Taking responsibility for safe driving practices

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees both in and out of the workplace. Encouraging safe driving practices among your workforce or fleet can help minimise the risk of accidents and save lives.

The costs of speeding and unsafe driving

Speeding and unsafe driving pose significant risks to the wellbeing of drivers and passengers and come with substantial costs. The consequences of these behaviours can be financial and personal, impacting the individuals and the community at large.

From a financial standpoint, speeding and unsafe driving can increase insurance premiums for individuals and businesses. Crashes caused by speeding can result in costly vehicle repairs, medical bills, and legal expenses. Companies may face additional costs such as loss of productivity, hiring temporary replacements, or even legal liability if an employee is involved in a crash while performing work-related duties.

Personally, the costs of speeding and unsafe driving can be devastating. Lives can be lost or forever altered due to these reckless behaviours. Families may have to cope with the emotional trauma and grief caused by a preventable road crash. Drivers who engage in speeding and unsafe driving could incur legal consequences such as fines, licence suspension, or even imprisonment.

Establishing safe driving policies

Establishing safe driving policies is a critical step employers can take to promote safer driving practices and reduce speed within their workforce or fleet. These policies serve as a roadmap for employees, outlining the expectations and standards for safe driving behaviour. By establishing clear and comprehensive procedures, employers demonstrate their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of their employees and the community.

Employers should involve their employees in creating effective, safe driving policies. By seeking input and feedback from drivers, employers can gain insights into the challenges and risks they face. This collaborative approach helps create a sense of ownership and responsibility among employees, increasing their adherence to the established policies.

Employers should regularly review and update their safe driving policies to remain relevant and practical. As new technologies and best practices emerge, employers must adapt their policies to reflect these advancements and provide employees with the necessary guidance to navigate changing road conditions.

Promoting driver education and training programmes

There are several ways you can promote driver education and training programmes. First, consider partnering with local driving schools or safety organisations to provide comprehensive training programmes for your employees. These programmes can cover defensive driving techniques, road hazard awareness, mental health, and the importance of following traffic laws. By offering these opportunities, you demonstrate your commitment to their safety and show that you value their professional development.

Consider incorporating driver education modules into your onboarding process for new employees. This ensures all new hires receive the necessary training and know your safe driving policies. Regular refresher courses and training sessions can also be beneficial to reinforce safe driving practices and update employees on any new developments in road safety.

To encourage participation in driver education and training programmes, consider offering incentives such as discounts on insurance premiums or recognition for completing specific courses. By making these programmes attractive and rewarding, you can motivate your employees to prioritise their safety and continuously improve their driving skills.

High-stress jobs, long hours on the road, and constant pressure can affect employees' mental wellbeing, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and potential distractions while driving. Employers are responsible for supporting their employees' mental health.

Investing in technology for safer driving

When it comes to promoting safer driving, investing in technology can be a game-changer. Employers can implement various technologies to monitor and improve the driving behaviours of their workforce or fleet, ultimately reducing speed and minimising the risk of road crashes.

One effective technology is telematics, which uses GPS tracking and data analysis to monitor driving habits. By collecting data on factors such as speed, acceleration, and braking, employers can identify areas for improvement and provide targeted feedback to their employees. This technology helps identify risky driving behaviours, allows employers to track progress over time, and recognises drivers who prioritise safety consistently.

Another valuable technology is the use of dash cameras. These cameras record the road and driver's behaviour, providing visual evidence of an accident or unsafe driving incident. Employers can use this footage to investigate the causes of accidents, determine liability, and hold drivers accountable for their actions. Dash cameras can also deter unsafe driving behaviours, as employees know their actions are being recorded.

Mental health and road safety

Mental health is a crucial aspect that must be considered when addressing road safety within the workforce or fleet. High-stress jobs, long hours on the road, and constant pressure can affect employees' mental wellbeing, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and potential distractions while driving. Employers are responsible for supporting their employees' mental health and promoting a safe driving environment.

One way to address mental health concerns is by promoting mindfulness and wellbeing initiatives. Encouraging employees to engage in mindfulness exercises or providing resources for stress management can reduce distractions and increase focus on the road. By supporting their mental wellbeing, employers can contribute to safer driving practices and minimise the risk of accidents.

It is crucial to approach mental health with understanding and empathy rather than condemning or blaming employees. By fostering an open and supportive environment, employers can encourage employees to seek help for any mental health concerns they may be experiencing. Access to mental health professionals and employee assistance programmes can ensure employees receive the support they need.

By acknowledging the impact of mental health on safe driving practices and taking steps to support employees, employers can create a culture that values and prioritises mental wellbeing. This holistic approach to road safety promotes a healthier workforce and contributes to safer driving for employees and the community.

San Harper wrote this blog for Road Safety Week 2023. Sign up to join the conversation about speed.