Putting the Brakes on Speeding with Fleet Management Software
Accidents happen, but GPS fleet tracking and telematics can help eliminate risky driving behaviors like speeding.
For some truck drivers, the temptation to speed can happen more often than not. You may have implemented driver coaching and incentive programs to help your team control their need for speed and understand the associated risks, but speeding continues to remain an issue for most fleet managers. While you may not be completely privy to all of the causal factors associated with speeding, fleet management software can help put you in the driver’s seat to control and curb it. After all, speeding has multiple impacts on your business. Though preventing speeding in your fleet is a huge safety issue, speeding can also have a negative impact on your fuel costs, vehicle wear and tear, maintenance and more.
Speeding on Continued Increase Among Truck Drivers
Since 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been reporting that speeding violations issued to US truckers have been consistently increasing. The number of speeding violations issued to US truck drivers increased 7.8 percent in 2018, climbing to 146,945 violations. That followed a 1.1 percent increase in 2017, and a 9.7 percent leap in 2016, the FMCSA data showed. When the numbers look like this, as a fleet manager, you want to do everything within your power to ensure that your fleet follows all safety protocols while on the road. Sometimes, accidents happen, but the goal of GPS fleet tracking and telematics is to identify and help eliminate risky driving behaviors.
The effects of speeding can also cost your business much more than one would think. Here are a few reasons that may cause commercial fleet drivers to choose to speed:
- Poorly Planned Routes. When planning the routes and jobs for each driver, it is important to take into account the time, road conditions and other factors that may affect the speed and timing of job completion. When these are all considered, drivers are able to focus completely on safe driving without worrying about delays or other issues.
- Distracted Driving. Coaching drivers to avoid distracted driving behaviors is dire, from the onboarding process to on-the-job training. Distracted driving, whether it’s cell phone use, eating or other risky behaviors, they can all be prevented. Having fleet management software that tracks these behaviors via driver scorecards is important for identifying and eliminating these behaviors.
- Driver Habits. General attitudes around speeding can also be an issue when trying to coach and educate your drivers against speeding. A 2017 general poll of drivers by the National Safety Council revealed that changing attitudes toward speeding might be a challenge. In the survey, 83% of drivers said they believe speeding is a safety concern, but still, 64% said they are “comfortable speeding.”
Understanding more about why speeding occurs for drivers can help you build out a coaching and training program. This program should be comprehensive in its approach to combat speeding and include a variety of protocols, both for those who uphold as well as violate rules around speeding.
How Speeding Can Pose a Problem for Fleet Managers
Speeding can create more problems than just safety issues. A driver who speeds regularly and consistently can cause serious problems in other areas of the business. Here are just a few of the issues that can be caused by speeding:
- Fuel Waste. Fleet Owner writes that fuel economy is reduced 0.1 mpg for every 1 mph speed is increased. Fuel economy decreases even more for trucks with poor aerodynamics.
- Speeding Tickets. Speeding can create excess costs for your business both directly and indirectly. Speeding tickets from law enforcement cost fleet managers both time and money.
- Accidents. Speeding creates unnecessary road hazards that can prevent serious injuries and fatalities. Coaching drivers against speeding can help prevent traffic tickets, harming other drivers and their vehicles and protect your drivers from serious injury or even death.
- Vehicle Wear and Tear. Speeding increases maintenance costs on the engine, tires and brakes. Coaching drivers to be moderate with their speed and braking behaviors helps to reduce excess wear and tear on your fleet vehicles.
- Damage to Brand. 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.
How to Put the Brakes on Speeding with Fleet Telematics
Telematics can help to collect data on driver behaviors in order to determine where improvements need to be made. Fleet management software offers a variety of resources for fleet managers that work together to create a set of tools that are meant to protect you from preventable issues.
- Driving Behavior Alerts. Tracking problematic speeding at or in excess of 10 mph over the speed limit is made possible with telematics software. These alerts can help identify whether the issue is the driver or the route.
- Driver Scorecards. A rating system that identifies specific driver behaviors including speeding, hard braking, hard turns and more. The data is compiled, scored and packaged for your review via the software platform.
- Defining Geofences. A tool in fleet GPS tracking software that allows you to create a virtual boundary around an area on the map. These boundaries may help you to account for issues like construction zones, school zones and places you want to deem off-limits. When a driver violates these boundaries, you will receive alerts allowing you the ability to respond quickly and accordingly.
- Driver Rewards Programs. Incentivizing positive driving behaviors is a great way to create awareness surrounding the rules, but also to create endurance toward consistency. Creating rewards-based driver coaching programs helps to reinforce the rules you’ve laid out for your fleet.
- Improved Route Planning. The tools provided via telematics software allows fleet managers to be proactive in their approach to route planning. The tracking and map features allow for real-time information on road conditions and vehicle locations to be available on your tracking dashboard.
As a fleet manager or owner, your business depends on your ability to mitigate risk and tackle issues before they happen. Your drivers are on the front lines and they need your strategic focus in order to keep them moving in the right direction. By tackling issues head-on, you can ensure not only your fleet’s overall safety but also increase your ability to save on expenditures such as fuel or vehicle wear and tear.
Are you ready to put the power of fleet management and telematics to work for your business? Take a look at how much you could be saving with our free, online ROI Calculator or speak to an expert Fleet Advisor today!