It seems obvious that poor driving behavior will have a clear impact on fleet productivity and efficiency, especially for large or complex fleets. However, the extent and far-reaching ways it can have consequences are often overlooked.
It may be tempting for a fleet manager to avoid a focus on driving behavior when looking at ways to improve fleet performance, because obtaining reliable driver behavior data can be challenging, making driver behavior analysis an ineffective exercise.
Poor driving behavior includes excessive speeding, harsh braking, excessive acceleration, tailgating, hard cornering, and other such acts.
Distracted or fatigued driving and excessive idling are also issues that should be addressed.
Going over the speed limit, harsh braking patterns, fatigued driving, not checking blind spots and mirrors, and other bad driving habits have a big impact on driver safety. They greatly increase the likelihood that an accident occurs and an employee may be injured.
Poor fleet safety results in huge expenses for a fleet, as well as damaging morale. Costs include damages to company fleet assets, third-party damages, lost time for involved drivers, vehicle downtime, and other, secondary impacts, such as increased insurance premiums. A perception of poor safety can also increase the probability of a higher turnover in employees, as well.
Driver behavior directly impacts how much fuel your fleet will use. Excessive fuel consumption is associated with excessive idling, aggressive acceleration, and hard braking, leading to unnecessarily high fuel costs that counteract any route scheduling efforts you may be taking. With current high fuel prices, excessive fuel consumption is especially critical to address.
A less clear-cut but no less significant impact is on the company's reputation. Poor driving leads to a poor safety record; companies with bad safety reputations are less likely to attract quality employees and may face negative public relations.
Wasteful fuel usage and CO2 emissions will have a damaging impact on the environment.
With increased incidents and injuries, vehicle insurance and WCB premiums will increase, for added costs that last for years.
Aggressive driving habits negatively impact vehicle health and put excessive wear and tear on your vehicles. Poor driving behaviour reduces engine life, wears out tires faster, and generally wears your assets out.
This increases maintenance costs, speeds up replacement cycles, and increases vehicle downtime. It can also impact the safe functioning of your vehicles.
The first step is to assess your organization but to do that, you need to be able to monitor and measure driver behavior. Monitoring driver behavior and assessing performance is a challenge since fleet managers can't be with them all the time to oversee their driving habits, but it is critical.
Modern fleet telematics technology has made this job easier for fleet managers, though. With vehicle health and location, as well as telematics data obtained through a device or dash camera that tracks driving behaviors like cornering and braking, your fleet manager can now get accurate, reliable, and real-time information, along with tools to help with driver behavior analysis, so that informed business decisions can be made.
This also enables the added benefit of providing evidence for any injury claims, preventing car abuse by drivers, and increases in WCB premiums.
The next step is to consider why good driver behavior is not consistently practiced. From tight timelines that may encourage speeding, to the unauthorized use of vehicles, it is important to get to the root causes. Telematics data can help with this step as well, with meaningful reports that can help guide your investigation.
A fleet management solution to track driving behaviours in real-time, provide driver scores and driver behavior analyses can help with every step of this fleet management process.
Data can be tracked to identify areas of improvement and determine the level of the impact different driving habits and different drivers or regional fleet managers have.
By having this information in real time, especially with real-time alerts, action can be taken immediately for the best results. A manager can respond quickly, or there are solutions for automated responses to correct driving habits.
A connected fleet management solution can make a significant difference in reducing expenses and boosting performance and efficiency.
Connected Vehicles can set you up with tailored fleet management solutions to help you monitor and measure driver behaviour and gain actionable intelligence while enhancing your fleet management system. We can also provide you with the tools you need to encourage good driving habits, boost fleet performance, and reduce expenses.