FleetManagementWeekly AmeriFleet
October 6, 2015


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Zero Tolerance

There is no shortage of evidence that distracted driving is increasingly involved in deadly vehicle crashes each year, yet the practice persists. Shockingly, the NHTSA says that a whopping 80 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve a distracted driver, resulting in about 3,000 deaths.

With those sobering statistics in mind, we are heartened by the strong policy that NAFA Fleet Management Association has adopted for all its employees, contractors and volunteers, prohibiting the use of any electronic device – handheld or hands free – while engaged in the act of driving.

NAFA CEO Phillip E. Russo, CAE, says, “There cannot be any ambivalence about our position, no hypocrisy, no loopholes. We are the association for fleet professionals, and so the example has to begin with us.”

Janice Sutton
Executive Editor


VIDEO: Drivers More Distracted Than Ever Before

Today’s drivers are more distracted than ever before, and building a culture focused on safety should be among every fleet manager’s top goals.

VIDEO: Many Steps to Driverless Cars
  Autonomous Vehicles Won’t Happen Automatically

There will be many steps to get to a fully driverless car, and there will be a variety of great opportunities along the way.

VIDEO: At Your Fingertips
  Mobile Apps a Game Changer for Fleet Managers

Mobile apps are a game changer for fleet managers — putting an array of helpful prescriptive actions right at their fingertips.

The Fleet Spot

distracted-driving NAFA Issues Distracted Driving Position Statement, Adopts No-Tolerance Policy

When an organization takes a stand and states certain behaviors are unacceptable, one can tell how seriously that organization honors that position by whether they themselves abide by it.

NAFA Fleet Management Association recognizes that the life blood of the job is the driver and the act of driving, and that the use of electronic devices while driving is dangerous to everyone on the road.

In October 2015, NAFA will issue the Association’s position statement regarding distracted driving, adopting a strong policy for all of its employees, contractors, and volunteers prohibiting the use of any electronic device – handheld or hands-free – while engaged in the act of driving.

“There cannot be any ambivalence about our position, no hypocrisy, no loopholes. We are the association for fleet professionals, and so the example has to begin with us,” said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “Our ‘no devices while driving’ policy has been in effect for two years internally, and now we are extending that insistence to our contractors and partners.”


impaired driving Drugged Driving On The Increase, New Report Urges Action


Drug use by drivers is a growing problem in this country and often forgotten in the legalization of marijuana debate. Those are the main findings of a new report that addresses the impact of driving under the influence of drugs and medication on traffic safety and what can be done about it.


Older driver NAFA And NETS Say That #PlanAhead Also Stands For Our Future Driving Capacities

One day, almost every driver will have to discuss the dimming driving abilities of a senior they care about. One day, every driver will be a senior, provided they have been on safe roads up to that point. As one of the tips included in this year’s Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) campaign reminds us, thinking about the future capacities of ourselves and those we care about is not being a “worry-wart.” It’s preparing for an inevitable future.

DSWW is an annual safety campaign put forth by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). The campaign, which takes place October 5-9, 2015, contains numerous tips for businesses to use to remind their employees about important safety issues. NAFA Fleet Management Association is proud to help promote the annual campaign and recommends businesses download the free materials available at www.trafficsafety.org for their employees.


Hans Dieter Poetsch Diesel Scandal an “Existence-Threatening Crisis,” Concedes New VW Chairman

Detroit Bureau

Many buyers likely to steer clear, warns survey.

The company has halted sales of some of its most popular product lines and already set aside more than $7 billion, but that’s likely only the beginning of the problems facing Volkswagen AG as it struggles to deal with a scandal triggered by the revelation it knowingly cheated on diesel emissions testing.

The situation is serious enough that new VWAG Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is warning it could be an “existence-threatening crisis for the company.”


Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Founder, ITA Fleet Communications

Many companies think of the marketing message as solely a branding issue. This compartmentalization looks nice on an org chart; however, in a B2B environment, it is short-sighted.

The marketing message — the pillar for constructing the value driver — influences sales’ success in having effective meaningful and relevant conversations with prospective customers.

While companies build messages that produce a unique selling proposition, tagline, and boilerplate, few go the extra mile to produce a message that fosters customer engagement.

The best way to develop a customer-engaging message is to work together with sales on a one-pager that summarizes topics for use in a sales deck, follow-up emails, web pages and demand creation campaigns.


Fleet Asset Management

By Keith Trumbull

For some, managing the safe use of pallet jacks, forklifts and other items is as daunting as the zombie apocalypse, but material handling equipment doesn’t have to be scary.

According to the US Department of Labor, from October 1, 2014 through August 29, 2015 there have been more than 55 fatalities related to the operation of forklifts, manlifts or scissor lifts. One death is too many and a properly developed and implemented safety plan will go a long way to reducing injuries, including fatalities, related to the operation of your equipment.

The tips below outline the features of a material handling equipment plan and why it’s smart to have a program in place.


D.R.I.V.E. Down Operating Costs

Sign up now for Donlen’s Lowering Operating Costs Webinar, and be entered to win an iPad Mini!

Register Here and attend on either Tuesday, Oct. 20, or Thursday, Oct. 22.

Fleets are challenged to deliver cost savings and fleet data can be overwhelming. There is value in your data. DriverPoint Telematics and Donlen’s award-winning FleetWeb technology let you uncover the right data, which is key to driving down the total operating costs by as much as 11% by:

  • Increasing MPG by more than 5%
  • Lowering accident rates by more than 10%
  • Decreasing your mileage by more than 7%

Donlen’s consultative approach,
Reputable and exceptional customer service, and
Innovative DriverPoint technology creates
Value and drives cost savings while improving
Efficiency throughout your fleet.

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Fleet Trends & Issues

Work Truck Solutions Dramatically Simplifies Finding and Quoting Work Trucks Online

Work Truck Solutions announced their fleet solution promising a simplified process for finding, quoting and floor planning work truck inventory.

For the first time, dealers will be able to peruse online commercial trucks by body style and chassis, a missing element in the search for truck inventory up until now.

In addition to search by body type, users of the dashboard have access to back-end analytics, showing which body types and chassis are being searched the most often, helping reduce flooring costs and better estimating which trucks to stock.

READ MORE to find out how it works

Pennsylvania Newspapers and AT&T Team Up Against Distracted Driving with ‘It Can Wait’ Editorial Campaign

The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA), the PNA Foundation, Pennsylvania’s newspapers, and AT&T are joining together again to host an “It Can Wait” editorial contest to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is involved in more than 200,000 vehicle crashes each year, often involving injuries and death. Despite knowing the risks, seven in ten drivers engage in smart phone activity while driving, and four in ten teens admit to social networking while driving.

However, there is an opportunity to change behavior: 78 percent of teen drivers say they are likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it is wrong, and 82 percent of drivers who have taken action to stop texting while driving feel good about themselves.


Distracted Driving Getting More Common in California

Jordan Perch/Groundreport.com

Many states have benefited from imposing tighter restrictions on distracted driving lately, but it seems that California is not one of them. According to a new study, distracted drivers on California’s roads are a more common site this year compared to 2014.

California’s  Office of Traffic Safety recently commissioned a study that was conducted by  UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, which found that 10 percent of all drivers in California are using their cell phones, a 39-percent increase from last year.


General Motors and Navistar Agree to Build Commercial Trucks


If anyone needs a reminder of the cyclical nature of America’s economy, there’s no better example (this week, at least) than today’s announcement from General Motors that it will collaborate with commercial-truck giant Navistar International to design and build midsize commercial trucks.

It is a market GM desperately wanted to exit less than a decade ago. The company was barreling towards its inevitable insolvency and the U.S. economy was, unknown at the time, being rigged with the groundwork for the Great Recession.


Emergency Response

By Cheryl Bikowski

Emergency response is all about speed and efficiency. Fleets must have the right tools, as well as quick and easy access to them. As such, it’s a field that is always improving.

Technologies and policies are constantly evolving so that police, fire and ambulance crews can better serve the public.

Below are a few predictions for how the fleet management industry will continue to evolve in 2016:


Cars, Pets, and Safety


We all smile at the sight of a dog’s joyful, goofy face hanging out of a car window, tongue flapping, but you don’t have to think about it too hard to realize that’s not a safe practice.

According to a survey CarInsurance.com did with 1,000 motorists, 72 percent said they take their pets (overwhelmingly dogs) with them in the car. Nearly the same number, 67 percent, admitted they don’t practice safety measures by properly restraining their pets while they drive.


Who Are Your 'Top 5'?

New research shows the five people you text most can significantly reduce how often you are distracted behind the wheel.

The AT&T findings says 80 percent of drivers would likely stop or reduce phone use if their ‘Top 5′ contacts ask them to do so.

“Even though most of us have hundreds of smartphone contacts in our phone with us, we really only communicate with five of them,” said Suzanne Trantow with AT&T Corporate Communications. “Our top five.”


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