Fleet Safety Solutions: How to Promote a Safe Fleet
Written by Laura Loftus
Being a taxi driver or fleet owner can be risky. It’s a tough business to start, manage and oversee – but with the proper tools and oversight, promoting a safe fleet is imperative to be a profitable transportation business.
As an insurance broker, we attend many conferences where fleet safety solutions are always changing. Some are worth the investment while others are not.
I can remember so vividly, a camera company that pulled me aside to watch some of the videos they captured in taxi vehicles. The most alarming was that of a passenger who at the end of the ride, started stabbing the driver because they didn’t have money to pay. The driver was trying to prevent the passenger from leaving the vehicle without payment when the argument escalated and ended in bloodshed. I was horrified, to say the least.
Late last year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published a report outlining how Taxi Drivers (and any for-hire, livery type of driver) can prevent robbery and violence. These two issues, while we don’t want to have to think about it, are actually more common than one would think.
Besides preventing robbery & violence to taxi drivers, promoting a safe fleet and implementing multiple fleet safety solutions can not only improve driver safety and customer morale but improve your insurance pricing as well.
Summarizing the NIOSH report, they suggest the following:
- Maintain visibility – greater visibility into your taxi can reduce violence
- Keep vehicles in well-lit, highly visible areas when not moving
- Do not tint windows so dark that people cannot see inside the vehicle
- Keep windows clean and free from unneeded signs or postings
- Dealing with Cash – less cash in your taxi makes you a less likely target for robbery
- Minimize cash on hand by making deposits during the shift
- Try to use cashless systems when at all possible
- Post decals on the vehicle stating drivers carry limited cash
- Operating the taxi – equip taxi with safety measures
- Install and maintain security cameras (ask ABI about affordable solutions we can provide)
- Install and maintain a silent alarm or panic button
- Use personal and vehicle tracking devices (ask ABI about this as well)!
- Dealing with customers
- Do not chase after fare evaders
- Do not resist robbery. Let robbers take your money
- Do not accept passengers who cannot provide a destination.
Benefits of Promoting a Safe Fleet:
- Lower insurance premiums
- It’s no secret that keeping the amount of claims you have low, directly affects your insurance premiums. While some of the pricing for your policy is based on uncontrollable factors such as geography (location of business) and the limit required by the city or state to operate; there are some factors that are within the control of the driver or business owner to ensure lower premiums
- Part of obtaining low insurance premiums is being able to show insurance companies you have experience! Make sure to keep records of every insurance company you are with (Names of carriers, policy numbers, and brokers) so that when you try to shop around, you can easily obtain currently valued loss runs each year.
Maintaining a safe fleet by utilizing fleet safety solutions will make your business more insurable and attractive to insurance companies.
- Word of mouth and reputation
- Besides keeping riders happy, believe it or not, insurance underwriters do check Yelp pages for reviews. I have had underwriters decline accounts because of reviews from riders saying they felt unsafe or the vehicle wasn’t well-kept. It’s a small world out there, and making sure you are satisfying your customers is part of running not only a profitable business – but an insurable one
- Peace of mind
- Having oversight and a detailed safety plan that utilizes more than one fleet safety solution is key to running any business. It is even more important when that business is responsible for carrying lives from point A to point B.
Fleet Safety Solutions from ABI
Purchasing insurance for your transportation business should be more than just a transaction. At ABI, we like to think of ourselves as your partner. If you succeed, then we succeed. That is why we have not only partnered with existing fleet safety solutions but also invented some of our own. Read below on three options and insurance products we have available to help you maintain a safe fleet.
- Originally created for our Period X™ insurance product (fleet management and insurance platform for Car Owners who rent their vehicles on HyreCar or Turo platforms), CarTeqؑ™ is on the brink of being available for all of our livery clients as well. CarTeq™ utilizes the OBD port in your vehicle to provide you with immediate notifications of accidents, driver analytics, vehicle health, and more. With this insurance upgrade, you will have a customizable dashboard to have 24/7 overview of your entire fleet.
- Sure, you can purchase cameras anywhere. But we have partnered with a preferred company to provide you the most affordable and easy to install camera on the market. Besides keeping an eye on driver behavior, cameras capture footage of accidents which may actually prove your driver and company to be not at fault for accidents. Time and time again, we see our clients stuck being “liable” for claims because of a he said/she said situation. Without video, it’s sometimes difficult to prove you were not at fault. End that now with installing cameras in all of your vehicles.
- Vehicle Kill Switches
- Here’s a story for you. Once upon a time, I was homesick watching the news. I see a car chase involving a taxi that was stolen. It was a car that we insure. Although the kill switch won’t stop a vehicle mid-drive, it will prevent the car from being started again once it stops. Installing kill switches in vehicles along with our CarTeq™ GPS device will allow you to recover stolen vehicles faster. It can also give you control over retrieving vehicles from renters who haven’t paid or taxi drivers that haven’t paid lease fees
How Can We Help?
We are here for you and we want to assist in solving your fleet safety issues. Whether it’s providing additional training to your drivers, installing fleet safety solutions or even questions regarding potential contracts and how that might affect your insurance rate – call us. It is always a good idea to talk with your insurance broker before making any changes to your business structure. Sometimes, small changes in insurance limits or vehicles can affect your insurance pricing greatly. Dedication to making a safe fleet priority will weigh greatly on your insurance premiums and the morale of your drivers.