Putting The Spotlight on Fleet Safety

fleet safety in India

India’s road infrastructure coupled with human and environmental casualties make the Indian roads prone to accidents. It is thus imperative to focus on the safety of your fleet, products, and drivers. It will not only ensure your fleet and drivers’ safety but will also help write the company’s success story by delivering customer satisfaction. In the following feature, we explore the importance of fleet safety, the reasons for fleet crashes, measures to avoid them, and the role of technology in ensuring fleet safety.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau report on Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India – 2019, the number of deaths in the year caused by trucks/lorries was 22637 and accounted for 14.6% of road accidents. Government data reveals that we lose 3% of GDP in road crashes every year. An economic loss to the tune of INR 55,000 crore yearly is in dire need of attention and fleet owners must give “Fleet Safety” a serious consideration.

Tanvi Naik, Director, Reema Transport says, “Fleet safety comprises of the Truck, Cargo and last but most importantly, the ‘Driver’. The Driver is the one who has maximum control over the complete safety of the fleet, himself, and other people on the road. The main concern is that no human life is endangered in transit.”

Having the same concerns, Siddharth Bhagat, Head of Multimodal Logistics, Seros Logistics says, “We value foremost human life along with the safety of our asset. Our driver selection criteria and their safety tests are very exhaustive as they not only are responsible for their own lives and asset safety but also carry forward the name of the organisation highlighting its safety track record.”

Apart from the challenge of keeping the driver safe in fleet crashes, the enterprises or fleet owners also face other unique challenges when it comes to fleet safety and management like:
• Avoiding information overload
• Integrating fleet data into existing software systems
• Making sure all assets are fully utilised
• Fixing small problems fast
• Managing a geographically-dispersed team
• Finding specific fleet information quickly
• Controlling unauthorised use of company assets

“Timely maintenance is a must. Apart from that, vehicles need to be equipped with a host of features like power steering, air-conditioned cabins, better axle wheel structure, improved fuel combustion, better braking systems, and anti-skid mechanisms to ensure comfortable and stress-free driving,” says Hima Parvataneni, Chief Executive Officer, Navata Supply Chain Solutions.

Fleet Crashes: Reasons & Measures to Prevent Them

The reasons for accidents cited by truck drivers across India are mainly due to three factors which are the Human Factor, the Machine Factor, and the Environmental factor.

According to a survey done by Statista on the reasons behind truck accidents, over-speeding was stated as the major cause for road crashes by truck drivers as of February 2020. Fatigue and sleepiness were stated as the second major reason for road accidents among 38% of truck drivers.

To bring down the number of fleet crashes, the government of India has actively taken several initiatives. Speaking of those initiatives, SS Bhavan, GM – Fleet Maintenance, Varuna Logistics says, “Government has addressed the issue through initiatives like compulsory driver training for commercial vehicle driving license, major enhanced penalty on non-compliance of Motor vehicle act regulations, setting up of driver training institutes across major towns of India, improvement of road conditions especially highways, major changes in CMVR Rules to ensure maximum safety to driver and vehicle, vehicle scrap policy wherein vehicle beyond a certain age cannot be driven on road, stricter environmental norms ensuring better vehicle maintenance etc.”

Fleet safety directly proportional to drivers crisis?

India accounts for 67% of the freight movement via road. However, the number of drivers in the nation are just a handful. Truck driving as
a job is looked down upon in the nation. Also, drivers are dissatisfied with their profession due to low and irregular income and day-to-day
harassment from officials.

Earlier there was not much or almost no focus on fleet safety which resulted in driver causalities. There was no immediate relief to immediate family members of drivers in case of any mishap. Past experiences of drivers and their family created a fear psychosis in the minds of willing drivers causing scarcity of drivers.

This article was originally published in the February issue of the Logistics Insider magazine. To read the full story, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *