Five ways to upgrade the safety of your truck fleet

Five ways to upgrade the safety of your truck fleet

Powered by futuristic-sounding technology like artificial intelligence and global positioning systems, today’s safety platforms are helping trucking fleets not only reduce outlays for insurance premiums and settlements, but also to incur fewer citations, conserve more fuel, reduce wear and tear on vehicles and, most importantly, keeping drivers out of harm’s way through experiencing fewer accidents.

Click here to watch more of FE’s On the Road video series.

But when the most unfortunate of circumstances occurs and an accident does happen, a fleet should want everything at their disposal to mitigate the damage – both literally and, well, settlement-wise, should it come to that. In this case, a strong safety program can demonstrate an organization’s commitment to safety and can aid in negotiating a settlement.

With that in mind, today we’ve put together five ways to upgrade your fleet’s safety regimen and ultimately keep more dollars in your wallet.

FIRST!: Identify your fleet’s safety challenges.

You’ve got to start somewhere, right? Take a look at your telematics data and talk to your drivers to see where you could improve on the safety front. Telematics systems that integrate smart cameras can help reveal which drivers are following the rules. Fleet managers can share this proof with individual drivers to identify each person’s opportunities to drive more safely, like complying with a smartphone policy or paying special attention to traffic signals and posted speeds.

SECOND!: Take another look at your fleet’s telematics.

If you haven’t invested in telematics for your fleet, that’s a problem.

There is a reason that more than half of commercial vehicles in the United States use telematics devices. Data tracking is essential to identify challenges and give managers visibility into driver behaviors and vehicle operations. The more detailed your fleet’s data collection, the clearer the picture will be on making improvements and driver coaching.

Remember that trucking telematics technology has expanded past basic location tracking to now record or even flag incidents of unsafe driving. A telematics system can warn drivers when they exceed the posted speed limit, or alert managers by text or email of speeding or other incidents. Some dashcams can even record multiple views, which can reveal reasons for hard braking or sudden lane changes.

It might be a worthwhile investment to add forward- and driver-facing video capability to your trucks so that you can even go beyond safety by tracking engine idling or to evaluate a driver’s route selection, which can affect fuel consumption, customer wait times and vehicle wear.

THIRD!: Establish a few challenge-based goals for drivers

The transparency that telematics or video bring fleet managers can be supremely helpful when training drivers to avoid unsafe driving practices. Rather than delivering a laundry list of safety mandates for all drivers, which is likely to do little but annoy those men and women on the front lines of your fleet, tailor safety goals to the individual’s problem areas. One driver may need to focus on stayinf off their phone and buckling up, while another needs to stop speeding. Set achievable goals and use your fleet safety technology to confirm your progress.

FOURTH!: Update your fleet’s driver safety policy book

You’ll want to be sure a baseline of expected behavior is up to date and current for this year. This policy shouldn’t just lay the ground rules, it should also allow the fleet to explain what data it collects and why, including how management will use data to reach its goals. Spell out training requirements, authorized uses, maintenance expectations and background check authorization. Explain anything new in your policy book to employees, especially regarding technology, and how telematics data collected can help the company enhance safety, save money, verify compliance and improve customer service.

FINALLY!: Safety coaching’s goal should be long-term improvement

If you’ve followed so far, your technology is in place, your safety challenges have been identified, and drivers know and understand which behaviors need to be improved. The final step is now to keep it up! Check in regularly and review performance, marking progress against earlier benchmarks.

Follow these steps and leverage today’s advanced technologies, and fleet operators have a great chance at reducing accidents and making the roads safer, while at the same time reducing risks and qualifying for lower premiums.

You May Also Like

Closing the electrification gap: Is your fleet EV ready?

Electric vehicles are definitely a step forward when it comes to sustainability, but it’s not an easy one to make.


Many heavy-duty electric truck manufacturers are selling battery electric trucks with a host of other medium-duty manufacturers right behind with their own lineup of EVs ready for 2024. There are also dozens and dozens of startup companies that started their businesses to do the same thing.

My colleagues and I have all gone on the road to drive some of these vehicles that have been developed. We can tell you, it's everywhere, and it's here now. 

Supporting truck shop software and technology integration

Your shop software will do you no good if it is outdated.

Breaking away from faulty heavy-duty brakes

Winter poses a challenge for your truck’s air brake system due to freezing temperatures and engine heat, leading to metal expansion and plastic hardening.

Differentiating bosses from leaders to optimize fleet efficiency

While both may have authority over their team, the approach and style can have a significant impact on productivity and overall success.

Keep on trucking: Maintaining your fleet for optimal performance

Even the most reliable trucks need a little TLC to avoid unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

Other Posts

Daimler Truck CEO on decarbonization developments, infrastructure investment and the reason for Rizon

With sustainable trucking options on the road, more challenges are ahead … as well as opportunity.

How to get the most from electric truck charging incentives right now

These programs can help lower the overall costs of charging stations to make the transition to EVs more feasible and equitable.

Together For Safer Roads announces safety standards initiative

TSR recently launched a Truck of the Future pilot program with vehicles from New York City that identifies and tests solutions to eliminate collisions.

together-for safer-roads-initiative
Navigating the EV charging market

Thoughts on future proofing charging infrastructure installations and charger/EV compatibility.