- January 16, 2019
- Posted by: Asheesh Sinha
- Category: Business plans
Approximately 773,000 vehicles are stolen annually in the United States, and many of them are part of a business fleet. If you own a fleet of vehicles or manage one, you need to be very proactive in protecting these assets. Here are some things you will want to consider to better protect your fleet of vehicles.
Protecting Your Fleet Against Accidents
No matter how hard you try to protect your fleet by keeping drivers informed and trained, there will always be things you can’t control—if your driver is involved in a traffic collision, for example. As a company, you want to trust that the driver isn’t at fault, but there are unfortunate times where the driver is to blame due to reckless or distracted driving. This is one of the reasons why having a reliable insurance policy is all but mandatory.
You want to protect your property and your employees, so standing behind them in the event of a collision is necessary. Craig Swapp & Associates says, “almost every type of motor vehicle accident leads to some type of property damage. Even minor fender-benders can lead to exorbitant costs. However, if you didn’t cause the crash, there’s no reason why you should have to pay these fees.” Having good insurance is a surefire way to protect your fleet in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Protecting Your Fleet Against Criminals
The first step in protecting your fleet against criminals is to install an internal cage so that thieves would need to have a blow torch to get to anything of value. You may also want to tint the windows to the maximum extent allowed under state law to further discourage smash-and-grab thieves from attacking the vehicles. iTracking explains, “Smash and grabs work under the premise that there will be a reward for the effort of breaking in, by robbing criminals of that sureness, you are greatly reducing the risk. Similarly, fitting safety glass and shatter-resistant window film will reduce the risk of your windows shattering and providing an easy entry point.” That said, all employees should be instructed to never leave valuables in sight.
If the vehicle has a toolbox or other storage container, ensure that it is made of a sturdy material and has a lock. Drivers should be constantly trained and reminded of safety steps that they are expected to take. If the vehicle is shared by more than one individual, the only key should be signed in and out.
Protecting Your Fleet Against Cybercriminals
It is estimated that by 2020, there will be over 83 million connected vehicles in existence, and your business fleet may have some of them. Having vehicles disabled or data stolen is not a stretch of the imagination anymore. In fact, one employee disabled over 100 vehicles just by breaking into the system that stopped the cars from operating if the owner became delinquent in their payments. While insurance protects your vehicles in the case of collision, you must be proactive in helping to stop cybercriminals from attacking your fleet.
The first step in stopping cybercriminals is carefully controlling who has access to the data. The fewer people who know the right passwords to get into the system, the better protected the data is overall. All transmitted data must be securely encrypted as this ensures that even if it is stolen, the thieves need the code to unlock the information. Your vehicles may go hundreds of miles each year, so it is vital that you keep all onboard systems updated with the latest security patches. Wilmar recommends, “be very cautious about installing new or unauthorized software and systems. You should only install devices and software from a trusted brand on a secure network, and only with your company’s final approval.”
If you own or are responsible for a fleet of business vehicles, then it is essential that you be proactive in stopping them from being stolen. You must also take an active role in protecting the data from any connected vehicles. Being proactive is often the best way to stop crime.
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