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The Significant Role That Small Businesses Play in Road Safety

Martin Castilla            No comments            Dec, 12

Human error accounts for 94% of road accidents, according to Digital Trends. This can be something as small as an employee changing radio channels while behind the wheel. Sadly, if a road accident involves your employee, the chances are that you will have to go understaffed for some time, affecting the productivity of your business.

If they were using a business-owned vehicle, you might have to file insurance claims, pay for their injuries and even deal with the ensuing PR nightmare. Regardless of whether employees are using company-owned vehicles or not, business leaders have a significant role to play when it comes to improving road safety. This is especially true since leaders often have some level of control on factors that could lead to road accidents, such as the fatigue levels of employees and the maintenance of their fleet.

Here is how you can improve road safety as a business:

Encourage Responsible Driving

Some workplace policies might increase the chances that an employee will be involved in a road accident. For instance, if you penalize an employee for arriving to work late, despite the circumstances being completely beyond their control, the chances are that they will break traffic rules to get to work on time. Conditions such as inclement weather should be great excuses for arriving to work late.

In fact, it might be better to have employees work from home than coming to work in such weather conditions. It might also pay to influence the type of driver training that employees receive, both for new and experienced drivers. For new drivers, consider intensive driving courses. Other than the fact that receiving safety centric driver training improves employee safety on the roads, the fact that you showed some care about their time on the road will make them feel valued by your business.

Beware Of Employee Fatigue

Fatigue-related road accidents are quite common. After working long hours and late into the night, it can be possible for an employee to fall asleep behind the wheel. If they are lucky enough to get home, the chances are that they might still need to get back to work early the next day. 

Beware of how you schedule your employees, and look for ways that will reduce their fatigue levels. For instance, you can have employees who work overtime come late during the next working day. This will also help improve the productivity of the employees as they will be refreshed enough to get back to work.

Implement Safe Driving Policies

The first step to enhancing safe driving is making it part of your culture by communicating the expectations. However, it is one thing to communicate expectations and another to actually walk the talk. Look for ways to implement the policies you set out for safe driving. 

For instance, you can install applications on the corporate phones that your employees use, in an effort to reduce distracted driving. Also, it might be wise to ban the use of hands-free phones while behind the wheel as they induce cognitive distraction. 

Create Safe Driving Environments

If employees realize that you would go the extra mile to improve their safety, they too will go the extra mile to improve the productivity of your business. The trick is to improve their working environment safety standards. For instance, it might be wise to commit to maintaining your fleet and company-owned cars. This includes both creating maintenance schedules and working with verified inspectors to inspect the vehicles regularly.

On the other hand, if an employee raises a safety-centric issue, be sure to take heed to it, instead of expressing frustration. While it might be borderline impossible to cover all safety loopholes for your fleet, making it easy for employees to raise concerns will help you identify the less-than-obvious safety issues.

Conclusion

While the government can work overtime to improve road safety, there are still a lot more ways in which small businesses can contribute to the cause. It all trickles down to how they can control aspects that can easily lead to road accidents. Consider the tips above to build a culture of road safety in your workforce. 

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