Telematics leads the way in improving driver and fleet safety
February 15, 2016 at 12:22 PM
Telematics is a sophisticated tool to improve your business. It goes way further than simply reporting a vehicle’s location and how long a driver spends at a job, because there are integrated safety features that encourage safe and proactive driving habits. If rules are flouted, you’ll know who’s responsible and where the offence was committed because your telematics system will tell you!
Telematics is a sophisticated tool to improve your business. It goes way further than simply reporting a vehicle’s location and how long a driver spends at a job; there are integrated safety features that encourage safe and proactive diving habits. If rules are flouted, you’ll know who’s responsible and where because your telematics system will tell you!
Thanks to GPS technology, a telematics system shows not only speed, but also highlights bad practice like fast acceleration and harsh braking. Advanced systems can even detect if a driver’s seatbelt has been engaged. By establishing patterns of behaviour, training can then be given to improve driver safety.
Alerts and incentives
Specific alerts on a telematics system can tell if a vehicle travels as much as 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. There are daily reports for driver start and finish times, as well as location and speed, all delivered in 2-minute increments. This information generates a scorecard, so drivers and managers can see how they’re doing and become motivated to improve. Rewards can then be given for hitting specific targets, for example reduced idle time and more gradual braking.
Using the results from the system to deliver individual coaching is where the telematics really comes into its own for your business. One-to-one training allows fleet managers to work on an individual driver’s weaknesses and deal with them privately, which is often more effective than mass training. Telematics should send speeding and idling into decline. The data received can be matched up with other factors the influence events on the road, such as the time of day certain problems are encountered. This helps managers to make better decisions when scheduling a driver’s work.
A shift in safety culture
Statistics prove the vast majority of accidents result from driver error. The insights provided by telematics technology make it a powerful tool in road safety, moving your business safety culture on from reactive (dealing with problems after the event) to proactive (promoting good behaviour from the start).
Some systems even have scorecards delivered to smartphones to help the driver to manage their own situation, taking the pressure off supervisors from constantly having to reprimand drivers on their driving.
Maintenance and insurance benefits
Telematics helps with vehicle maintenance too, which drivers often treat with a lower priority in their busy schedule, leading to breakdowns that could have been prevented, had they been detected sooner. Telematics systems can relay vehicle error messages to the fleet manager, e.g. worn brake pads, providing the opportunity for a repair before it becomes a breakdown.
Additional gains, on top of all the safety benefits, come with potentially reduced insurance premiums. If your insurance company knows you’re using a telematics system, it's a sign that you're going to have fewer accidents and breakdowns and fewer claims.
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