Driver Scorecards Help You Manage Driver Risk Behavior

Managing driver behavior isn’t just about safety — it’s also about protecting your bottom line.

If you’re a fleet owner or fleet manager, drivers are at the heart of your business. From tackling speeding and idle time to ensuring adherence to safety, having visibility into your driver’s behavior behind the wheel is crucial. By using the right fleet management software, you can gain insight into important data like driver scorecards and trends in their behavior and identify key issues before they become a problem.

Identifying driver behaviors

Fleet managers have a unique challenge when it comes to training and evaluating their employees. After all, once a driver is behind the wheel, the manager isn’t there to see exactly what’s going on. While in the past a simple “How’s My Driving” sticker might have helped to root out drivers who engaged in unsafe behavior like speeding or hard braking, it heavily relied on both third-party intervention and a manual process of collecting feedback that often resulted in little to no action being taken. Given that, a bad driver could be on the road for months jeopardizing a company’s reputation and adding unnecessary wear and tear to expensive vehicles. 

That’s where a fleet management solution comes in — particularly one that offers a robust driver scorecard and deeper insight into the behavior trends for both individual drivers and your entire fleet.  

The top 4 ways driver behavior impacts your business

Driver behavior, particularly undesirable driver behaviors, can have major implications and consequences to your business as a whole.

1) Fuel costs

It’s a fact: fuel is a huge cost to most fleets. However, undesirable driver behaviors like speeding and idle time can negatively impact fuel usage and efficiency. According to Automotive Fleet, up to 30% of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is impacted by driver behavior. Additionally, changing these behaviors can result in a 5% to 30% reduction in annual fuel consumption. 

2) Vehicle wear and tear

Hard braking, rapid acceleration and other bad driver behaviors can have a serious impact on how your vehicles perform in the long run and how long they’ll last on the road. By monitoring real-time data with your drivers and your fleet, GPS Trackit customers have seen an increase in vehicle lifespan of medium-duty trucks by as much as 120,000 miles. 

3) Damage to your reputation

Remember those “How’s My Driving” stickers mentioned earlier? There’s nothing the public hates more than seeing fleet vehicles driving dangerously. Word-of-mouth reputation and even official complaints can hurt your reputation as a business — and that can impact your future bottom line. 

4) Accident risk

Accidents may be a fact of trucking life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to prevent them. In a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health, driver behavior plays a dominant role in traffic safety. With a fleet management solution in place, you can easily identify which of your drivers is not living up to your safety expectations and implement further training and incentive programs to keep your business safe. 

Improving Driver Behavior with Fleet Management

While it’s easy to see the damaging effects poor driver behavior can have on your business, you can’t be sitting in the passenger seat on all of your vehicles. That’s where a fleet management solution comes into play, giving you insights and visibility into the actions and behaviors that can impact your business. 

Driver scorecard

On GPS Trackit’s all-in-one fleet management solution, you’ll have an easy, real-time view of what your drivers are doing at any given time. One of the most popular elements of the solution is Driver Scorecard. With this feature, you can measure driver performance based on specific driving metrics, customized to your safety thresholds. With it, you can get a view on:

  • Rapid acceleration
  • Hard braking
  • Sudden stops
  • Hard turns
  • Speeding
  • Safety events

This produces a total overall score or grade for each of your drivers, allowing you to identify training or coaching needs for your employees. Additionally, you can create color-coded reports that easily export to PDF and Excel formats.

One of the newest features from GPS Trackit allows you to see Trends in your driver’s behaviors over time, giving you a visualization of the values established in the Driver Scorecard. This allows fleet managers and owners to review the behavior of an entire fleet or any specific driver to see how they have been trending in the last few weeks, months or quarters. With this new tool, it’s easy to see where improvements can be made helping you to reduce risk to your fleet and your business.  You can set specific date ranges, view all drivers or even drill down to a single driver view. 

Set driver expectations with a clear fleet safety policy

Increasing driver safety starts from the first day of hiring a new driver. Sharing clear standards of how drivers should handle situations on the road makes it easier for your drivers to perform well from the start. A clearly stated policy eliminates doubt and confusion. So creating a written safety policy and training drivers to follow it is time well spent.

What is a fleet safety policy?

A fleet safety policy is meant to serve as a comprehensive list of all the ways a driver should operate when they’re behind the wheel of a company-owned vehicle. The policy is meant to set expectations and create a standard so that drivers know the limits of what they’re able to do when driving.

What is fleet safety management?

Fleet safety management is an umbrella term for all of the ways fleet managers seek to improve the safety of their fleet operations.

Such examples could include new safety training for drivers or updated safety procedures with a focus on specific situations to prepare drivers for all situations they may run into when on the job. If its purpose is to improve driver safety and make the roads safer in general for everyone, it falls under the category of fleet safety management.

What are the top safety trends most affecting fleets?

There is more than one way for a fleet manager to improve the safety of their operations. One of the simplest measures a fleet operator can take is to go over the established safety rules with their drivers. It’s like a refresher course to make sure the drivers are as up-to-date as possible on the dos and don’ts when they’re out on the road. Doing so is also a great way to specifically help drivers curb poor habits and decrease the potential for any accidents.

The influx of technology within our lives is why many fleet operations are using dashcam technology and video telematics. Technology is also helping managers pick out safer vehicles, to begin with. There’s plenty of information out there to let fleet operators know which vehicles will offer the most safety.

How are fleet managers and operators addressing safety?

Dashcams and video telematics technology have become more prevalent within fleet operations. In 2016, the demand for dashcams within the United States sat at less than six million units. By 2020, that demand had soared to reach north of 41 million units, and it’s expected to continue to grow at a 12.9 percent rate through 2028.

A lack of safety can cost a fleet operation in more ways than one. With technology proving as beneficial as it has with dashcams and video telematics, there’s no reason not to invest and make your fleets as safe as possible.

How can fleets use dashcam video to reduce risky driving and improve behaviors?

The sheer presence of a video telematics device within a vehicle is enough to reduce risky driving and improve driver behavior. The device is meant to record drivers while they’re behind the wheel and alert them in the event that their behavior puts them or others at risk.

Such examples might include checking their phone while driving or dosing off in the midst of a long journey. The technology can recognize eyes that divert from the road and alert the driver. The footage can also be viewed over by fleet managers and used to hold drivers accountable for their reckless actions, pushing them to improve their habits and behaviors to make sure they keep their jobs.

How do fleet managers increase accountability, decrease liability and drive a safer fleet?

The use of video telematics is a great way to both increase driver accountability and decrease liability.

Telematics has changed the game. If a driver is reckless behind the wheel, the camera will record it all for the fleet managers to see. With that footage, the manager can go to the driver with specific examples of how their habits put others in danger. If the driver isn’t willing to make the necessary changes to how they drive, the manager shouldn’t have any issue relieving the driver of their duties to make sure their fleets are as safe as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.