Six Quick Tips to Increase Driver Safety

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Donlen-Accident-Avoidance-r2Statistics show an average of 20 percent of fleet vehicles are involved in accidents each year. Some of the safety features that protect your drivers such as airbags and crumple zones also make repairs more expensive. Even a six mile-per-hour “fender bender” can cost more than $2,000. This adds up quickly.

At an average cost of $2,135 each, a 200-unit fleet with 40 accidents per year costs your company $85,400.

At Donlen, we believe that the best accident management program begins before an accident ever occurs, especially as driver safety continues to be a major focus for most companies.

Driver training is one of the things that can have an enormous impact, but it should be done before an accident, not as result of an accident to reap the most benefits. Aside from helping drivers understand their behavior, there may be additional benefits to driver training:

  • Help drivers avoid personal injury
  • Keep your vehicles on the road and not in the body shop
  • Provide an overall risk profile for each driver
  • Identify and address problem areas for individual drivers
  • May help you qualify for discounts from your insurance provider (check with your provider for details)

Sometimes changes in the simplest behaviors can make a difference. Here are six quick tips for your drivers – and best of all, these won’t cost you a cent:

  1. Use your turn signal: According to a study by the Society of Automotive Engineers, “turn signal neglect” – failing to use a turn signal when either turning or changing lanes – may result in “as many as 2 million crashes per year.”
  2. Approach intersections with caution: The majority of all fatal and injury accidents occur at an intersection. Never assume the other driver will yield the right of way. Even if you have a green light, be sure to scan in both directions to be certain cross traffic has stopped.
  3. Avoid distractions: Cell phones create a significant distraction while you’re driving. No call, text message, or email is worth putting your life or that of someone else in jeopardy.
  4. Don’t tailgate: Always maintain a safe 3- to 5-second following distance from the car in front of you; much longer in hazardous weather conditions including wet pavement, snow, and icy conditions.
  5. Slow down: No matter what condition the road – but especially in bad weather – speeding increases your chances of an accident. Always drive the speed limit; driving faster than everyone around you can increase your chance of an accident exponentially.
  6. Maintain your vehicle: Having a well-maintained vehicle can keep you safe. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth. Ensure your wiper blades are good and your wiper fluid is filled, and make sure your brakes are performing properly.

If you’d like to discuss creating or updating your driver policy, contact your Donlen Account Manager.

One-Year Extension for CDL Self-Certification

We previously reported that CDL drivers had until January 30, 2014 to turn in their self-certification documentation and medical examiners certificate to their state licensing agency, due to the FMCSA rulemaking change that merged the driver’s medical examination with the CDL (commercial driver’s license). The FMCSA has now issued the one-year extension because some states are not yet in full compliance with the new system.

Therefore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended until January 30, 2015, the requirement that interstate drivers subject to: (1) either the commercial driver’s license (CDL) or the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) regulations as well as (2) the Federal physical qualification requirements under 49 CFR part 391, must retain paper copies of their medical examiner’s certificate when operating a commercial motor vehicle. The rule will be published in the Federal Register in the next several days. Interstate motor carriers are also required to retain copies of their driver’s medical certificates in their driver qualification files.

We will keep you posted on this issue. If you have questions about your truck compliance issues, please contact Steve Jansen at 847-412-4961.

FleetWeb® Tips

pushpin-windowsOrganize your report windows easily with the FleetWeb pushpin button. This is a great way to organize your favorite windows and have them open in the same location each time you log in.

  • Move any opened window to desired location
  • Click the pushpin button to the down position at the top of each window
  • Once you log back in, your favorite windows will be where you left them

Hertz Value Lease® Deal of the Week

donlen-hertz-value-lease-chevy-malibu-1lt-20132013 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT*

  • Estimated Mileage: 17,513
  • Exterior Color: Gray
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $16,400

*Representative of available vehicles. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease.

Driver’s Corner

Are you tempted by your phone when you’re driving? Is the beep of an incoming text message or your favorite ringtone too difficult to avoid? Start placing your phone out of reach every time you get behind the wheel. For some, that may mean in the glove compartment or simply in the back seat. For others, it may mean leaving it in the trunk! Any place that will remind you not to answer is a good thing. Stay safe.

And finally…

And finally, is this the safest car that never was? Sporting front wheels always in alignment, a two-section body that minimizes collision impact, and a distortion-free windshield, the late 50s Sir Vival (get it? “survival”) was not the prettiest concept ever to roll off the line. But don’t take our word for it; check it out for yourself here.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on January 17, 2014

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver safety and productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld 2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development, the 2012 and 2013 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America, and the 2013 CIO 100. Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP The Global Outsourcing 100® list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit