How to Become Fleet Safety Certified

Becoming fleet safety certified ensures that your commercial vehicle drivers are trained enough to prevent accidents, risks, and other liabilities.

There are many fleet safety certifications available with their own unique features and offerings. These certifications are essential for minimizing incidents, impacts, and liabilities. They help fleet managers comply with federal regulations and state laws while also improving the performance of drivers and vehicles.

In this article, we’ll explain why you should get fleet safety certified. We’ll also cover the best fleet safety certification programs and look at how a telematics solution like CalAmp can strengthen your fleet safety program.

Why should you get fleet safety certified?

Fleet safety certifications help fleet owners gain more knowledge on safe driving behaviors and insurance claim procedures while reducing collisions, accidents, and breakdowns.

Collisions can be expensive — 43% of fleet managers report spending $2,500–$4,999 in repair costs alone. That doesn’t include other costs like higher insurance premiums.

High fleet repair cost stat

Becoming fleet safety certified will help avoid these expenses. These certifications offer many other benefits:

  • Reduced risk of accidents and injury
  • Improved compliance with government regulations
  • Enhanced driver safety and productivity
  • Reduced liability insurance rates
  • Reduced employee compensation claims
  • Responsible operation of your vehicles by fleet drivers
  • Enhanced public image and relations
  • Improved fleet maintenance practices
  • Increased vehicle performance and reliability
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Reduced vehicle operational and repair costs

But how do you get fleet safety certified? Here are the top six certifications you can consider.

6 best fleet safety certifications

Most fleet safety training programs are available in both offline and online formats. Regardless of which program you choose, make sure it’s engaging so that drivers don’t just skim through it.

List of fleet safety certification programs

Here are our handpicked courses that you can enroll in to become fleet safety certified.

1. Osha Fleet Safety Certification (OSHAcademy)

OSHAcademy provides training on occupational safety and health with its modules on fleet safety management. Though the training material can be accessed for free, their certificate options are paid ($20.99 for PDF and $32.99 for hard copy and PDF both).

OSHAcademy homepage

The course topics cover themes like:

  • How to build an effective fleet safety program
  • Duties and responsibilities of fleet supervisors and managers
  • How to perform vehicle inspections
  • Traffic and driving laws
  • How to select drivers and define qualifying standards

And much more.

All modules have a quiz at the end of the lesson. Participants can even take a final exam and get certified.

2. DriveSafe’s Online Defensive Driving Courses

DriveSafe is an online defensive course designed by the National Safety Council (NSC) specifically for drivers. Since its inception in 1964, it has trained 75 million drivers in safe driving practices.

DriveSafe homepage

It offers a variety of courses on topics like:

  • Defensive driving techniques
  • Driver improvement courses
  • Driver retraining courses
  • Distracted driving avoidance programs
  • Driver safety courses

DriveSafe’s courses incorporate real-life driving scenarios, hazard recognition situations, and defensive driving tips to help drivers improve their driving habits to avoid violations or collisions. Courses are tailored according to the driver’s profile, age, gender, location, and driving habits.

Most courses take around four to six hours to complete, are paid, and participants get a certificate post-completion. Drivers learn how to manage fatigue and sleep, avoid distractions like using mobile phones, and identify risks before they occur.

3. CAFM Program

Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) is a course by NAFA’s Fleet Management Association.

NAFA homepage

The CAFM certificate consists of eight modules and covers key topics on how to:

  • Strategically select and procure assets
  • Ensure that the fleet is used efficiently and that all assets are utilized in the best possible way
  • Align with the essential regulatory laws and legislations for fleet professionals
  • Be prepared for emergencies
  • Manage finances (i.e., know about life cycle analysis, accounting principles, leasing, preparing a fleet budget, etc.)
  • Use telematics to improve fleet efficiency
  • Identify, analyze, and handle risks

It’s a self-study course and requires at least one year of experience in a fleet industry job.

4. NATMI Courses

North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI) offers certificate programs for safety directors, maintenance managers, commercial drivers, and trainers.

NATMI homepage

There are a lot of programs available and you can get started with a program that suits you by registering for them. For example, NATMI often conducts training on:

  • Driver qualification standards
  • How to master safety compliance skills
  • How to input Hours Of Service logs and identify inaccurate entries
  • Safe driving habits to prevent injuries, etc.

Their website lists all the details and most of their programs are onsite. They send the reading materials to you and once you take the courses, you can also take the exam onsite.

5. NSC Courses

National Safety Council (NSC) has trained over 80 million drivers since its start in 1964. It offers both classroom and online training.

National Safety Council homepage

NSC offers online courses on how to:

  • Ensure employee safety on the road
  • Reduce the risk of collisions and traffic violations
  • Change driver’s habits toward distracted driving
  • Handle fatigue while driving

For onsite classes, you can check the locations and details on this page. If you want to know what the training is like, you can sign up for a demo where you’ll receive segments of their courses.

6. DOT Compliance Training Seminars

DOT Compliance Help assists fleet companies in establishing proper safety controls and maintaining DOT compliance.

DOT Compliance Help homepage

DOT Compliance Help offers online and offline training on various aspects of fleet management:

  • Driver qualification management
  • Maintenance management
  • Vehicle accident countermeasures
  • Hours Of Service
  • Supervisor drug and alcohol training
  • Passing roadside inspections without violations

You can find a full list of online courses on this page. You can even ask for custom onsite training for your organization.

In addition to training programs, fleet management software like CalAmp can enhance your safety protocols. It has features that enable fleet managers to analyze driver behaviors, improve fuel performance, and more. In the next section, we cover how CalAmp can increase your fleet safety operations.

