Driver behaviour contributes significantly to the smooth running of a fleet, according to a report by Fleetmatics.
Today, the incorporation of GPS vehicle tracking technology has the ability to provide relevant data on a driver’s behaviour when operating a vehicle. This information is captured on the vehicles computer dashboard and can be accessed by a fleet operator at any time.
With reports available for each driver, team, or division over selected periods of time, you can manage safety and performance over the long-term. This function can help operators monitor and analyse behaviours and encourage the adoption of a positive and safe driving style. This, if correctly embraced, can result in many additional business benefits, Fleetmatics says.
According to the report on driving habits, some poor habits include:
- Excessive idling
- Fast acceleration
- Harsh braking; harsh cornering
In the United States, statistics showed that:
- Poor driving habits account for increased fuel consumption of typically 15%
- Majority (87.2%)of all at-fault large truck crashes are driver related
- Speeding is a factor in nearly 23% of all at-fault large truck crashes
- Every hour that a vehicle spends idling is equivalent to approximately 25 miles of driving
- Restarting your vehicle uses no more fuel than 30 seconds of idling and has very little harmful impacts on the vehicle
- Less aggressive driving will lessen the wear and tear on a company’s vehicle
According to the report, there are a number of reasons why a driver may exhibit a poor driving style, such as speeding or aggressive driving. Examples include leaving a vehicle idling during a delivery or working to an unattainable schedule with pressure to catch up on ‘lost’ time by rushing to the next appointment.
Whatever the reason may be, companies may view it as their responsibility to ensure that these additional pressures don’t put drivers or their vehicles at risk.
How can your business keep track of how well your vehicles are being driven?
By implementing a GPS vehicle tracking system that incorporates a ‘driving style’ tool, custom alerts can be set up which allow a fleet operator to measure, manage, control and ultimately reduce these poor driving habits.
The report says that by adopting a positive driving style strategy throughout your fleet operations, you can help encourage your drivers to be more considerate, which could ultimately help with the following:
- Cut speeding tickets
By encouraging drivers to obey the given speed limits, a company can have an impact on the chances of their drivers being served with a speeding ticket.
By alerting drivers to incidences of bad driving habits, such as harsh braking, aggressive acceleration and hard cornering, a company can significantly help decrease the chances of their drivers being involved in an accident.
- Duty of care
With a GPS tracking system, a company has data that may help them demonstrate that they have taken sufficient measures to meet their ‘Duty of Care’ obligations, thus help reduce the risk of liability.
- Reduce operating costs
The operating costs of a fleet can be reduced by using less fuel. Typically, fuel is wasted with excessive speeding and quick acceleration, as well as during excessive idling. A company can successfully monitor and help manage any of these driving behaviours by setting up custom alerts for each one with a GPS vehicle tracking system.
- Reduce vehicle maintenance costs
Less aggressive driving will lessen the wear and tear on a company’s vehicle. This can result in lower maintenance costs and an extended life of a company’s vehicles.
- Help lower insurance costs
Many insurance companies offer a discount on liability premiums when their customers proactively use GPS tracking systems to improve driver safety. This is because they want to reward customers who manage driver safety with in-vehicle telematics devices.