing will deliver results. A pilot enables your organization to take a small population and test a program to demonstrate how it will work in your company. This enables stakeholders to make an educated decision on full implementation based on the supporting data from the pilot, rather than blindly funding a program. It is very difficult to say “No” when the facts and data support the investment!There are bound to be stakeholder concerns that prove challenging – privacy is one such hurdle – but if you identify a driver risk management partner early in the process, they can help you address such concerns as they arise.
About the author
Sarah Bechtold joined eDriving as Senior Vice President, Global Driver Risk Management in September 2021. She leverages her unique and robust background to bring eDriving’s global driver safety solutions to new customers, and to partner with new and existing customers in the development of implementation strategies and plans to maximize the success of each risk management program deployment.
Sarah has nearly 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 250 company, with past responsibilities including project and change management, training, marketing communications, sales and safety. In her safety role, Sarah was responsible for developing a global fleet safety strategy and implementing a program that would increase awareness around the importance of safe driving and ultimately reduce vehicle collisions. This is where she was first introduced to eDriving and together they partnered to create a program that delivered on just that.
eDriving, a Solera company, helps organizations around the world to reduce incidents, collisions, injuries, license violations, carbon emissions, and total cost of fleet ownership through its patented digital driver risk management programs.
At its heart is the Mentor by eDrivingSM smartphone app that identifies risky driving behaviors for intervention and safe driving habits for recognition. In-app features include micro-training and coaching, gamification, collision reporting, vehicle inspections, and an individual FICO® Safe Driving Score validated to predict the likelihood of being involved in a collision. Mentor’s integrated automatic crash detection and Personal SOS features powered by Sfara and Bosch trigger a voice call and emergency support, as needed, from one of Bosch’s Global Call Centers supporting >50 countries. Through its five-stage, patented Crash-Free Culture® risk reduction methodology, eDriving helps organizations embrace safety and reduce risk for Sales, Service, Delivery and Warehouse drivers, all within a privacy-first, data-secure environment.
eDriving is the digital driver risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest organizations, supporting over 1.2 million drivers in 125 countries. Over the past 25 years, eDriving’s research-validated programs have been recognized with over 115 awards around the world.