Journey Management and Trip Planning
Driving for work may be one of the most dangerous things your employees do. Journey management can help reduce the risks. It can help eliminate unnecessary driving and manage the risks drivers face when they have to be on the road. Learn how our online TripCheck tool can help you create a trip plan in minutes.
Benefits of journey management
Effective journey management is good for employees who drive for work, their employers, and the planet. It’s smart business. It can help to keep people safe, cut travel costs, and reduce carbon emissions. It’s an easy tool for organizations of any size to use.
What is journey management?
Journey management is a 2-part process that aims to prevent crashes and injuries by minimizing exposure to driving-related hazards.
It starts by deciding whether driving is necessary. It explores alternatives that would allow drivers to skip getting behind the wheel. Not driving is always the safest option, since crashes are the leading cause of work-related traumatic death in BC.
Trip planning is the second part of the process. When driving is necessary, it helps drivers prepare for the safest possible journey.
Journey management demonstrates an organization’s commitment to the health and safety of its employees. It can reduce the number of crashes and injuries, and lower driver stress. It’s an important part of a safety culture that helps to attract and retain employees.
Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. When employees drive for work, their vehicle is their workplace — even if they’re driving their personal vehicle (PDF 269KB). Journey management can help make the job of driving safer by eliminating or minimizing exposure to hazards.
Avoiding non-essential driving is an obvious cost savings for any organization. The short-term benefits are less money spent on fuel, maintenance, meals, and accommodations. Reducing driving can also extend vehicle life, allowing you to lengthen the time between vehicle purchases and lower your insurance and maintenance costs.
Avoiding driving helps keep employees and the environment healthier. Reducing vehicle travel shrinks your organization’s carbon footprint. A passenger sedan with 1 occupant, for example, emits an average of 1.9 kg of carbon in a 10-km trip.
Even if the drive is only 20 minutes, the total trip time is much longer. Preparing for the drive, getting to the car, inspecting it, and finding parking all increase the time spent behind the wheel. The less time employees spend driving, the more they have for productive work.
Using journey management
Employers, supervisors, and drivers can all apply journey management principles. The two steps don’t take much time to complete and they serve as an early warning system that helps prevent crashes. Our TripCheck tool makes planning easy.
Step 1: Is driving necessary?
The first stage of journey management is to avoid needless driving. Start by asking yourself whether the trip has to be made.
Consider these alternative ways to get work done without getting in your vehicle:
- Working from home
- Online meeting
- Courier or delivery service
If it’s necessary to be there in person, there are plenty of safer ways to get there than driving yourself:
- Public transit
- Taxi and ride-hailing services (PDF 153KB)
- Walking or cycling
Some of these alternatives have their own hazards. Buses and taxis travel on roads too, for example. But the risks are usually lower thanks to the driving skills of professionals and the safety measures taken by their employers.
Step 2: Can you reduce driving-related risk?
Sometimes driving can’t be avoided. When that’s the case, journey management calls for building a trip plan.
Your plan analyzes the trip ahead and anticipates the hazards you can reasonably expect to encounter. You then consider ways to reduce exposure to those hazards, such as taking a safer route and allowing plenty of time to get where you’re going. The plan also makes you think about managing risks you can’t avoid, such as speeders and dangerous intersections.
We recommend employers require drivers to prepare and submit a trip plan for travel of more than 50 km or more than 1 hour. We also suggest a plan be required when the proposed trip carries a high risk, such as on a congested route or during winter weather.
A trip plan should include:
- Name of driver and passengers
- Vehicle information (make, model, color, licence plate, etc.)
- Travel route, listing preferred and potential alternate routes. Check DriveBC for current road and weather conditions
- Destination address and any planned stops along the way
- Identification of potential hazards
- Ways to minimize risk from the hazards
- Contact information for the driver and anyone they will be meeting along the way
- Check-in system
Our TripCheck online tool helps you create a plan in minutes. Use it in combination with effective training, supervision, and inspections to help keep drivers safe.
