Fleet safety is a top concern for anyone who’s involved with automotive fleets. From the small business owner who has delivery vans to large transportation companies with comprehensive fleet safety management programs, telematics can help reduce risk by improving driver behavior, which leads to fewer accidents.
According to this FMCSA study, the use of telematics systems have been documented to improve both driving safety and efficiency. Improved driving efficiency can have a positive impact to a company’s bottom line by reducing fuel consumption. Using telematics can have an even bigger impact on safety because these systems encourage drivers to perform better and more responsibly behind the wheel. This FHA study found that safety improvements often lead to additional economic benefits in the form of reduced insurance premiums. So there is a big economic incentive for fleet managers to encourage better driving behavior.
The following details how telematics systems can be used to improve driver behavior, overall safety and reduce costs.
3 Ways Telematics Can Improve Driver Behavior:
1. Use Telematics to Identify Problematic Driving Behavior
The biggest safety improvement that can be gained through telematics is helping fleet managers identify whether employees exhibit problematic driving behavior. You really need to understand what negative behaviors company drivers are exhibiting before you can make recommendations for fixing.
Solutions like PassTime Fleet GPS can monitor a wide range of driving behaviors including:
- Seatbelt Usage
- Braking Habits
- Harsh Acceleration
- Sharp Cornering
- After-hour Vehicle Usage
Speeding continues to contribute to a high percentage of crashes and vehicle accident fatalities. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities. Choosing a telematics device that can report on vehicle speed compared to posted speed limits can determine if your drivers are engaging in this unsafe driving behavior.
Other safety concerns such as seatbelt usage, frequent harsh braking and/or acceleration of the vehicle, taking corners too sharply or too fast can all be monitored with high quality telematics systems.
Additionally, after-hour vehicle usage can be monitored. Use of a company vehicle outside the authorized work day can pose a safety and liability risk for your driver as well as your vehicle.
2. Use Telematics to Create or Update Your Fleet Safety Management Program
Once you have identified safety issues caused by problematic driver behavior, you can create a fleet safety program that addresses those issues. If you have an existing plan, use this as an opportunity to review the program elements and make any updates or modifications necessary to address the issues with driver behavior that your telematics system has identified. You should have a written plan that is easy to understand and is accessible to all employees and drivers. It's beneficial to clearly define company expectations regarding driver behavior and the consequences for failing to meet those expectations. Use the data you’ve gathered and analyzed with your telematics solution to help guide you in your fleet safety program. For example, if you’ve found excessive speeding to be an issue among your drivers, you can emphasize your company’s expectations on driving within the posted speed limits when presenting your plan to your drivers and employees.
3. Use Telematics for On-Going Fleet Safety Monitoring and Management
Once you have identified safety concerns in driver behavior, created or updated your fleet safety program, the third step is to use your telematics solution to monitor and enforce your safety policy. Without constant and on-going reinforcement of your policy, old habits are guaranteed to return. Enforcement of the fleet safety policy by management is essential to success.
Most good telematics solutions have built-in reporting features that allow management to monitor driver performance and quickly identify any issues. PassTime’s Fleet GPS Driver Scoring feature grades vehicle operators on the elements that the fleet manager determines to be important for their business and provides quick insight into driver behavior across an entire fleet. Email and text alerts can be setup to provide management with real-time notifications if dangerous driving behavior occurs or in the event of an accident.
Fleet telematics technology is one of the most effective tools for improving safety. Implementing a quality solution allows fleets to improve safety by identifying issues with driver behavior. Once negative behavior is identified, companies can use the data insights to update their fleet safety policy, and manage and enforce better driving practices moving forward.
PassTime offers GPS technology and telematics solutions that help companies manage their fleets.