It’s not unusual in human behavior for complacency to become the order of the day when enforcement is almost nonexistent. Most businesses understand that compliance with regulations in the country of operation is paramount to staying in business. However, some companies have allowed complacency to seep in due to a lack of enforcement of road traffic laws in specific countries.
Like insurance, you never know when you’ll need it, and you don’t wish to need it, but you would rather have it just for good measure. So, any wise business understands that its survival hinges on understanding the laws and regulations governing the country in which it operates. Ignorance of the law is never an acceptable excuse and does not fly in a court of law.
For any business to be successful, ensuring compliance with regulations and industry best practices for driver safety is critical to its operational success, mainly due to the complex nature of managing a fleet in this continually changing field.
Many companies have realized numerous far-reaching benefits when they follow best practices and regulations in managing their fleet. Some of these benefits include, but are not limited to, reducing accidents, minimizing liability, improving driver behavior, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Staying up-to-date with fleet management regulations in the country of operations can serve as a guide for companies to regularly update their fleet management policies and procedures and create relevant driver training programs.
At Fountain Fleet Solutions, we recommend that our clients have special driver training events at least twice a year. Most of our clients have realized tremendous success by making training consistent until it became part of their company’s culture. Moreover, many employees attribute regular training as the main reason for improving their skills and mindset.
Why is it essential to observe regulations?
As a business, your primary priority is remaining in business. The consequences of non-observance of regulations could mean prosecutions, fines, jail time, public reputation loss, and the shutdown of business operations.
Regulation compliance is critical for fleet management operations because it helps ensure that vehicles are operated safely and efficiently and lowers the risk of liability in the event of an accident. A lack of compliance with regulations threatens business success, and it behooves every company to take compliance with regulations seriously. Regulations governing fleet management may vary by country, but some of the critical areas in which fleet management companies must stay current include:
Vehicle safety standards: In an accident investigation involving bodily injury or death, investigators may inquire about the vehicle’s condition prior to the accident. Regulations frequently specify specific vehicle safety standards that must be met, such as minimum tire tread depth, maximum weight limits, and vehicle maintenance schedules. If your company has a history of not having a well-organized vehicle maintenance program, this may spell trouble for you.
Driver qualifications and training: How qualified are your drivers? How detailed are your driver hiring standards? You cannot afford to put the cart before the horse. Regulations require that drivers are adequately trained and licensed, and that fleet management companies frequently evaluate and monitor driver performance. A shortage of quality drivers or vehicle downtime is not a reason to hire misfits or drivers with repeated accident history.
Hours of service: As regulations vary from country to country, drivers are expected to have breaks after hours of driving. In general, to reduce fatigue and improve safety, regulations frequently prescribe limits on the number of hours drivers can operate vehicles and mandatory rest periods. At Fountain Fleet Solutions, we recommend that between 4 – 8 hours of driving, a driver must have at least a 30-minute break.
Record-keeping and reporting: The importance of keeping records cannot be over-emphasized. A business needs records to know its shortcomings and how it can improve its current practices. Regulations frequently require fleet management companies to keep detailed records of vehicle use, maintenance, and accidents and to report this information to the appropriate authorities.
Whether your business operates as a fleet management company or has many fleets, staying up to date with regulations and ensuring compliance can help you reduce your liability, improve the safety of your operations, and help ensure that your vehicles are operated responsibly and safely.
Best Practices for Driving Safety
Your business was created to stay in business and to turn a profit, so industry best practices should be a minimum requirement. Thinking in terms of best practices in addition to regulatory compliance, your company should implement several best practices to improve driver safety and reduce the risk of accidents. These are some examples:
Driver training and evaluation: It is critical to train and evaluate drivers regularly to reduce the risk of accidents. Your company should cover defensive driving techniques, vehicle safety, avoiding distractions, and the importance of following traffic laws at a minimum in your training programs.
Vehicle maintenance: An aggressive vehicle maintenance program keeps your fleet in good condition and reduces unnecessary expenses due to unscheduled maintenance and breakdowns. Maintaining vehicles regularly is critical to ensuring their dependability and safety. Your company should establish a strict vehicle maintenance schedule and ensure that all vehicles are serviced and inspected regularly. A good fleet management platform can help with this.
Real-time monitoring and tracking: GPS trackers integrated with Fleet Management Systems can help your company reduce operations costs and track safety by monitoring and tracking unsafe driving practices and taking corrective action to improve driver behavior.
Preventive maintenance: Successful fleet management companies understand the importance of preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance can help identify potential vehicle problems before they occur, lowering the risk of breakdowns and accidents. It is less expensive to prevent major breakdowns than it is post-breakdown.
Safety incentives: When your company rewards good behavior, you get more of that good behavior. Incentives for safe driving behavior, such as rewards for accident-free driving, can help improve driver performance and lower the risk of accidents.
Fleet management companies can reduce the risk of accidents, improve driver behavior, and improve the overall safety of their operations by implementing best practices for ensuring driver safety. Companies with impeccable safety records tend to attract the market’s best talent.
When a business follows the regulations and best practices of the country in which it operates, it sets itself up for success. Regulations are not made with punitive intentions but rather to ensure the safety of everyone, and companies can benefit from maintaining compliance.
Fleet management companies can ensure the safety of their vehicles, drivers, and passengers while retaining a competitive edge by staying up to date with regulations, implementing best practices, and continuously evaluating and improving their operations. These companies realize huge benefits such as improved driver behavior, quality vehicles, minimized liability, and many more.