by: Karen Bradley
Driver safety is of paramount importance to fleet managers. But often, traditional tactics for informing and training drivers are not quite enough to achieve the results you’re looking for. But there is another way. You can create competition, healthy competition among your drivers, giving them even more incentive to practice safety.
This is a form of gamification, one that drives us, as humans, to want to do better than our peers, and in fact to be the best. Here’s how you can create competition among your drivers as a part of your fleet safety training.
Why is safety so important? Not only does an accident-free fleet save you money on the costs associated with those accidents, but you’ll experience other savings as well, including:
This list is by no means comprehensive. We know we want our vehicles and drivers to be as safe as possible. Adding competition to your fleet safety program is one way to go beyond normal training to keep your drivers on track. To do so effectively, you need the right tools.
The very first thing you should have in place is fleet tracking. GPS vehicle tracking gives you a lot of data about your drivers’ daily routines, what they are doing when, and where, and how they can improve.
Through vehicle tracking, you can keep track of things like idle time, speeding, hard cornering and braking, rapid acceleration, and more. However, adding another layer to your tools helps prevent fleet accidents and makes your safety program even more robust.
That layer is dashcams, both outward and driver-facing cams. Dashcams add the ability to track seatbelt use, cell phone use, texting, distracted driving, and more. But besides being able to detect risky driver behaviors, dashcams can also alert the driver in real-time, reminding them to operate safely.
These alerts can also be sent to fleet managers in real-time and in reports that can be used to create and manage driver scorecards.
Besides this benefit to your fleet safety program, footage can also be used to defend drivers who truly did nothing wrong, potentially saving you money from false claims and proving your company’s dedication to safety.
A key to any competition is to devise a “scoring system.” This is often done using driver scorecards. Essentially you can take all the data we gathered above, structure it to align with your company goals, and develop overall scores and scores in certain categories. For instance, you can set up four categories:
You can add other categories like near collisions and more. Then your driver gets an overall aggregate score plus scores in each category. Scores let them know where they need to improve and let you know where to offer training.
What do you do with this data?
The first, and simplest form of gamification is simply driver rewards: honor those, and give prizes, to drivers who keep their score at a certain level or have the longest consistent period with a low score, or the longest time without an accident or near collision.
You can structure these rewards in any way that works with your driver safety award program, from avoiding distracting driving to low idle time, to a consistent overall score and even rewards for improvement in various areas.
Of course, driver safety awards are primarily about drivers competing against themselves. The next step in your fleet awards program is safety competition programs.
Now, the driver is no longer competing against themselves, but against their peers as well. This is where things like “most improved driver” or “best overall score” and other scores can be compiled in a leaderboard. Whichever driver attains the highest position or maintains it gets special recognition and awards.
This competition, or game, as long as it is structured so drivers don’t get angry or overly competitive, can offer incentives to continually improve and do better, and drivers can even encourage each other and those who are struggling. “Leader” drivers can share tips on making others successful.
A note here: you don’t want to do away with your normal driver rewards program and replace it with the leaderboard. This is where competition often turns into a bad thing. Always make your leaderboard a place for extra recognition, not a replacement for other awards. This keeps the playing field equal.
This hybrid approach gives your drivers the best incentives to “win” while still keeping safety in mind even if they don’t take first place.
The key is to create a system where everyone wins. Drivers have an incentive to act with safety in mind no matter what the circumstances. As a result, your fleet and your vehicles are safer as well. In this case, everyone wins.
Ready to get started with a fleet safety program with dashcams and GPS vehicle tracking? Or do you have questions about how to prepare your fleet? Get in touch with us at EcoTrack. We’re here to meet all of your fleet tracking needs.