February 16, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Driving Alongside the Other Guy!

Have you noticed an increase in aggressive driving in your neighborhood? Here in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, we are stunned by the instances we see of speeding and downright scary lane changes.

Art Liggio writes a perfectly timed column about what is causing this risky behavior that is costing lives during this horrid pandemic.He says, “Now is the perfect time to plan and reboot your driver safety training initiatives. A significant focus should on dealing with the other guy.”

FMW talked with Nocell executives Corey Woinarowicz and Connor Palumbo about distracted driving and, of course, the company’s solution. Just having a cell phone policy restricting use while driving is not a defense if there’s a crash and it comes down to distracted driving. Woinarowicz warns, “It’s more damaging to have a cell phone policy and not enforce it than to not have a cell phone policy at all.”

Last thing: If you have a work truck fleet, you will not want to miss the virtual Work Truck Week 2021 — March 8-12!

Drive safety and stay well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: How Leadership is Changing in a Virtual World

In a virtual world, what used to be called soft skills will become the most important skills in a leader’s toolbox. Engaged and passionate leaders are showing their true value in this environment.

VIDEO: Vehicle Connectivity

 Wheels Inc. & OnStar Partner to Extend Vehicle Connectivity Services

Wheels and OnStar are working together to enable their mutual fleet customers to access a wide array of vehicle information, which will offer critical insights and opportunities to improve driver behavior and vehicle utilization.

PODCAST: Smart B2B Marketing

 The Six-Step B2B Marketing Audit

A B2B Sales-Support Marketing Audit can help rebuild your program to achieve growth
while ensuring a much higher degree of resource efficiency – dollars and human.It can also uncover opportunities to further accelerate sales and marketing results and take a business to the next level.

The Fleet Spot

Work Truck Week 2021 Highlights Path Toward Zero Emissions

Registrants can now access event platform, see exhibitor listings and schedule

The event will feature Green Hour educational sessions March 9–11 on reducing emissions and improving fuel economy, including a keynote presentation by Paul Rosa, senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning for Penske Truck Leasing.

WTW21 is a reimagined way to connect the commercial vehicle community and provide the product news, market trends and operational insights the industry has come to expect from The Work Truck Show® in a virtual environment. It runs online March 8–12, 2021. REGISTER NOW

Learn more

Fleet Logistics Scales Up Global Mobility Solutions Business

Fleet Logistics Group, Europe’s largest independent fleet management company, has scaled up its Global Mobility Solutions division (GMS) as part of its plans to transition from pure fleet management provider to offering new Managed Mobility Solutions to its clients and prospects.

Head of GMS, Thibault Alleyn, has appointed Madelaine Webster, formerly of Fleet Logistics UK and Ireland, to the newly created role of Global Consulting Manager, as the division accelerates growth plans following a spike in business levels and growing market interest during the pandemic.

GMS, which was created last autumn, brings together the expertise and market intelligence of Fleet Logistics’ consulting team with the data management and analytical skills of its international reporting team.


Wheels Customer Feedback Strategy & COVID-19 Response Honored With 2 Silver Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Wheels, Inc.

Wheels, Inc. was honored with two silver Stevie® Awards in the 15th annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service.

In the Best Customer Feedback Strategy category, Wheels was recognized for its approach in utilizing the voice of its customer. Wheels captures the voice of its customer in a variety of ways such as client satisfaction surveys, client advisory board meetings, and service-based satisfaction surveys.

“Leveraging client feedback to create the best service experience is a foundational component of our success,” said Ahsan Rahim, chief operating officer at Wheels. “We’re honored to have our processes recognized for their impact on our clients’ businesses.”


Moving Forward in 2021?

By Steve Saltzgiver, Director of Strategic Innovation, RTA Fleet Management Software

This past year we have been mired in a global pandemic that placed unforeseen restrictions — which included a myriad of new safety and cleanliness standards – on fleet operations that may forever change the way a fleet runs.

