Originally published in Fleet Management Weekly 2/8/22
By Ed Dubens, Founder/CEO of eDriving
A common misconception is that driver risk management influences only a small area of the business, while in fact it has far-reaching implications, and an effective program can positively affect businesses in many ways.
At a societal and economic level, countries that do not invest in road safety and risk management could miss out on substantial GDP growth. For businesses, the most obvious benefits of a reduction in employee/contractor collisions and injuries are reductions in lost workdays, license violations and the overall costs associated with vehicle and fleet ownership. But there are many more “hidden” benefits that are not always recognized:
Fewer injuries and lost workdays
Productivity is affected when employees suffer injuries that prevent them from carrying out their normal duties. Similarly, recruiting temporary workers or permanent replacements for injured employees costs companies financially in recruitment, training, business interruption, and disruption.
Reduced likelihood of liability suits
If one of your company vehicles is involved in an at at-fault collision, you could find yourself the target of a lawsuit. Liability could grow substantially if that employee is driving on a suspended driving license. A “negligent entrustment” lawsuit could follow with business-ending outcomes for small and medium businesses! Having a program in place that includes continuous Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) checks will help to minimize the risks associated with negligent entrustment.
Support for sustainability goals
The focus on sustainability has never been greater, and companies with fleets are more conscious of the effects of transportation on the environment. By its very nature, a driver risk management program encourages safer, defensive driving behaviors which result in fewer harmful emissions.
Speeding significantly affects fuel consumption and increases fatality risk! At 75 mph / 120 km/h, a vehicle uses around 20% more fuel than it would at around 60 mph / 95 km¹ . Other behaviors including harsh acceleration and cornering also influence fuel consumption, so a driver behavior program that guides safer behaviors can also help to reduce fuel bills.
Less vehicle wear and tear, and increased residual value
Aggressive driving has a negative impact on vehicles and employees, as well as the environment – for example harsh braking is likely to wear brakes and pads sooner, resulting in parts needing to be replaced more frequently. Vehicles that are looked after are also likely to retain a better value.
Organizations that can demonstrate the existence of a safety culture and are set up to learn from collisions are far more likely to be viewed favorably by insurers. Many insurance companies support the creation of such programs with their clients in order to provide or work towards providing the most competitive insurance rates for their customers.
Improved brand and community profile
Think of the way your branded vehicles are seen by others on the road. Drivers displaying behaviors such as speeding, overtaking, and other risky maneuvers don’t represent your company well. Also, safe, courteous drivers who arrive for jobs, appointments, or deliveries in vehicles that are well maintained and not damaged, give a better impression to customers than those turning up in damaged vehicles with their doors hanging off and bald tires!
More engaged employees
Research demonstrates that engaged workers contribute to increased revenue, and that businesses with engaged workers have fewer workplace incidents than companies with poor employee engagement² . Encouraging a company-wide culture of safety helps to keep safety top of mind and reassures employees AND THEIR FAMILIES that their health and happiness matter to your company.
Having spent the last 25 years helping clients globally to manage risk, we’ve concluded that, on average, eDriving clients save $14-$20 for every dollar spent with us, by achieving up to a 67% reduction in collisions. For anyone currently working on making the business case for driver safety, it can be helpful to include projections such as these, as well as the extent of the hidden benefits.
Once your program is approved and implemented, it shouldn’t be long until you start seeing the benefits, including the sometimes-overlooked ones discussed above.
About the author
Ed’s passion is helping companies proactively manage driver risk and prioritize the safety of their employees who drive for work purposes. The ultimate goal of eDriving’s programs is to help drivers return home safely to their loved ones and communities at the end of each day. Ed has been fortunate enough to be living out his passion for over 25 years, impacting lives and helping transform the field of driver risk management along the way.
eDriving’s Mentor program identifies risky driving behaviors for intervention and safe driving habits for recognition. In-app features include micro-training and coaching templates, 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 120 awards around the world.
¹Fuel Efficient Driving, Eartheasy Guides and Articles