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Creating and Managing a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy. Pete Mitchell Senior Manager, Account Development The CEI Group, Inc. November 17, 2010. What Is a Fleet Safety Policy?. It’s a document Must be tied to an action program Primary purpose of both:

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creating and managing a best in class fleet safety policy

Creating and Managing a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy

Pete Mitchell

Senior Manager, Account Development

The CEI Group, Inc.

November 17, 2010

what is a fleet safety policy
What Is a Fleet Safety Policy?

It’s a document

Must be tied to an action program

Primary purpose of both:

To reduce/prevent fleet accidents

83 percent of fleets have one,

17 percent don’t*

*(Fleet Management Newsletter, July 10, 2010)

the fleet safety challenge
The Fleet Safety Challenge

Fleet accident frequency: 6X the general driving public’s

NHTSA*: 620,000 fleet vehicle accidents per year

Fleet accident rates: 10 to 40+ percent per year

Why? Fleet drivers log more miles (20-25,000 per year vs. 12-15,000)

Motor vehicle accidents:

leading cause of workplace fatalities

2002-2007: 1,371 workers per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

NAFA: 50 percent of all fleet accidents are preventable

*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

accidents are expensive
Accidents Are Expensive

NETS* (2003): They cost business $60 billion per year

Physical damage

Medical expenses

Worker’s compensation claims

Lost productivity and revenue

Insurance premium increases

Administrative overhead

Liability: third-party claims

*Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

nets employer accident cost worksheet
NETS Employer Accident Cost Worksheet

Indirect costs

Supervisor’s time (rescheduling, making special arrangements)

Fleet manager’s time to coordinate vehicle repair, replacement

Reassignment of personnel to cover for missing employees

Overtime pay (to cover work of missing employees)

Employee replacement

Re-entry and retraining of injured employees

Adminstrative costs (documentation of injuries,

treatment, absences, crash investigation)

Inspection costs

Failure to meet customer requirements resulting

in loss of business

Bad publicity, loss of future business

accidents are expensive1
Accidents Are Expensive

Average total cost of accidents (NETS, 2001/ NHTSA, 2002)



Breakout of average accident cost (NHTSA)

Physical damage

Lost productivity:

Medical costs:



Other (e.g., premiums, taxes)

  • $ 16,500/ $11,229
  • $ 504,408
  • $ 3,720
  • $ 3,646
  • $ 1,988
  • $ 925
  • $ 678
  • $ 272
fleet s biggest hits negligent entrustment
Fleet’s Biggest Hits: Negligent Entrustment


Trusting a dangerous driver on company business


Suspended licenses

History of frequent violations and accidents

Court punitive awards in the millions*

2007: Florida trucking company, $11 million settlement

2002: Tennessee transport company,$6.8 million jury award

1994: New Mexico company, $2.6 million, even though

driver found NOT at fault!

*Source: Risk Management Magazine, June 10, 2010

having fleet accidents is like losing sales or tax revenue
Having Fleet Accidents Is Like Losing Sales or Tax Revenue

Operating Sales Needed to

Profit Margin Replace Profits

Average Accident*Fatal Accident

20% $ 56,495 $ 2,500,000

10% $ 112,990 $ 5,000,000

5% $ 225,980 $10,000,000

2% $ 564,950 $25,000,000

*At average total cost of $11,229

Hallmarks of a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy

It communicates to drivers

Clearly written

Use active voice

Uncomplicated sentences,

short paragraphs

Avoid “legalese”

Attractively presented

Avoid small type face

Professional layout and design

Easily understood

Easily and readily available

Hallmarks of a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy

It’s comprehensive

Addresses all major safety issues and causes

of motor vehicle collisions

It’s communicated to all drivers

(regular fleet, grey fleet, authorized secondary drivers)

Hallmarks of a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy

It’s actually communicated/marketed

Distributed to all drivers

Drivers sign off

Revisions distributed

Regular communications with drivers

Hallmarks of a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy

It’s driven from the top

Senior management commitment

Tied to company/organization strategy

Senior management communications

Hallmarks of a Best-In-Class Fleet Safety Policy

It’s enforced


Without exception

On a timely basis

components of a best in class safety policy
Components of a Best-In-Class Safety Policy

Statement of Purpose/Mission Statement






Identifies standards of acceptable driving behavior

Establishes accident reporting procedures

Training requirements

Penalties for policy violations

Good driver reward program

the mission statement
The Mission Statement

Ideally, from the CEO

The purposes, goals of the policy

The importance of safe driving to all

sample safety policy statement
Sample Safety Policy Statement

To our employees:

Vehicle accidents can cause serious injury and undue hardship on you and your families, and have a negative impact on our company, both as a community of co-workers and as a business. It is the policy of (name of company) to achieve the greatest practical freedom from accidents and to ensure that every employee is provided safe and healthful working conditions. We have begun a fleet safety program to reduce and prevent accidents. We will, as always, comply with all applicable regulations and expect all drivers to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Safety is a priority. Your cooperation and help are needed to make our program a success.



roles privileges responsibilities and authority
Roles, Privileges, Responsibilities and Authority

Approved drivers

Who they are: regular fleet, “grey” fleet, secondary drivers

Drivers license requirements

Vehicle and use

Nature of vehicle (equipment, assigned or driver-acquired)

Permitted uses: (i.e., business, personal)

Reimbursing fleet for tickets, camera violations, etc

Fleet and safety management

Supervisor/management responsibilities

standards of driving behavior
Standards of Driving Behavior

Obeying all traffic laws

Key safety issues:

Seat belts

Impaired driving

Aggressive driving & Speeding

Distracted driving

Cell phones


accident procedures
Accident Procedures

At the accident scene

Calling emergency personnel

Data gathering

Answering police questions

Reporting to fleet

Required time frame

Who and how to notify


Enforcement thresholds



How events/points are

cleared from the record

Nature of penalties

Required remedial training

Loss of driving privileges


securing driver compliance enforcement and recordkeeping
Securing Driver Compliance: Enforcement and Recordkeeping

Communicate changes in driver status/score as they occur

Enforce the policy


As soon as possible

Without exception

Uniform enforcement is vital to defense against fleet liability

Document every intervention with drivers

Retain all records

Your audit trail for legal defense

good driver reward program
Good Driver Reward Program

The importance of recognition

Types of rewards (not necessarily costly)

Examples: point or monetary awards, vehicle upgrades

creating your safety policy
Creating Your Safety Policy

Fleet management has primary responsibility

Involve all relevant departments to secure buy-in

Risk management

Human Resources

Sales & Service (managers and drivers)



creating your safety policy1
Creating Your Safety Policy

Use examples to get you started

Make it uniform across all divisions and locations

Level the playing field by jurisdiction

managing your policy document annual reviews
Managing Your Policy Document: Annual Reviews

State laws and Federal regulations change

New technologies

New trends in your fleet can emerge

These may require new policies, like:

MVR reporting requirements

Policies on secondary drivers

Use of electronic devices

New reimbursement procedures for accidents and fines

New policy provisions should be communicated immediately