Feb-202-IC-Safety-header

You have done your research and invested in a telematics system for your fleet. Now what do you do with all of that data? You use it to improve your customer service, your operations and your drivers’ performance – all of which saves you money in the long run.

Customer service

Real-time tracking of your fleet can let you know if a driver is running late for a delivery. You can proactively contact a customer and let them know. Keeping a happy customer is much less expensive than finding a new customer.

Analyzing the data can also help you improve your routes. If routes are crossing over each other or if trucks are stopping at addresses which are close to each other, maybe a route adjustment is needed to make things flow more smoothly and efficiently.

Operations management

Vehicle diagnostics provided by your telematics system show if vehicles are performing correctly or if maintenance is needed. The device can report developing problems detected by engine and drive-train sensors so timely maintenance can be planned that minimizes service interruptions and repairs. By regularly monitoring diagnostics reports, you can anticipate maintenance issues and fix them before any problems arise, thus reducing breakdowns and maintenance costs. You can also use the data to measure fuel use and incentivize drivers to reduce fuel costs by limiting idling, speeding and aggressive driving.

Driver coaching

Your telematics data can help you create or improve a driver coaching program. Our internal studies have shown that a driver behavior modification process based on relevant and timely telematics data can result in a 20–30 percent reduction in losses.

To build a well-rounded and strong safety culture, it’s important to have the following programs in place:

  • A formal written safety policy that clearly outlines expectations
  • A progressive disciplinary program that includes documented verbal and written warnings
  • A safety incentive program to reward and encourage collision- and risk-free performance

 

Start by focusing on speeding

It is widely believed that speeding is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes, and research indicates that vehicle speed is directly correlated to increased severity. Speeding increases the risk of a crash in the following ways:

  • Longer reaction distance
  • Longer braking distance
  • Longer steering distance
  • Higher impact severity
  • Reduced seat belt/air bag effectiveness, leading to increased injury potential
  • Rollover/loss-of-control potential

Research shows that drivers who drive fast on highways have more “hard stops” and “hard turns” than their counterparts. Research also shows drivers who have these speeding events aren’t driving longer distances than others. These “high event count” drivers don’t speed to do their work; they speed because they don’t really understand the risks they are taking.

Open communication

Inform your drivers that the company is implementing a program to improve safe driving. Publish your standards of performance so that drivers will understand what is expected of them and how the program will be managed. It is critical for them to realize that implementing this program will not only benefit the company, but more importantly how they will benefit from the program as well.

Regularly monitor the data

Periodic or infrequent monitoring can send a perception to the drivers that your company is not taking the program seriously. If just starting a program, begin by identifying and coaching the bottom 10 percent of drivers who stand out the most. Once you have been able to make positive steps, concentrate on a larger group. However, make sure the size of the group is manageable.

The drivers must truly understand you are concerned about their behavior to protect their health and safety, and that you will continue to monitor their performance and provide the training to prevent future errors. They must be sincere about giving you a commitment that they are willing and need to change their unsafe behavior. Continue to track those individuals to determine if their status improves. If it doesn’t, meet with them again and use a more effective approach. Document the guidance that you provide. Good drivers do not need to worry about the data being collected, because it will confirm their good performance.

Reward good performance

Be sure to recognize drivers who are regularly demonstrating safe performance. This gives them satisfaction in knowing that their safe habits are noticed by management, and it enforces to all drivers that you are monitoring everyone’s performance. Create a performance incentive program, not just a disciplinary program.

Watch this video for more advice on using your telematics for driver coaching.

  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety