The Insight Source Blog
Your preferred Telematics information resource
Author: Jenny Shiner
Marketing Communications Manager
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Third Level Telematics: How to Drive Success by Connecting Data to Strategy
Fleet Safety Programs: The Secret Sauce for Success
For today’s organizations, fleet safety programs are a top-of-mind concern. Safety impacts almost every aspect of fleet operations from driver health and morale to uptime to liability exposure. These issues all tie directly to the company’s bottom line.
Still, many fleets still have accident rates in double digits. The national average is 20%. And some industries, such as pharmaceuticals, post even higher percentages.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT FOR THESE CRASHES CAN BE QUITE HIGH WITH THE AVERAGE COST OF A FLEET-RELATED ACCIDENT AT $70,000 – TWICE THE RATE FOR ANY OTHER TYPE OF ON-THE-JOB INJURY.
In extreme cases, liability exposure could climb into the millions and include national (negative) publicity about the event. This can harm the company’s ability to generate revenue.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) estimates that 94% of all traffic collisions are a result of driver error, with many of those a result of distracted driving. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured every day due to distracted driving-related collisions.
Fleet safety programs are the solution. This very special secret sauce involves just a few ingredients. Telematics technology is an important part. It can help fleets monitor, identify, and correct the underlying causes that lead to increased risk, crashes, and liability to exposure – driver behavior. But there’s more to the recipe than telematics.
Framing a Fleet Safety Program
Telematics technology is crucial in helping fleets monitor and correct all of the factors that could lead to a crash. But it’s equally imperative to establish a strong safety program and fleet policy. Outline policies related to personal use, cell-phone/smart-device use while driving, eating while driving, driving behavior, etc. Be sure to discuss the consequences of not following the policy – from coaching to loss of driving privileges leading up to termination for serious offenses.
Framing Fleet Safety Programs
Telematics technology is crucial in helping fleets monitor and correct behavior that leads to crashes. But it’s equally imperative to establish a strong safety program and fleet policy. An important best practice is outlining policies related to personal use, cell-phone/smart-device use while driving, eating while driving, driving behavior, etc. Also, state the consequences of not following the policy – from coaching to loss of driving privileges leading up to termination for serious offenses. Some organizations include the possibility of cash or other rewards by turning safe driving into a friendly competition with driver scorecards.
As with telematics monitoring, a fleet safety program is an ongoing process. Communicate the message of safety – its benefits and the consequences of being unsafe – regularly through the company’s website, newsletters, public forums, and private meetings. Successful fleet safety programs become part of the organization’s DNA, from drivers to company leadership.
SOME ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF CASH OR OTHER REWARDS FOR SAFE DRIVING BEHAVIORS, BY TURNING SAFE DRIVING INTO A FRIENDLY COMPETITION WITH DRIVER SCORECARDS.
It’s important to communicate fleet safety programs and the message of safety – its benefits and the consequences of being unsafe – regularly through the company’s website, newsletters, public forums, and private meetings. Preach the message often to all fleet stakeholders from drivers to company leadership.
Monitoring Risky Driving
Telematics has come a long way from just being a routing and location solution. Today, organizations use telematics in tandem with a fleet safety program to minimize risk associated with distracted and other poor driving behaviors.
Telematics identifies driving behaviors such as aggressive driving, hard braking, harsh cornering, and other data points that can help fleet managers identify opportunities for driver coaching. Many of these behaviors stem from distracted driving.
With all of this information, fleet managers can address any driving-related issue immediately. This helps stop unsafe driving. But it can also determine that the driver’s actions were warranted in the context of driving conditions, e.g., the driver reacted defensively to avoid a collision.
While driver behavior is at the root of the vast majority of collisions, there are other causes outside the driver’s control that could result in a crash such as a blowout at high speed. Telematics solutions can monitor vehicle health and status to assure that the vehicle is safe to drive.
For example, a GPS Insight solution can track driver behavior, vehicle health, and vehicle status to:
Reduce the accident rate
Decrease speeding tickets
Improve vehicle preventative maintenance
Immediately send help to employees in emergency situations
Quickly recover stolen vehicles and assets
Using telematics can dramatically and quickly reduce the risk of collisions. For example, a large cable provider improved driver behavior by more than 68% within six months of deploying telematics across its fleet. The company focused on habitual speeding. Fleet managers corrected it by getting notified when drivers passed a defined speeding threshold. Not only did the company reduce speeding, but its drivers got in fewer accidents. This also decreased their insurance premiums. This would not have been possible without using telematics.
A strong safety policy is crucial in today’s operational world. And it’s also critical to have telematics to monitor driver behavior and vehicle status.