However, most managers already had sound cleaning practices in place, and with a few enhancements required by regulators, the changes were relatively quick to implement.

That said, a longtime colleague asked me what I thought we should do after experiencing such a catastrophic year in 2020. So, where do we go from here? What questions should be asked?


Safety & Risk

By Art Liggio, CEO and President, Driving Dynamics

For anyone who has even spent a modest amount of time on the roadways this past year, it is quite evident that the frequency of drivers engaging in aggressive driving has increased substantially.

Hard facts clearly support this observation. New York City’s speed cameras, for instance, have been issuing about the same number of tickets since the COVID crisis began despite a 51 percent plunge in vehicles on the road. NHTSA recently released its preliminary 2020 crash report covering the first 9 months of the year.

While miles driven in 2020 went down dramatically, the number of traffic fatalities for this period was up 4.6 percent. Another way of looking at this is that the rate of fatalities per miles driven has jumped 18 percent. Sad, disheartening news for sure.

Consistently one of the top aggressive driving behaviors is speeding. There has been a significant increase in driving at excessive speeds this past year and it is a leading contributor to the traffic fatalities stated above. David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that their latest studies conducted in conjunction with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety demonstrated that “Small changes in speed when you’re involved in a crash can really increase your chances of getting a serious injury or dying. It’s a huge problem.”



Time for a Reset?

Fast Company

It is very, very easy to get lost in the day-to-day. There’s always some fire to put out, or some recurring task that needs doing, which makes it hard to focus on big-picture stuff.

This is what a Quarterly Think Day is all about. The idea is to take time and space to reflect, learn, and prioritize for the next three to six months. The name kind of explains it: once a quarter, you take an entire day to think. What about? This time is for asking yourself some critical questions.

Don’t do anything other than think about these questions, and make sure you do that completely offline. Yes: computers are nice. You will have plenty of time to use them later. Today is about thinking, and computers have a tendency to distract you from that.

Read the article at Fast Company.


Distracted Driving

By Donald Dunphy, Contributing Editor

Risky driving remains a dangerous preoccupation across North America.

To put it in perspective, even though the law and the automotive industry have resolved driving without a seat belt as the wrong behavior, thousands of tickets are issued every year for this exact thing.

It’s worse when it comes to distracted driving. Cell phones are typically used as a form of entertainment as much as communication. It fosters inattentiveness on a direct level, and as Corey Woinarowicz, Director of Business Development for Nocell Technologies states, “If you don’t use your seat belt, more often than not it won’t harm someone else. But if you use your phone while driving, you could potentially kill other people.”

Woinarowicz and Nocell Marketing Manager Connor Palumbo spoke with Fleet Management Weekly about Nocell’s distracted driving solution, the prevalent risk it imposes on fleets, and how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has increased – not decreased – the potential of a distracted driving crash.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Vehicle Choice, Crash Differences Help Explain Greater Injury Risks for Women


Women are much more likely than men to suffer a serious injury when they are involved in a crash, but much of the heightened risk is related to the types of vehicles women drive and the circumstances of their crashes, rather than physical differences, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

The numbers indicate that women more often drive smaller, lighter cars and that they’re more likely than men to be driving the struck vehicle in side-impact and front-into-rear crashes,” says Jessica Jermakian, IIHS vice president of vehicle research. “Once you account for that, the difference in the odds of most injuries narrows dramatically

Men and women crashed in minivans and SUVs in about equal proportions. However, around 70 percent of women crashed in cars, compared with about 60 percent of men. More than 20 percent of men crashed in pickups, compared with less than 5 percent of women

Read the article at IIHS.

Amazon Delivery App Mentor Tracks Drivers’ Locations and Measures Their Performance

The Verge

Amazon built its own in-house mobile app called Mentor that it uses to track the location and rate the performance of third-party delivery drivers.

The app tracks a driver’s location at all times and also generates a daily score that factors into performance evaluations.

Amazon bills the app as a tool for improving safety, but both drivers and privacy proponents worry the Mentor software is also a tool for surveillance of drivers and as another form of pressure applied on the workers to ensure they’re delivering packages as fast as possible.

Read the article at The Verge.

How Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do About It)

Car and Driver

It’s that time of year when it is so bitterly freezing that frigid temperatures can affect cars and trucks. Here are some of the problems and solutions offered by James Grant, owner of Right Choice Automotive Repair in Fairbanks, Alaska and the Car Care Council.

Driving an electric vehicle isn’t the problem, but cold weather does impact an EV’s efficiency and performance. Low temperatures slow the battery chemistry, which means you might not have as much acceleration or range as you think. That’s an important consideration if you don’t want to end up walking in the cold.

Winter is especially hard on batteries. If your car won’t start in the extreme cold, one of the most likely problems is that the battery is dead.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

Apple Maps and Siri Will Combine to Let You Report Problems on the Road

Car and Driver

Coming this spring in iOS 4.5 and rolling out to beta users of iOS right now is a new feature in Apple Maps that allows drivers to tell Siri about road conditions without taking their hands or eyes off the road. 

The new feature will work in both the Apple Maps application on the phone and via CarPlay. Drivers can say “Hey Siri” and share incidents using several different phrases. After an incident has been cleared, Siri can also be used to inform Apple Maps that it’s no longer an issue.

For users of the Waze navigation app, these types of alerts along their routes are old hat. What Apple is doing is integrating it directly into its own app so that the incidents can be shared via Siri without the need to interact with the application with anything beyond their voice.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

The Challenge of Electrification

The Detroit Bureau

Automakers as diverse as GM and Audi, Volkswagen and Nissan, Bentley and Volvo have announced major increases in EV investments during the past few months. A broad shift to all-electric propulsion will require everything from better, cheaper batteries to a nationwide network of chargers to keep them running.

It will require a coordinated effort involving consumer education, massive industrial investments and government backing in the form of sales incentives and funding for things like public charging and renewable energy sources.

New sales incentives promoting electric vehicles will be critical. The question is whether new government funds will be available, especially with an evenly divided Senate – and the need to deliver massive stimulus funds for the COVID pandemic. However, President Biden’s push to expand EV sales appears to be getting a lift with newly introduced legislation offering $7,000 in federal tax credits to Tesla and GM EV buyers again.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.


EV Tax Credits


Once upon a time, you could snag a $7,500 federal tax credit on Teslas and electric General Motors cars. But ever since both automakers passed 200,000 EV sales in 2019 and 2020, respectively, that credit’s disappeared. It could return, however, thanks to a new bill.

Democratic leaders of the US House Ways and Means Subcommittee have backed the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act, introduced by Representative Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) that would make Tesla and GM’s vehicles eligible for IRS tax credits once again, and for the next several years.

Essentially, the bill would allow customers to claim up to $7,000 in credit with the purchase of a new electric car — a reduction of $500 compared to the earlier credit. That would now last up until the automaker in question surpasses 600,000 EVs sold. More critically for Tesla and GM, the law would also roll back their tallies to 200,000, meaning that any cars both companies sold after their first 200,000 would not count against their 600,000-car totals.

Read the article at MSN.


Loss of Knowledge

By Donald Dunphy, Contributing Editor

Recently, FMW put out a poll to fleet professionals who either have left the profession or plan to do so in the next five years.

We wanted to know what employers were doing to stem the loss of the knowledge “brain drain” within this decade.

The problem was already a concern, but with COVID-19 still leaving a heavy mark globally on business, operations are finding their ten-year-plans are coming ahead of schedule. Aside from lost jobs, some employees may find they cannot return to the work they once did. Others are moving ahead with earlier retirement.

Are organizations capturing the knowledge they need to continue fleet operations without unforced errors?


Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

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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