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Now more than ever, safety has become a top priority for many fleets. In addition to protecting drivers and the public, companies are realizing that a focus on safety also maximizes company assets and cuts unnecessary operational costs.

Safety programs are becoming the norm, not the exception. As a result, driver training programs are becoming more comprehensive and effective, helping to improve driver risk profiles and curtail liability costs from accidents.

But these benefits are only part of the safety story. Beyond creating safer drivers, fleets have experienced the following five bottom-line cascading benefits as a result of prioritizing safety.

Benefit #1 – Fuel Savings

Fuel is typically a fleet’s highest operating expense. Changing driver behavior alone can result in a 5% to 30% reduction in annual fuel consumption. Implementing these changes across the fleet can produce significant savings.

Benefit #2 – Decreased Maintenance Costs

Vehicle crashes are expensive, averaging around $65,000 for an injury-related collision. That’s twice the amount of the average workplace injury. These costs rise exponentially in instances of fatalities. A strong safety program will help avoid these additional, budget-draining expenses by avoiding a crash in the first place. Keeping the vehicle and driver actively working maximizes earning potential.

Benefit #3 – Enhance Specifying

Specifying helps better match a vehicle to its role and improve productivity. As data and configuration programs become increasingly available, the role of specifying has become both more impactful and efficient. Beyond saving money during its operational life by avoiding a crash and improving resale value, spec’ing for safety directly affects driver behavior and productivity. A vehicle spec’d with the best features and safety equipment will give drivers confidence in their vehicles. This results in drivers taking better care of their vehicles and driving more safely. Because the company is investing in safety for the driver’s benefit, it will likely incentivize driver adherence to the safety program – further lowering risk.

Benefit #4 – Lower Total Cost of Ownership

While the previous benefits all contribute to improving total cost of ownership (TCO) for fleet vehicles, a fleet safety program underpinned with telematics will provide a full account of every aspect of a vehicle’s operation. Telematics is a win-win for fleets because it provides detailed visibility on operational expenses while alerting fleet and driver managers about risky driving behavior.

Benefit #5 – Improved Fleet Reputation

A safe fleet operation contributes directly to a company’s bottom line. With a focus on safety, fleet vehicles are well maintained and can be most efficiently used. As a result, driver productivity can be maximized. This is only one of the numerous benefits fleets experience from creating a track record of safety. Driver retention is higher because they will be motivated to join and stay with the company because of the fleet’s safe reputation.