September 7, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Driving Safety

If like the FMW editorial team you were unable to attend NAFA I&E in Pittsburgh last week, you still have a chance to experience the conference, but registration is closing soon.

Beginning next Monday, September 13, NAFA is offering three days of virtual sessions, some recorded live from I&E, and some created specifically for the virtual event.

The latest NHTSA report showing a rise in traffic fatalities is disturbing. This is all down to risky driver behavior.

We like Ed Dubens‘ perfectly timed column: The Importance of Emergency Response in a Driver Risk Management Strategy. Ed writes, “We all know about a single vehicle ‘event’ with a driver unconscious at the side of the road and no witnesses to call for help, OR a driver delivering parcels in the run up to Christmas hijacked enroute to their delivery locations.”

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Networking and More at AFLA in San Antonio

Excitement is building for networking – and more – at the AFLA conference in San Antonio in early October.

VIDEO: Insurance Tracking

  Doing Insurance Tracking In-House Creates Huge Risks

Fleets that are doing their own insurance tracking in-house should be aware they are taking on a huge amount of risk.

Video Interview with YOU Here?

  Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We’re ramping up FMW’s video interviews via Zoom given the times, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more: ted@fleetmanagementweekly.com.


WIFM Session on Professional Resiliency

By Lori Rasmussen, WIFM chair, AFLA

WIFM’s goal for our annual AFLA conference session has always been to invite expert speakers who can engage an audience by extraordinary ideas that lead to personal and professional development.

We are pleased to announce that Todd Musig will join us at the upcoming AFLA 2021 Corporate Fleet Conference to speak on professional resiliency.

Recognizing that fleet managers can relate their role as that of a ringmaster of a three-ring circus, Todd will suggest ways to work with the other performers in your circus to accomplish your goals and explain the four keys for getting more “standing ovations.”

I speak for all of WIFM and AFLA when I say we are excited to welcome all attendees to this morning session right after the first breakfast on Monday, October 4th, and we look forward to emerging stronger in-person again.


Mentor by eDriving Wins Business Insurance 2021 Innovation Award

The Business Insurance 2021 Innovation Awards program, now in its 12th year, recognizes innovation in products and services provided to professional risk managers.

“Today, more risk managers are looking to their insurance partners to provide solutions that will help them manage risk and reduce total cost of ownership,” said Ed Dubens, Founder/CEO of eDriving. “As a winner of a Business Insurance 2021 Innovation Award, Mentor has been recognized for its ability to provide risk managers with the latest technology, combined with proven behavior change methodology to reduce risk before losses happen.”


NAFA I&E Virtual Experience

September 13-15, 2021

I&E Virtual Experience, which takes place 12 days after the I&E in-person event in Pittsburgh, will provide education, peer networking, and access to the best products the fleet industry has to offer.

This Virtual Experience is not meant to replace the live event, but in fact augment the experience for those fleet professionals who traveled to Pittsburgh as well as provide a taste of the show to those who could not attend the in-person I&E.

I&E Virtual Experience consists of three days of sessions, some recorded at live I&E and some created specifically for the virtual event. Chat features will allow you to connect with fellow attendees. There will be an enhanced exhibitor directory giving virtual attendees access to the exhibitors who displayed at the live event.

Learn More

AFLA Coffee Break Webinar: Residual Value

Join AFLA on Monday, September 20, 2021 at 2 PM CT for a webinar on Residual Value with Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive.

Live Q&A will be held after the presentation, moderated by the AFLA Digital Learning Task Force.

Be ready to turn on your video and microphone to partake in table discussions after the webinar, during this 1-hour event. Register now – space is limited! Registration is free to members, but limited to 50.

Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, President of ITA Communications. Fleet.

Business leaders are hearing much more about “disruption” than ever.

Certainly, marketers must not only adapt to the concept to remain viable. But they must also promote the concept to their employers and customers.

Here are 10 trends marketers should be talking about, excerpted from the book, “Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal” by Geoffrey Colon.



Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, Founder/ CEO of eDriving

Over the last few years advances in smartphone telematics technology not only means we can help drivers remain safe while driving for work purposes, but it also means we now have the ability and the data to respond in seconds in an emergency when it can mean the difference between life and death!

We all know about a single vehicle “event” with a driver unconscious at the side of the road and no witnesses to call for help, OR a driver delivering parcels in the run up to Christmas hijacked enroute to their delivery locations.

According to a European Transport Safety Council report: “Road safety policies typically aim to prevent collisions from occurring and to mitigate the impact of the collisions that do occur. An issue that has received less attention, is how improvements in emergency response can also help prevent deaths and reduce the severity of injuries.”



