Businesses that operate fleets consider the safety of their drivers and the general public to be high priority—and for good reason. Accidents can result in driver injury, delivery delays, expensive repairs that take equipment off the road, and possible lawsuits resulting in bad press and costly settlements.
74% of fatal passenger vehicle legal cases involve a large truck. There’s been a 52% increase in heavy truck accidents since 2009.(1)
Fortunately, GPS and telematics technology has evolved over the last few years into comprehensive new fleet management systems. Robust features supplement standard “dots on a map” capabilities and can include Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features to help prevent accidents, improve safety and provide a much higher return on investment.
Is your organization doing everything possible to maximize driver safety and lower your liability?
Consider if there is room for improvement, then make sure your Fleet Management system includes these five must-have capabilities:
Widely available from many fleet management providers, harsh driving detection solutions are not all created equal. When choosing a provider, ensure that its platform not only detects harsh driving but can also alert the appropriate person, including notifying the employee and supervisor by email or text.
In addition, choose a platform with driver scorecard functionality. Scorecards help you evaluate and gamify your fleet and should include these metrics:
Managers can use scores to recognize and reward the safest drivers. This type of gamification can deter bad behavior and increase driver retention.
Finally, ensure that you have some control over setting thresholds for the accelerometer and RPMs for different vehicle weight classes. If thresholds are low, some safe events may be recognized as harsh. If thresholds are high, actual harsh or hazardous events may not be alerted.
While harsh driving detection and driver scorecards can improve driver safety, they remain a retroactive approach. Fortunately, some solution providers have introduced functionality that sends an in-vehicle notification to a driver when a harsh driving rule is violated in order to prevent incidents.
These notifications can eliminate poor driving habits by delivering in-cab audible or spoken alerts for excessive speed, harsh braking, harsh turning and more. This immediate feedback can also be personalized with text to speech to provide specific messages that may help drivers understand exactly which behavior triggered the coaching. You can also set up positive messages to reinforce safe driving habits.
A modern fleet management solution should not only provide integrated fleet maintenance but also enable mechanics and technicians to perform basic diagnostics remotely. The ability to decode engine lights and receive real-time alerts for issues like engine abuse, excessive idling and harsh braking saves time and can increase vehicle lifespan, thus saving you money.
In addition, a fleet management solution with dedicated maintenance tracking capabilities will alert appropriate individuals to upcoming or overdue maintenance. The FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 29% of truck crashes are caused by brake problems.2 An integrated diagnostic and maintenance solution can ensure that action items like brake pad checks are routine and properly documented to improve safety and reduce liability.
Failure to wear a seatbelt is unsafe for drivers but can also significantly increase the cost of an accident. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) found that not wearing a seat belt cost employers $4.9 billion dollars in 2015.3
Seat belt data is not regulated in onboard diagnostic port (OBDII) specifications, resulting in information reported differently across vehicle makes, models and years. This can lead to confusing or misleading reports. To capture this data for as many vehicle types as possible and send alerts to managers or drivers when seat belts are not being used properly, select a fleet management system that employs a verification algorithm.
Integrating AI-powered cameras with video into your fleet management can save time by combining reliable and accurate driver behavior data with video footage—without the hassle of logging into multiple platforms. These front- and rear-facing infrared cameras use technology to analyze and predict an imminent accident and send an alert to drivers, providing them valuable time to react and potentially avoid an accident.
In addition, AI cameras can detect cell phone usage, smoking and driver fatigue, among other behaviors, and alert you and the driver in real-time. Video footage—along with GPS data—can be used as evidence to vindicate your drivers and protect your company from insurance claims or lawsuits.
Fleet management solutions bundled with AI-camera integration provide an affordable and effective way to implement ADAS technology to improve driver safety, reduce accidents and decrease costs.
The road to improving fleet safety starts with a modern fleet management solution. The investment can save you money, reduce breakdowns, eliminate potential lawsuits, and increase employee satisfaction and retention.
UScellular partners with industry leaders like Geotab to bring you innovative fleet management solutions. Among the many tools available, we prioritize driver safety by offering:
Ready to discover everything UScellular fleet management can do for your business?
Focus on keeping your drivers safe with fleet management technology. By following driver behavior through vehicle GPS tracking, multi-channel dash cameras and near-real-time alerts, you can improve driver safety, leading to a safer, more efficient fleet on the road.