While maintaining vehicles is one key to avoiding mechanical mishaps, it's important to remember that nine out of 10 commercial accidents are caused by human error, with driver fatigue responsible for a third of these incidents. A poor safety record can drive up insurance premiums, hurt customer relations, make it difficult to recruit qualified drivers, and more. On top of these costs and concerns, accidents themselves are simply expensive--the average commercial vehicle accident costs a whopping $60,000.*

"Roads have never been more dangerous," says Dennis Melucci, Ryder's senior manager of insurance. "Congestion, crumbling infrastructure, and the scourge of distracted driving make it essential to give drivers all the technological tools and training they need to assist them in such a hazardous driving climate."

A Three-Part Safety Checklist 

To help companies think strategically about fleet safety, Andrew Leavitt, Ryder's director of fleet risk services, offers a three-part safety checklist. Businesses growing in this hazardous landscape need to be able to answer the following:

  1. How can your company, using a local maintenance shop, guarantee safe and fully operational vehicles as they cross the country?
  2. What technology should a company invest in to maximize the benefit to its specific operation?
  3. How do you recruit, train, and retain safe, professional drivers? 

For companies struggling to answer any of these three questions, outsourcing should be a serious consideration. The bottom line is that fleet safety requires more than vehicle maintenance--it takes training, awareness, adherence to safety procedures, knowledge of compliance, and more.

Outsourcing to Avoid Insurance Woes 

Along with safety, training, proper maintenance, and other liability concerns, insurance rates also have been on the mind of many business owners. "The major impact of rising insurance rates is that total cost of ownership goes up and impacts not only the business owner, but also the end consumer," says Susan Tribby, Ryder's director of insurance operations and analysis. "But rising insurance costs have turned Ryder's sophisticated, industry-leading safety program into a competitive advantage."  

By outsourcing fleet management to a trusted provider, business owners reduce insurance worries and tap into a safety and compliance program that has been carefully constructed around industry best practices. Ryder customers, for instance, have access to extensive online driver training and safety resources that assist in developing safe drivers, such as a federally mandated Entry-Level Driver Suite of lessons and other continually updated materials--including the latest federal policies. 

Ryder also provides a wealth of additional safety materials, safety technology resources, and gear to help safeguard your drivers, your fleet, and your business. Collision mitigation systems, electronic logging devices, video event data recorders, backup camera kits, cargo restraints, custom cargo containers, stolen vehicle recovery services, and personal protection equipment (PPE) are just a few of the add-ons that Ryder offers. 

Rising insurance costs, the lack of a preventive maintenance program, and a failure to implement a sophisticated industry-leading safety program can be serious obstacles to growth. But Ryder's maintenance solutions, safety products, technology offerings, and driver training make it simple--as does access to webinars and other safety materials. With Ryder's help, your business can keep drivers, workers, suppliers, and customers safe--while keeping your insurance premiums stable and creating a competitive advantage for your company.

* http://www.truckaccidents.org/statistics/

We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from our new guide, “Today’s Fleets: Turning Complexity into reliability and growth to meet business demands”.  To download the full guide from Ryder and Inc, click here.