Everyone can agree that vehicle safety is important—but safety precautions become a low priority amidst busy schedules. Neglecting vehicle safety not only puts drivers and vehicles at increased risk, it can be costly for fleets. This post explores the financial impact of safety (or lack thereof) on a fleet.
Fleet vehicles are unsafe when they are not properly maintained. Prolonging maintenance may save money in the short-term, but in the long-term it will cost your fleet much more in repairs, increased safety risks and possibly even driver injuries.
When fleets are not properly maintained, vehicles experience downtime. Vehicle downtime can be eight times more expensive than fleet owners expect and cost $760 or more per vehicle per day. When vehicles unexpectedly breakdown, there are productivity and profit losses and safety risks from roadside emergencies.
Check fleet vehicles routinely to ensure that the vehicle—including safety features—are operating properly. For example, you should periodically check seat belts to ensure they are not fraying and check vehicle lights to verify that none have burned out. These are simple checks with relatively low repair costs that can have a huge impact on safety. In the event of an emergency, it is crucial that these safety features are functioning properly.
When vehicles are not functioning properly, not only are there safety risks but potential maintenance violation costs. Fleets that receive an inspection, repair or maintenance violation have to pay a median ticket price of $3,250.
Accidents compromise the safety of the fleet driver and other parties involved and can cost your fleet thousands of dollars.
In the event of an accident, repair costs, productivity losses, medical bills, insurance costs and legal fees can all add up quickly. Vehicle accidents on and off the job cost US employers $48 billion annually.
On average, an accident costs fleets $16,500. If an accident involves an injury, the bill can increase to $74,000 or even $500,000 if it involves a fatal injury.
Crash fatalities in the United States totaled $44 billion in medical bills and work productivity losses in 2013.
When it comes to insurance, accident price tags are just as large. In fact, large claims get the short end of the stick. According to John E. Dolce in Fleet Management, when the economic loss related to an accident is $25,000 or greater, settlements average only one-third of the bill.
When a fleet vehicle is involved in a crash, driver and vehicle safety is at risk and the associated costs can be astronomical.
Fleet safety may seem like a nuisance when there are hundreds of other tasks requiring a fleet manager’s attention. However, it should be a priority to maintain safe vehicles and drivers and to avoid this huge potential financial impact.