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3 ways to use driver safety scorecards

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Since truckers spend up to 11 hours per day behind the wheel, safety is a top concern for fleet managers. Truck drivers already undergo extensive training, and trucker accident rates are expected to decline as the FMCSA estimates the recent ELD mandate will prevent 1,844 crashes, 562 injuries and save 26 lives per year by enforcing hour limits so drivers get sufficient rest.

But fleet managers can take extra steps to improve their fleet’s safety record by investing in GPS fleet tracking software with a safety feature like a driver scorecard, which tracks and measures behaviors like speeding to help fleet managers ensure their drivers are not contributing to dangerous driving practices. Teletrac Navman’s driver scorecard measures performance and ranks drivers based on individual violations, giving a single view of which drivers are engaging in high-risk behavior.

Here are three ways managers can use driver scorecards to boost their fleet’s performance:

Driver coaching

Driver scorecards are generated using data pulled from a vehicle’s telematics device. Since the device is attached to the engine, it can detect behaviors like speeding and harsh braking. This data is automatically fed into the scorecard in real-time, helping fleet managers measure performance and give targeted feedback to their drivers, whether by trip or by day, week or month. Drivers are also notified in real-time every time they commit an unsafe event so they are better prepared when going into reviews with their managers and already aware of how they can improve.

In addition, driver scorecards are customizable, meaning fleet managers can determine how they want to prioritize their drivers’ behavior when it comes to their overall safety score (e.g. they can give a heavier weight to stop sign violations than speeding, or vice versa). Driver scorecards are also able to show drivers how their performance compares to company performance averages and the best driver in the fleet (who is listed anonymously). Putting some friendly competition into the feedback process is a positive way to improve driver performance and retention.

Measuring violations

Driver scorecards also include stop sign and significant speeding violations and display this information alongside the driver behaviors listed above. Again, these may be customized: for example, fleets can decide what their company-wide policy is regarding how long a driver should remain at a stop sign, or what speed threshold the tracker should count before and after stop signs, and measure drivers’ compliance accordingly.

Not only does increasing drivers’ and managers’ awareness of violations improve safety, it can also ultimately reduce the number of FMCSA violations a driver receives. This leads to better CSA scores and fewer fines.

Preventing waste

Of course, cultivating a fleet of safe drivers is important for safety’s sake. However, the same dangerous driving practices that contribute to violations also contribute to wear and tear on vehicles. Behaviors like sharp acceleration and taking corners too quickly – both of which can be tracked in scorecards – can harm vehicles, increasing repair costs and labor costs as well if the damage is extensive enough to cause significant unplanned downtime.

GPS fleet tracking devices also measure when a vehicle is idling. While idling isn’t unsafe, it wastes fuel – and those costs add up. Fleets can choose to include idling time in driver scorecards so they can add that into their broader fleet performance plan and give drivers an idea of how much fuel they are wasting. Driver scorecards can also display a driver’s average RPMs, another key factor in determining fuel burn. Since many drivers tend to drive over the desired RPM level to change gears without losing power, it’s another behavior that can hurt a fleet’s bottom line.

If you’re a fleet manager, check out Teletrac Navman’s driver and fleet safety solution.

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