December 3, 2019

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Driving High: Time to Review Your Fleet Driver Policy?

Several articles in this week’s issue center around the crucial need for fleets to have a strong driver policy and to enforce it with rigor.

Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Scientist Advisor, writes that a jury awarded a plaintiff $15 million in a case in which a truck driver, talking on his cell phone, crashed into a stationary car and critically injured the driver. Clearly a case of distracted driving, but how could the driver’s company have mitigated this disaster?

Mark Boada pens a comprehensive piece delineating the myriad issues surrounding marijuana and driving, and how a fleet might enforce a policy in the wake of the trend toward more liberalization of marijuana laws.

Serendipitously, NAFA is presenting a webinar, sponsored by Donlen, delving into these issues, on Wednesday, December 4th. Check out: Driver Policies, the Good, the Bad and Ugly.

And speaking of NAFA, registration is now open for NAFA 2020 Institute & Expo – April 6-8 in Indianapolis. Register before January 31st and save a cool $200!

Drive Safety!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Don’t Let Yourself Get Stale: Keeping Current as a Fleet Manager

The fleet industry is changing rapidly, so it’s important to stay current by keeping up on new techniques and new technology, not to mention networking opportunities.

VIDEO: AFLA Throughout the Year

 Getting Valuable Takeaways from AFLA

The AFLA Board is focusing on making sure that attendees bring tangible and helpful information back from the annual conference.

VIDEO: Fleet Utilization

 Multiple Business Models Can Maximize Your Fleet Utilization

Are you concerned with maximizing the utilization of your fleet? If yes, you might want to consider having more than one business model.

The Fleet Spot

Former Dow Jones Technology Leader, Chris Boyd, Named eDriving’s Senior VP, Product & Engineering

eDrivingSM, a global provider of driver risk management solutions, has appointed Chris Boydas Senior Vice President of Product & Engineering.

With over 20 years of experience as a technology leader, Chris brings his engineering and product management experience to eDriving.

“With such an impressive and extensive background in product management and engineering, Chris is the perfect choice to lead the ongoing evolution of our rapidly-growing VRM-Mentor risk management solutions,” said Ed Dubens, CEO and Founder of eDriving. “Chris has demonstrated his ability to personalize technology to meet customer requirements and this will help us ensure our programs continue to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s fleets across the globe.”


DRIVE Software Solutions Announces New Funding and CEO

DRIVE Software Solutions (DRIVE) has announced new funding and a new Chief Executive Officer as it gears up for the next phase of its planned global expansion.

UK-based DRIVE, pioneer of the fleet management SaaS (software as a service) industry, has secured funding from leading Swiss investment firm, VIVA Investment Partners (VIP), to accelerate its growth on a global basis in the emerging digital transportation space.

And it has appointed a new CEO, Alastair Houston, to oversee this next growth stage. Houston brings over 30 years’ experience in the automotive sector, most recently as managing director at Sandicliffe Motor Contracts.


NETS Study: Addressing Driver Fatigue is Best Route to Significantly Lower Fleet Crash Rates

Ten more practices also found very effective

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Taking steps to combat driver fatigue has the greatest effect on reducing fleet crash rates, according to a recently published study of 70 U.S. fleets conducted by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

Calculations of the raw results by Fleet Management Weekly showed that fatigue risk management practices were associated with crash rates that were as much as 77% lower than fleets that didn’t rely on them.


Chevin Touts Flexibility, Functionality of FleetWave Forms Mobile App

By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor

The fleet sector is being saturated with apps…but not all of them provide an effective way to engage with drivers.

That’s according to Chevin Fleet Solutions –a leading global provider of fleet management software –whose Global Marketing Director, Will Wycks, has warned that the fleet industry needs to consider the effectiveness of mobile apps if they are looking to enhance business functions.

“A large proportion of apps are extraordinarily limited in terms of scope, with some that are little more than skins acting as a means to contact suppliers and other third parties,” Wycks says.


Fleet Marketing

Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

As discussed last month, traditional marketing and digital marketing both have a place in today’s marketing plans.

In fact, an integrated approach is the best way to deliver maximum ROI. While we looked at digital marketing trends, let’s consider the opportunities for traditional marketing.

What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing comprises promotional activities or print or broadcast advertising. Billboards, print advertisements, TV commercials, newspaper ads, events, radio, and telemarketing are all traditional media. As David Bell, author of Location is (Still) Everything, says: “It’s just pure scale. There are only so many people you can reach online, but there’s a massive segment of people who are still shopping offline, and you want to be able to address that market.”



Preventing Collisions

As long as crashes happen, juries will want to know what a company has done to prevent them.

By Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Scientist Advisor

In May 2019, a jury awarded a plaintiff $15 million in a case in which a truck driver, talking on his cell phone, failed to stop for stationary traffic, critically injuring a driver who had stopped. As an expert on the case who was asked to testify on the company’s lack of an effective cell phone policy, I can say that one reason the jury was compelled to find in favor of the stopped driver was that the delivery company was taking no significant actions to prevent the crash, other than telling drivers in their welcome packet to not use their phones.

I wrote “…there appears to be no evidence that (the delivery company) took adequate steps necessary to prevent (their driver’s) behavior despite knowledge of the risks of phone use of any kind by its drivers and clear evidence available to fleet safety professionals that fleets with strict cell phone policies have fewer crashes.”



Fleet Spectator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

I’ve attended and tuned into several presentations about fleets and marijuana recently, and the overall impression I was left with was that U.S. fleets have been thrown into a confusing mess and dilemma when it comes to handling the issue with their drivers.

The big questions that the conversations have raised are: is it legal for fleet drivers to use marijuana in states where it’s been legalized and can fleets legally test their drivers for marijuana use without violating their privacy?

But on further review, it looks, at least to me, a lot less confusing, if not pretty simple. Still, that’s with the proviso that fleets need to be careful about their fleet driver policies and practices, and so should double-check with their legal and HR departments on some details.

But before clarifying the issues, first, let’s look at reasons why fleet professionals may be confused. I count six:


Fleet Trends & Issues

There’s Plenty Of Competion In The Electric Pickup Segment

The Detroit Bureau

Tesla is betting there’ll be significant demand for an all-electric pickup, but it’s not alone because at least seven other manufacturers, including established brands like General Motors and Ford, also are entering the market with battery trucks.

Nissan has already launched a smaller, all-electric pickup in China and is exploring the need for an electric option on its U.S. trucks which could include either the midsize Frontier or full-size Titan, and possibly both.

Start-ups, such as Rivian and Bollinger have brought out both an electric SUV and a pickup. Detroit-based Hercules Electric Vehicles and Atlis Motor Vehicles hope to enter the electric pickup market, along with Lordstown Motors which, this past month, formally acquired the abandoned GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

L.A. Has Olympic-Size Plan to Cut CO2 and Supercharge EV Use Ahead Of 2028 Games


Los Angeles is launching an initiative seeking a 25% cut in greenhouse gas reduction ahead of hosting the 2028 Olympic Games, lining up help from Nissan, Tesla, BMW, Audi, electric-bus makers Proterra and BYD, and public and private utilities.

The Transportation Electrification Partnership has specific goals laid out as the Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap. Targets include 30% of L.A.-area personal passenger vehicles on the road being electric and ensuring that 40% of commercial truck trips are exhaust-free.

The Los Angeles region is already among the biggest markets for electric vehicles in the U.S. but would grow dramatically larger if the program’s goals are hit.

Read the article at Forbes.

Despite ‘Vision Zero’ Target, Some Cities See Traffic Fatalities Rise


Inspired by Sweden’s lowest national traffic mortality rates in the world, dozens of cities in the United States have set a mission of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries in ten years, with a plan named Vision Zero.

The basic logic of Vision Zero is that any traffic collision that results in death or serious injury is viewed as a tragedy that could be prevented through smarter engineering, education, and enforcement.

While some places have managed to bend their traffic fatality curves, others have struggled to budge a transportation status quo that prioritizes the ease of driving over the safety of other people on the road. Since 2013, the numbers of deaths among U.S. pedestrians and cyclists have risen by nearly 30 percent and 14 percent respectively, nationwide.

Read the article at CityLab.

GM Can’t Keep Up With Competition in China


The future for General Motors China is in the hands of customers to reverse the 18% slide of its overall passenger-vehicle retail sales.

“In China, the business environment remains challenging and volatile,” Mary Barra said in an earnings call in October. “We’re also seeing a lot of pricing pressures.”

GM needs to refresh its lineup to keep pace with new EVs from foreign and local carmakers in China. The country is the U.S. automaker’s biggest market by sales.

Read the article at Bloomberg.

Fleets and Mobility

Fleet World

Research carried out by Avis Budget Group for its ‘The Road Ahead: The Future of Mobility Report’ found that almost half (44%) of UK drivers claim that they are prepared to give up owning a car in favor of long-term rental and on-demand or subscription services.

These findings echo the firm’s global research which saw more than half (54%) of those surveyed say they are open to alternative mobility solutions.

The research also showed that whilst consumers are expectant of connected, integrated and on-demand services, they still want convenience at a reasonable price.

Read more of the article at Fleet World.


EVs and Energy Management

Wards Auto

Electric vehicles are effectively distributed batteries on wheels that can be turned into grid assets, as they often are plugged into a charging station far longer than the time needed for a charge.

Through smart grid charging, IoT platforms can pause or delay charging to when electricity is cheapest and greenest – such as charging when the sun is shining to absorb excess solar energy on the grid.

With vehicle-grid integration, automakers can simultaneously advance two high-level goals – the decarbonization of electricity generation and decarbonization of transportation – while deploying flexibility services that can facilitate renewables deployment.

Read the article at Wards Auto.


Continuous MVR Monitoring

By Trent Dressen, Director of Sales, SuperVision

Failing to continuously monitor a driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) is risky and could end up costing a company millions of dollars.

For the company unknowingly employing a suspended driver, ignorance of a violation may prove to be very costly.

The below case study provides a good example of a company learning this lesson the hard way. This fleet’s driving policy required employees to self-report suspensions of their driver’s licenses.

When its unlicensed driver caused an accident with serious injuries, the jury punished both the driver and his employer − even though the company argued that the driver did not self-report that his license was suspended.


Fleet Management Resources


Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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