Preventing accidents is crucial in fleet management. When it comes to preventing injury, liability and lawsuits, it’s important to have as many useful safeguards in place as possible.
Dash cams can serve as a vehicle “black box” if they’re recording during an incident. Telematics can help reduce accident rates. We’ll examine several ways you can use GPS tracking and telematics to create a safer fleet.
Lawsuits and Liability: The Unintended Costs of Accidents
Unsafe driving is a huge risk to the public. If you have your company’s name or brand on your fleet vehicles and those vehicles are speeding, it can easily damage your company’s reputation. Damage to your brand reputation is one of the “invisible” costs of accidents.
On a more tangible level, lawsuits and liabilities can be incredibly costly. Studies have shown the average accident involving commercial vehicles costs your company hundreds of thousands if not millions. CRC group notes that it has been 11 years since the FMCSA first reported the average cost of a police-reported crash involving a large truck. Adjusted for inflation, those numbers indicate that the average cost for large-truck accidents is about $120,000. If fatalities are involved, the average cost goes up to $4.8 million.
Creating Driver Incentives for Improved Performance & Accountability
One way to create driver incentives for improved performance and accountability is to implement a rewards program. These can be tied directly into the GPS tracking system or they can exist in addition to it. A driver behavior scoring system tracks each driver’s daily performance on the road. Superior Pools of Texas occasionally has people on the roads call and say that one of their pool service drivers cut them off in traffic. The GPS Trackit system records actual data of each service truck, not just a person’s opinion of their driving. The behavior scoring system accumulates all these incidents over a period of weeks or months to give an overall picture of each driver’s behavior trends.
If your drivers are doing well, like driving at safe speeds, you might reward them with bonuses, opportunities to advance in the company or the ability to take additional paid time off. Superior Pools noticed that driver behavior improved while they were being monitored. Their drivers have become competitive to see who can earn the top driver safety score.
If they’re not doing well, like driving too fast for weather conditions or tailgating, you might give them a warning or an opportunity to improve their behavior before any negative consequences are put into place.
Reducing Risk with Driver Training & Continuing Education
Another way to encourage drivers to behave in a responsible manner is by providing them with ongoing training and continuing education, including topics like refreshing their knowledge of traffic laws.
This can include:
– How to safely drive around hazards on the road.
– What to do if they are following too closely for conditions that require greater stopping distances.
– How to handle difficult or aggressive drivers on the road.
– How to manage fatigue and engage in self-care practices.
Creating a System for Better Driver Behavior
GPS tracking systems can detect and alert drivers and fleet managers as issues arise including:
● Driving too fast for weather conditions
● General speeding
● Driving under the influence
● Distracted driving
● Heavy braking
● Changing lanes quickly
Using GPS Tracking & Telematics for Better Fleet Management
By monitoring the driving behavior of each driver in real time with vehicle diagnostics data like when they accelerate too quickly or brake too hard, fleet management teams will be able to make changes before major issues arise such as collisions that result in injury or death.
Having a record of everything that happens with a given vehicle and driver is very important should questions of liability arise as a result of an accident or injury.
Want to learn more? Contact a fleet advisor about how GPS Trackit can help.