Safety a top priority for fleet managers

No matter if they're completing long haul routes or last mile deliveries, fleets need access to route planning software that will allow drivers to make stops in a timely fashion. But merely taking the most direct route isn't the only concern of management teams - safety was recently revealed to be another high priority, no matter how far vehicles are traveling.

Many concerns, but safety tops the list
New research from GE Capital indicated fleet managers have many worries, but driver safety was at the top of the list. Thirty-six percent of managers claimed safe driving was their main concern. It ranked just above cost savings initiatives and productivity goals, which each garnered 22 percent. While these are still important issues managers continually work to address, safety concerns have jumped in recent months.

This may be because more stringent driver safety requirements and training can result in additional productivity on the road, which can in turn cut costs and help an organization meet its expense goals. By stressing safe practices on the road, drivers may be at risk for fewer accidents, which not only ensures operational expenses stay low, but also guarantees a driver will be on time for any scheduled deliveries and pickups. Encouraging safe driving practices can also help an organization limit expenses related to health care or disability. 

The concerns about safety come just as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance launches its annual 72-hour "Roadcheck" inspection. The initiative calls for the inspection of vehicles across North America and ensures fleets in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are compliant with Level I standards.

Other worries prevalent
While productivity and cost savings ranked slightly lower than safety on the list of fleet manager concerns, that doesn't mean organizations aren't addressing these issues. According to the research, 36 percent of managers thought they could refine preventative strategies, potentially with the help of fleet maintenance software, and 28 percent thought they could create a more comprehensive vehicle replacement program.

Enhancing productivity and limiting expenses can also be achieved with the implementation of route optimization software, which allows drivers to take the shortest and most fuel-efficient route to all destinations. This technology can also ensure drivers of larger vehicles are taking roads designed to accommodate heavier weights and taller trucks, helping companies improve overall safety on the road, which has proved to be a major concern for many operations.