To get an idea of what makes a best-in-class fleet safety program, it helps to first understand how driver behavior monitoring is useful in establishing effective policies. Companies that use fleet tracking technology to optimize their fleet operations can often utilize the same system to monitor driver behavior. Reports based on metrics gathered by the system's GPS tracking units and in some cases connected sensors and/or integrated dashcams can identify habitual speeders and idlers, behavior habits like harsh braking and high RPMs, and compare individual drivers against fleet averages, and more. The first step in customizing a fair program is understanding the behavioral patterns for each driver individually by tapping into the valuable metrics gathered in your GPS fleet tracking system.
GPS fleet management software with fleet safety features highlight if drivers are engaging in risky behavior while on the road. Over time, fleet managers can see if trends emerge for a particular driver, as well as assist said driver in modifying this particular dangerous or costly activity. Developing strong safety and training programs can reduce the costs fleet companies incur through vehicle collisions, increased insurance premiums, excessive idling and poor driving behaviors. Let’s take a look at how to develop a safety program and how to use telematics to make it work fairly for all of your drivers.
1. Set Expectations
Launch and communicate safe driving policies and procedures. Consider an initial fair amount of time to perform an assessment of all drivers using your fleet management software to establish a fleetwide average as well as individual driver baselines with customized driver scorecards. Revisit your safe driving policies alongside the data collected to implement goals and behaviors to improve, customized to each individual driver. It’s important to not create an environment where your entire fleet is initially held to the same standards, that way each driver can only be held accountable for their own bad habits based on their own driving skills. Establish defensive driver training and a process for new hires and on-boarding to ensure that key expectations and policies are effectively communicated and adhered to.
2. Provide and Promote Driver Training
Establish a safety-conscious culture by supplementing training with accessible and actionable learning opportunities created by using data – or in some cases footage from dash cams – to provide evidence-based coaching and/or validation. All drivers should have access to information on safe driving strategies and techniques as well as to their own scorecards to achieve the safety parameters set through monitoring things like harsh braking, harsh acceleration, speeding and stop sign violations. Not all drivers will excel at the same things, so from a morale perspective it is a good idea to try to customize your training, coaching and rewards programs on a per driver level, based on improvements or sustainment of their own particular metrics to make it as fair as possible.
3. Leverage Data Insights
After setting your thresholds for acceptable driving behaviors, leverage your system to alert drivers of unsafe events allowing them to recognize a behavior that needs improvement in real time. Benchmark your drivers individually to baseline their behavioral data initially and over time you will be able to identify each drivers’ personal points to work on and where they may need additional training.
4. Manage – and Reward – Drivers on an Ongoing Basis
Demonstrate a long-term commitment to fleet safety and safe driving with regular reviews and a driver rewards program. Incentives for drivers with high safety ratings and/or measurable improvements will not only benefit your business’ CSA score, but it will maximize morale and help you retain your best drivers in a highly competitive market. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your fleet safety program as a whole using the data you collect through your telematics system and adjust as needed.
The power to monitor vehicle and driver behavior with GPS fleet management software and integrated dashcam technology allows businesses to have a strong competitive advantage. The Teletrac Navman fleet management platform goes beyond location tracking to offer businesses measurable data that provides a snapshot of daily vehicle and driver activity. Having access to accurate behavioral data— such as fuel use, productivity levels and safety patterns—allows companies to stay efficient, productive and cost-effective.