CalAmp’s telematics technology for better fleet safety

Previously, fleets were managed on notes, phones, or by communicating with drivers. But these methods can’t be scaled and are prone to human errors (like a wrong entry or faulty record). Thanks to telematics solutions, it’s easier than ever to monitor vehicle location, driver habits, and fuel economy.

Telematics utilizes Edge IoT devices, communication networks, and applications to transfer fleet information from the vehicle to the cloud. The data is processed and sent to fleet management software like CalAmp.

This data allows you to review driver behaviors and maintenance schedules, check temperature levels, use GPS to delegate vehicles effectively or check traffic situations, and more.

Our telematics solution, CalAmp, has helped over 14,300 customers like Ford, BMW, and Toyota track and protect vital assets. Here’s an in-depth look at our features.

Spot harsh driver behaviors

8% of all fatal crashes happen due to distracted driving.

It can be hard to avoid distracted driving, but telematics technology can greatly help. For example, it can detect speeding and acceleration and instantly alert the driver to slow down.

CalAmp’s telematics can pinpoint risky driving behaviors like harsh braking, cornering, tailgating, and swerving. You can also install dash cams in vehicles — the cameras are always recording but alert drivers only when a harsh driving incident occurs. Drivers can then get an in-cab audio alert to drive safely.

CalAmp in-cab alerts for harsh driving behaviors

It also allows you to geofence authorized routes to check if drivers are straying and even track how long a driver stayed at a given location.

Then, with CalAmp’s breadcrumbs, you can see what happened at any point along the way — for example, did the driver brake suddenly?

CalAmp's breadcrumb feature dashboard

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CalAmp lets you create driver scorecards to recognize top performers and implement a rewards system.

Image of driver scorecard in CalAmp

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Scorecards and videos both facilitate fact-based coaching. Telematics data and video clips give managers evidence they can use during coaching sessions. Dash cams and supervisory coaching can reduce 60% of incidents and cause an 86% reduction in the cost of vehicle crashes.

Further, with accident reconstruction, you can instantly receive accident alerts. Plus, you can get the event's entire context like the crash's force, direction, and speed before the impact (nine seconds before and six seconds after an incident). Fleet managers can provide this information during the accident investigation process and avoid false claims.

Automate maintenance and safety

Without proper maintenance, a fleet’s operational performance decreases, downtime increases, and replacement costs are higher. In fact, 10% of all expenses are maintenance and repairs based. Fleet safety managers can’t just depend on spreadsheets to plan preventive maintenance schedules.

CalAmp provides a dashboard for scheduling just-in-time maintenance based on odometer readings.

Image of asset utilization report in CalAmp

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You can get extensive reports on asset type, asset history, asset utilization, status, distance traveled, battery levels, fuel usage, idle times, and other metrics — and predict the mileage and time when a fault will occur so that you can take prior actions.

Maintenance alerts in CalAmp

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Besides preventative measures, CalAmp’s safety features include:

  • In-cab alerts: They flag safety risks with automated warnings for an open trailer door, tire pressure, wheel-end temperature, and other anomalies that need attention. You can also get security alerts when a trailer stops abruptly or someone tampers with a package.
  • Volume sensing: Cargo volume sensing allows fleet managers to isolate trailers that carry more weight than required (and avoid violations, roadside delays, and repairs).
  • Temperature monitoring: With CalAmp, you can also monitor the temperature in real-time. That way you can check if sensitive shipments fall outside a specific temperature threshold or when changes occur. You can adjust the temperature remotely and receive fuel alerts to protect cargo integrity.
  • Notifications: Finally, you can configure email and text alerts if something’s wrong with the indicator light or diagnostic trouble code (DTC) via the onboard diagnostic system (OBD).

Boost compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) scores

Most carriers and drivers must adhere to electronic logging device (ELD) regulations where they must use registered and certified ELD devices. These devices track records of duty service (RODS) data. Not complying with this can attract penalties, fines, and degradation of CSA scores.

CalAmp’s ELD is a driver-friendly solution that aligns with most US federal, intrastate, Mexican, Canadian, and other important regulations.

Image ELD device

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Fleet owners can streamline compliance and avoid costly Hours Of Service (HOS) with our ELD solution which comes with the following features:

Electronic DVIR reporting

  • Use pre-populated checklists that make mandatory DVIR inspections a breeze.
  • Input DTC codes, photos, and audit logs to maintain oversight.

Automated IFTA reporting with a simple and customizable portal

  • Avoid errors with automatic fuel capture.
  • Ensure you’re fully compliant with US, Canadian, Ontario, Quebec, and Schedule 1 regulations.

7” Android rugged tablet

  • Dust and water-resistant.
  • Four-foot drop resistant.
  • Directly connected to your CalAmp LMU device to avoid connectivity problems.
  • Driver-friendly interface (works even with gloves on).
  • Spanish and French language availability.

Weather and traffic map layer

Apart from identifying harsh driving habits and alerting you about impending vehicle maintenance, CalAmp gives you weather and traffic information that facilitate emergency response preparation.

Image of CalAmp's traffic and weather overlay

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Current traffic situations help drivers take the fastest route and also give visibility into the traffic conditions ahead so that customers have an estimated time of arrival (ETA).

Try CalAmp’s fleet management solution to increase fleet safety

CalAmp’s fleet management software offers reliable, telematics-based info and allows you to receive safety and maintenance-based alerts to enhance driver and vehicle safety. You can also create easy-to-generate reports on various metrics via desktop and mobile.

Having in-depth insights at the right time lets you make strategic decisions, reduce costs, and enhance fleet operations. Schedule a demo today to discover how CalAmp’s features can help your fleet management.

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