bad driving bad business

Bad Driving = Bad for Business

Posted 07 July 2016 by Stacey Papp

We’ve all been there – witnessing a reckless driver who slams on the brakes, lane hops on the highway, tailgates slow drivers and lays on the horn whenever others don’t move out of the way fast enough. What’s most shocking is the number of times these reckless drivers are behind the wheel of a company-owned a vehicle with a business’s company name, logo and phone number smack dab on the back for all to see. It is absolutely vital that your drivers know what is expected for them when they are out on the road because bad driving really is bad for business – in more ways than you might think…

It can tarnish your reputation.
Having a fleet of vehicles with your company name on them driving around from job to job each day is great – consider them your travelling billboards. However, you don’t want these mobile advertisements hurtling through school zones, slamming on the brakes, cutting other drivers off and driving erratically like a swarm of bees invaded their truck. 

People tend to take note of hazardous driving and may even alert the police if their driving style could potentially cause harm to others. This is especially true if your drivers take the same route each day – people become familiar with the vehicles they see around their home and business – the last thing you want is a reputation for careless driving which could negatively impact business.

It will likely drive your maintenance costs through the roof.
Bad driving habits can lead to physical damage to your fleet. Remember those brake stompers? Yep, you’ll be replacing brake pads and shoes more often than you planned. What about the chronic speeder? Traveling at high rates of speed puts extra stress on the vehicle which could lead to more trips to the garage…and less time on the road. Oh, and how about that racecar-driver-wannabe who takes turns on two wheels? Those tires are going to lose their tread faster than you can say ‘you are not Richard Petty’ and the extra money you earmarked for a new business initiative is now dedicated to replacing tires. 

It’s a fuel waster…a big one.

If one of your drivers is habitually putting the medal to the metal at the slightest glimpse of a green light, chances are they may be burning through more fuel than necessary. Research by What Car?  shows that traveling at 80mph uses up to 25% more fuel than doing 70mph. 

We know what you’re thinking – “my crew would never drive that fast”. Don’t be so sure…if you don’t know, you can’t assume. Coaching drivers on how their risky behaviors can impact fuel costs can be a big win for you all – less money spent on fuel means more money for the business (and maybe even a little raise for your drivers, too).

It’s unsafe – plain and simple.

The #1 reason to put a stop to bad driving is for safety’s sake. In the unfortunate event that one of your drivers causes or is involved in an accident, you could find yourself saddled with costly insurance premiums, potential legal costs and, not to mention, having a vehicle or driver out of rotation for a long period of time. 

Make sure to let your fleet know that you will be enforcing a safety policy throughout the company and rewarding those drivers who play nice behind the wheel. If you don’t have a safety policy in your arsenal, take a few minutes to list your top safety priorities and put some details, timelines and incentives around those. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. 

Check out how Fleetmatics’ GPS vehicle tracking solution can help you keep your drivers safe behind wheel and out on the road.

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