A Three Pronged Approach to Fleet Safety

Judy Sparks

Judy Sparks

Fleet Administrator, Advanced Home Care

Judy, tell us about the Three Part Safety Program and how you have implemented it.

We are really excited about improving safety with our Three Part Safety Program implemented this year.  The first part is our Star Driver Program, acknowledging our drivers when they have done a great job. We look at when our drivers have gone without an accident for the course of the year or not received any negative calls in response to the “How is my Driving” stickers located on our vehicles.  If incident free, our drivers are then celebrated as a STAR.   They are given an award, a safe driving jacket, have a cook-out and really commemorate their success. Our drivers have responded well and feel encouraged knowing that we appreciate that they are doing a great job.

The second part of our program is our accident review process. Anytime we have an accident, find any damage to one of our vehicles, or receive an egregious call-in about driving behavior, we convene a committee that reviews what has happened.  The review includes the driver, their manager, and a committee of Senior Leadership and Human Resources.  We get the driver’s point of view, discuss what has happened, what we can learn from this, what could we have done differently, and how they have applied the training they have received.  In this review we assess any points that might be assigned to them within our company’s policy and we also look at what we as a company could do differently. Is there any equipment that is needed for them to be successful that we have not provided?  Are there other tools that we can be giving them when we are training? We have learned a lot through that process, it has been very successful.

The third part is our safe driver training. We require all drivers to participate in both an in-class and on-the-road defensive driver training. We teach them how to maneuver their vehicle effectively and create space to keep them safer. Our company has found that by using these three different aspects we have seen a significant reduction in accidents as well as a better attitude from the driver that is more focused on safety.

What about the results you are getting on accidents, costs and reductions?

We track and trend the number of accidents we have and the amount that we are spending on those accidents including vehicle repair and liability.  This program has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of accidents as well as the severity of accidents. 

We are also concerned about giving our drivers the keys they need to stay safe. The financial return we are seeing is significant, but keeping our driver’s safe is crucial.

What are you seeing about good habits and routines?

It is important that our drivers have a standard in the way that they drive, that they have the ability to have a routine, or be able to know for sure what is expected of them behind the wheel. We help them establish good driving habits that can help with their day-to-day routines so that they can safely arrive at our patients’ homes to deal with the more crucial part of our business which is patient care.

What is the best way to deal with and analyze your data?

We look at data concerning fuel spend, maintenance costs, depreciation – all of the things that come into play, but up until this year it has been difficult not to look at each element exclusively. This year, we have established a database pulling everything together. We are now asking more in-depth questions; how one aspect is affecting the other. This has facilitated a process where we pull reports and review them on a regular basis.  We are now trending and learning more from the past as we plan for our future in fleet.

How do you make sure your vehicles are uniform and clean?

One of our objectives for this year is to establish SOPs or standard operating procedures for everything that we do for fleet across the company. We are looking at trying to make sure that what we do is repeatable so that we are not reinventing the wheel every time we do something; making our processes uniform and effective, not only in our time but in the process of making sure that everything is taken care of.

In addition to the SOPs we have established branding that is uniform. We have approved specs for what the vehicle will look like on the outside, hoping that as our moving billboards go down the road they are recognizable. We also have more uniform standards for how the vehicle is outfitted on the inside. This addresses what type of shelving we have and what equipment is needed so that when we add a new vehicle we are bringing that into our fleet uniformly.   These actions help assure that any driver can drive any one of our vehicles and know exactly where to find necessary equipment or safety devices. 

Congratulations on being named a finalist for NAFA’s 2013 FLEXY award for Excellence in Corporate Fleet Safety.

We were pleased to be one of the finalists for the safety program. It has been a busy, intense year in developing the safety program. We went from inception to implementation in one year, which has been a big process. It was been an honor to be recognized for our efforts. I have learned quite a lot from working with and talking to others at the NAFA I&E about their fleets and processes. Our company has been excited to be a part of the awards event.

I am happy to be a part of a company that values safety in our fleet and supports initiatives to improve.


Judy Sparks is the Fleet Administrator for Advanced Home Care, Inc.    Advanced Home Care has approximately 170 vehicles and growing.   After working with Advanced Home Care in a different role, Judy transitioned into this role in January of 2012.