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How To Create A Fleet Safety Program

How to create a fleet safety program

Safety officer working

Companies who own or rent multiple vehicles or pieces of equipment can benefit from implementing a fleet safety program. The program lays out the company’s expectations of drivers and operators, establishes policies and procedures, and the consequences for not following them. If your company doesn’t have a fleet safety program, we’ll walk you through the process of developing one. First, let’s start with the advantages of implementing a fleet program.

Advantages of a fleet safety program

Improve driver behavior

Setting clear expectations of what you expect and the consequences of not meeting those expectations results in improved driver behavior and less accidents.

Prevent false claims

Vehicle tracking and other policies can help reduce false claims by members of the public and other workers.

Lower costs

Reduced accidents and claims lead to reduced costs for accidents. A fleet program may also reduce your insurance costs.

How to create a fleet safety program

If you don’t already have a fleet safety program for your vehicles and equipment, we’ll walk you through the steps of developing one, and give examples of what needs to be included.

1. Identify problem areas

Review your fleet and equipment safety related incidents from the past year to see if you can identify a pattern of problems. Look for accidents, claims, and other behavioral incidents, such as distracted driving or speeding.

If you have a telematics system installed in your vehicles or equipment, check the records for the past few months for incidents related to safety and vehicle operation. Things like excessive braking or speeding may be signs of potential problems.

Problem areas that need to be addressed include excessive traffic tickets, accidents, or near misses. Once you’ve noted all the potential problem areas, it’s time to narrow the list down.

2. Select 2 to 3 specific goals

Review the problem areas identified in the first step above and select two or three to address in your new fleet safety program. They may be problems of driver qualifications, driver misbehavior, or other issues.

Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). For example, reducing parking tickets isn’t a SMART goal. Reducing parking tickets to one per quarter by the end of the year is a SMART goal.

3. Develop a fleet policy and training program to address these goals

A fleet safety program or policy is part of the overall safety culture of a company. Having a fleet program should be an extension of your current safety policies and procedures. With this in mind, here are the recommended sections of a fleet safety program:

  1. Management commitment
    Company management must buy in to the fleet safety program if they expect employees to participate. Without such commitment, employees will not follow the recommended procedures, and nothing will be accomplished.
  2. Policies and guidelines
    Once written, these sections should be reviewed by legal counsel before rollout, and annually to make sure they meet legal requirements. The following sections should be included as part of your fleet program policies and guidelines:

    1. Distracted driving
    2. Personal vehicle use
    3. Safety restraints
    4. Defensive driving

  3. Standard operating procedures

    Develop SOPs for the following:

    1. Driver qualification and screening (determining who can drive company vehicles and equipment)
    2. Licensing requirements
    3. Driver responsibilities
    4. Accident procedures

  4. Accident response plan

    Develop a procedure for how to respond to and report an accident. Be sure to include evidence collection, documentation requirements, and communication processes for handling an accident in a company vehicle or piece of equipment.

  5. Maintenance plan
    Let company drivers know what maintenance needs to be performed on company-owned vehicles and equipment, and what they are responsible for. Your maintenance plan should include inspection procedures, repair procedures, and a vehicle replacement policy.
  6. Monitoring
    If possible, use fleet safety technology and telematics to track and monitor driver safety. You can use the software to track vehicle speed, braking, location, and device usage. Monitor all drivers for problem behaviors and communicate with them about the consequences.
  7. Driver training
    Develop a driver training program for your employees. The training should be mandatory and cover all the policies and procedures involved in using a company-owned vehicle. Make the training specific to each vehicle or piece of equipment.

4. Implementation

It is beneficial to do a trial run of the new policies and procedures, especially if you’re using technology to monitor fleet safety. After the trial run, reevaluate the program and determine if changes need to be made.

Next, you’ll rollout the policy to the entire company and all vehicle drivers. Make sure everyone receives the necessary training before implementing the new program and that they are aware of the consequences of not participating.

As was stated above, management buy in is key to employee compliance. Make sure all managers participate in the same program as employees.

5. Review results

Your fleet safety program should be reviewed on a regular basis and revised as needed. Do a review three months after implementation to address any problems. After that, the policy should be reviewed at least annually with your legal counsel. Changes should be made and issued to all employees as soon as possible.


A fleet safety program provides many advantages, including lowering costs and preventing false claims. The savings make developing fleet programs worth the time and effort. Always review any policies and procedures with legal counsel before implementing them with your employees.

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