As a matter of fact, it was found that the majority of accidents happen during business trips. And, it is 40% greater than accidents happening amid personal trips. Need to lower the chances for accidents and safeguard your vehicle fleets? Here follows a list of safety tips that enhance driving behavior of vehicle fleets:
1. Avoid drowsy driving
Drowsy driving is an enormous issue for fleet drivers. Nevertheless, fleet drivers will definitely feel drowsy due to irregular driving times and sleeping patterns. This is the prominent reason for causing accidents on roads. The following warning signs indicate that its time for stopping the vehicle and deal with their condition:
i. Trouble in focusing, repeated blinking, or heavy eyelids
ii. Difficulty in holding your head up
iii. Deviating from your lane and turning unnecessarily
iv. Unable to recollect the last few kilometers driven
v. Yawning frequently
vi. Feeling edgy, annoyed, or belligerent
2. Control your vehicle speed and drive peacefully
Over speed and careless driving is a major reason for vehicle accidents, hence it is wise to have consideration on limitations for yourself and about the vehicle.
There is a greater chance of aggressive driving when you are feeling irritated or outraged since it results in accelerating harshly, applying brakes suddenly, and performing risky actions.
Meanwhile, the consequences of aggressive driving include increased fuel consumption, unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicle, and additional company expenses.
3. Stay vigilant
i. Review weather forecasts and plan the trip accordingly
ii. Pack essential emergency equipments and extra pair of clothes
iii. Plan trips based on the road and traffic conditions
iv. Stay vigilant and consider the chances for hazards, which ultimately reduce the chance for harsh braking, accelerating, and unnecessary stopping of vehicles
v. Notice the speed limits
vi. Conduct a thorough analysis on the fuel consumption of each vehicle.
4. Conduct routine inspection for vehicles
i. Recall the acronym FLOWER – Fuel, lights, oil, water, electrics, and rubber, while performing the vehicle circle check
ii. Ensure that load weight and roof racks are removed, before performing the circle-check
iii. Prepare your vehicle for all road conditions and check whether the tyres, wipers, and lights are properly working or not
iv. Before beginning the trip, inspect the vehicle fluids, deflated tyres, thereby, identify the unseen damage in a vehicle
5. Consider the potholes
Potholes can cause great internal damage to the vehicles and at times, it damages vehicle tyres. Consequently, you will never be able to avoid potholes, hence it is sensible to follow the tips given below:
i. Apply brakes before hitting the potholes and slowly release it, a few moments before impact. Never apply brakes during the impact.
ii. When you apply brakes during the impact of hitting pothole, the tire and wheel assembly will hit hard against the edge of the hole.
iii. Rolling causes less damage to tires, when compared to skidding over the pothole, especially while applying brakes.
iv. Whenever you enter a pothole and afterwards you detect a pulling effect on your vehicle, it indicates that your vehicle is damaged.
6. Proper vehicle fleet management
i. Utilize vehicle momentum- when you reach the hilltop, release accelerator pedal, only if it is safe, and the vehicle’s momentum will ultimately move you forward.
ii. Reversing- never apply reverse, when the engine is cold. You can warm the engine by pulling away smoothly and driving calmly.
iii. Gear high and revolving low- whenever the condition allows, drive your vehicle on the highest gear without toiling the engine.
iv. Engine braking- while taking your foot off the accelerator, your engine will operate as a compression brake.
v. Observe traffic- observe the road traffic prudently, and ensure that there is sufficient space for applying vehicle engine efficiently.
vi. Skip gear changing- when you recognize your vehicle, you will learn the fact that there is no need to always change gears. By blocking gear change, you will able to lower the fuel consumption and maintain gearbox properly.
vii. Engine idling- Switch off the engine, if the vehicle is not moving for around 30 seconds and above. This assists you to save fuel and prevent damage to vehicle engine.
viii. Refer the vehicle handbook- by reading the vehicle handbook, you will be able to acquire greater knowledge regarding the vehicle. Moreover, with the support of the handbook, you will be able to ensure that the vehicle is maintained as per the manufacturer’s recommendations
In fact, the above safety strategies assist your fleet driver to stay efficient, secure and successful. However, with the implementation of GPS vehicle tracking devices and fleet management software, the safety of fleet drivers enhanced to the maximum.