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Fleet Safety Management

two cars crashing

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities. From 2003-2018, more than 29,000 workers in the U.S. died in work-related motor vehicle crashes. Federal regulations for large trucks and buses are designed to improve safety, but they don’t cover every aspect of operations. Few regulations cover cars and other light vehicles driven for work.

To fill these gaps, many companies have adopted a wide range of fleet safety management practices to prevent crashes and related injuries among their workforce, but we don’t necessarily know which practices are making a difference.

Did you know?

New research links specific fleet safety management practices with significantly lower rates of work-related crashes and crash-related injuries.


The study, co-authored by NIOSH and colleagues from Miami University and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), was a first step in helping us identify the individual practices associated with lower rates of crashes and injuries. The analysis combined 2016 crash data for NETS member companies with their responses to a detailed questionnaire about their fleet safety management program and policies. Data covered 70 companies, almost 333,000 vehicles ranging from passenger cars to tractor-trailers, a variety of industries, and almost 5.5 billion vehicle miles driven.

Several fleet safety practices were associated with lower rates of crashes and injuries.

To protect workers who drive for your company, consider incorporating these practices into your new or existing fleet safety program:

man driving

To protect workers who drive for your company, consider incorporating strong mobile phone polices into your fleet safety program.

  • Fatigue risk management for light-vehicle drivers:
    • Companies with safety practices such as fatigue awareness training, restrictions on night driving, and medical screenings for fatigue did significantly better than those that didn’t have them.
  • Strong mobile phone policies:
    • Companies with policies on checking mobile phone records after all collisions and prohibiting the use of all electronic devices while driving (including the use of hands-free phones) fared better.
  • Managers’ commitment to fleet safety:
    • Companies that reported their top executives were committed to fleet safety and their field managers managed road safety well had greater success.
  • Determining severity as part of collision reviews:
    • Companies that conducted in-depth reviews of all collisions and determined the severity of the collisions were found to have better results because they were able to identify issues to be remedied across a company’s fleet.
  • Use of in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS):
    • Companies who used IVMS-equipped vehicles with video cameras, coached drivers, and summarized IVMS results for upper management were most successful.
  • Driver training:
    • Companies with training programs that: used a range of driver training methods, such as behind-the-wheel and classroom training; trained all employees (not just those classified as motor vehicle operators); and paid special attention to drivers identified as high-risk were more successful.

New research on the relationships between motor vehicle safety program elements and collision rates

National Safety Council (NSC): The NSC Safe Driving Toolkit includes numerous tools to support development and implementation of company policies on fatigue, distracted driving, and other issues.

Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS): Free resources from NETS include its Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety™, a compilation of good practices shared by its member companies, many of whom are global leaders in work-related road safety. NETS also offers toolkits on topics such as distracted driving and seat belts as part of its Drive Safely Work Week campaign materials.