You can also use our Journey Management Policy Template (Word 56KB) to create your own policy.
Travel check-in system
A check-in system is a quick process drivers use to let someone in their organization know they’re safe and the trip is going to plan. It’s a best practice for any organization that has employees who drive for work. A check-in system as part of a trip plan can also help employers fulfill their responsibilities when an employee works alone and assistance is not readily available. This could include a driver on a night shift or in a remote location who works on their own. Check-in procedures can help ensure regular contact with the employee.
How it works
A check-in system is a key part of trip planning. It helps employers verify their employees are safe.
A check-in system involves scheduled communications between a driver or passengers and a contact person. If a check-in is missed, the contact person tries to reach the driver to make sure everything is OK. If no contact is made, emergency measures may be taken.
Creating a check-in system
A check-in system explains:
A common check-in interval is every 2 hours. Drivers and supervisors should decide on a frequency that reflects the risks associated with the trip. The greater the risks, the more frequent the check-in calls.
A phone call, text, or email are the most common methods. If cell coverage is expected to be poor or non-existent on any part of the route, check-ins will have to take place before or after those areas. In remote areas where cell service is unavailable, drivers may also need other technologies, like satellite phones or 2-way radios, to check in.
Co-workers, office assistants, supervisors, or managers can all be contact persons. They need to know the check-in interval and be available to receive scheduled check-in calls. They also need to know how to activate a response procedure if the driver doesn’t check in on time.
An emergency response needs to be part of every trip plan. What will be done if the employee doesn’t check in or if the organization is gets notified that the driver has been in a crash? Responses can include:
- Trying to contact the driver by phone, text and/or email
- Contacting the destination contact to ask if they know where the driver is
- Alerting a supervisor when the check-in is more than 30 minutes late
There’s no standard check-in procedure. Here are some examples that could be used by your organization.
Chris is transporting a client to hospital. This client has a history of becoming agitated and aggressive. The drive should take about 75 minutes. Chris and her supervisor agree on the following check-in times:
- When she arrives at the client’s house (9:30 a.m.).
- Just before they start the drive (around 9:45 a.m.).
- Every half-hour during the drive (while Chris is pulled over).
- When she and the patient arrive at the hospital (expected ETA: 11 a.m.).
Tan checks in every 2 hours in the summer. In winter, because of risky driving conditions, he checks in every hour. There are a few places where Tan knows the cell coverage is unreliable or non-existent. Tan arranges with his office contact to check in:
- Just before he leaves the reliable cell service area (call by 7 a.m.)
- When he is back in range (expect call by 8:45 a.m.)
Tan and his manager have also agreed to purchase a satellite phone to avoid this gap in the future.
Chandar drives a service truck that’s bulky and difficult to park. To reduce conflicts with busy daytime traffic, Chandar works in the evening. He drives through higher-risk neighbourhoods.
After talking with his manager, they decide he will check in every half hour while he’s in those risky locations.
Use our Check-in Procedures Template (Word 24KB) and ideas from these examples to help create a system.
TripCheck is a step-by-step planning tool to help you reduce the risks associated with driving for work. It takes about 3 minutes to complete and covers the driver, the trip, and the vehicle. Drivers who are prepared with a plan are better equipped to deal with the hazards they will encounter.
The online version allows you to complete a checklist, print your plan, and email it to up to 3 people. You can save the plan on your desktop or laptop computer, or mobile device.
You can also use TripCheck offline. We recommend all employees keep a printed copy of the forms in their vehicle, in case they lose online access.
Download and complete the forms below:
- TripCheck offline form (PDF 520KB): This form is very similar to TripCheck online.
- TripCheck offline customizable form (Word 38KB): You can adjust and customize this form to meet your organization’s journey management requirements.
Have drivers submit completed forms to their supervisor.