Dangerous Roads


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released the Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter of 2021.

NHTSA estimates that 8,730 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first three months of 2021, a 10.5% increase from the 7,900 fatalities the agency projected for the first quarter of 2020.

These increases in fatalities come even as driving declined; preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration show that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the first three months of 2021 decreased by 2.1%, or about 14.9 billion miles. The fatality rates per 100 million VMT for the first quarter of 2021 increased to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from the projected rate of 1.12 fatalities in the same time last year.

To assist stakeholders in evaluating the trends and identifying countermeasures, NHTSA today also released the 10th edition of Countermeasures That Work. This report supports a proactive, equitable safe system approach to eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roads, and addresses the safety of all road users, including those who walk, bike and drive.



Biden Infrastructure Plan Takes on EV Charging’s Inequality Problem


Getting more Americans to switch to a battery-powered car by improving access to charging infrastructure is a key component of President Biden’s agenda. 

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill provides for $7.5 billion in charging network investments over a five-year period, with a portion set aside for low-income and rural areas.

California’s incentives for disadvantaged communities are gradually increasing. Applications for the state’s EV rebate program from low- and middle-income households have increased to a quarter so far this year, and around a third of funding for a popular state EV charging program is earmarked for disadvantaged communities.

Read the article at Reuters.

Rivian R1T Proves Electric Trucks Can Wade Through Deep Water

The Car Gossip

Any self-respecting off-road vehicle comes with impressive water-fording capability, something Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe showed off in a recent video posted to Twitter. It shows a Rivian R1T wading through water nearly up to the top of its hood.

Rivian’s website lists a wading depth of more than three feet.

Aside from a handful of those Amazon vans, Rivian hasn’t delivered any vehicles to customers yet. R1T and R1S deliveries were originally scheduled to start toward the end of 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed that back to summer 2021

Read the article at The Car Gossip.

Look What Happens to a Low-Mile Ford Diesel With Tons of Idle Time and No Maintenance

The Drive

The average car is maintained based on a time schedule or the mileage, measuring the useful life of lubricants and wear items on the engine. Vehicles can rack up hours and hours of idle time while doing very little mileage at all. If ignored, the result can be catastrophic engine damage.

For example, a 2016 Ford F550 with the 6.7L Power Stroke engine with just 27,000 miles did duty as a tow rig for an auction company. Spending much of its time idling or doing low-speed jobs on the lot, it may have been maintained according to a typical time or mileage schedule.

The oil pan had large amounts of sludge and the oil pickup looked almost entirely blocked. The oil itself was a rich grey-black color, showing it had gone far beyond a reasonable change interval and picked up plenty of little bits of engine along the way. The turbo was also destroyed from a lack of sufficient lubrication.

Read the article at The Drive.

Ram Top Auto Brand in J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study

J.D. Power

J.D. Power released the results of its 2021 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) today, finding that new-vehicle quality has improved two percent overall from 2020.

“Owners are caught in the middle when vehicle and phone technologies don’t properly connect,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power. He continued to say that “with more vehicles being fitted with the wireless technology owners want, the study reveals an increase in connectivity problems between smartphones and vehicles, leaving many owners unhappy.”

For the first time since the study’s inception, Ram is the highest-ranked brand in overall initial quality.

Read the article at J.D. Power.

Teen Driver Safety


Crash avoidance features and teen-specific vehicle technologies have the potential to prevent or mitigate up to three-quarters of fatal crashes involving teen drivers, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

Front crash prevention, lane departure prevention and blind spot monitoring could be relevant to about a third of teen driver deaths and a quarter of teen driver injuries. Vehicle features and smartphone apps designed specifically to make teens drive more safely could apply to nearly a third of teen driver injuries and as many as two-thirds of teen driver deaths.

About a fifth of injuries of 16- and 17-year-old drivers and a third of their deaths occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. That suggests that apps that notify parents of curfew violations could deliver safety benefits if parents are serious about enforcing nighttime driving restrictions.

Read the article at IIHS.


Fleet Industry Trends

In recent months, Fleet Management Weekly interviewed a number of top executives of leading fleet management companies.

All the interviews included the perspectives of these leaders on the most significant fleet industry trends and developments that their clients must focus on to benefit from the dramatic changes sweeping fleet.

From overcoming the current supply chain disruption to the transition to electric vehicles, the growth of artificial intelligence and last-mile delivery services, our FMC leaders demonstrate how they are strengthening their value to their fleet clients.

As one FMC executive put it, the “new normal” will be anything but normal.

We summarize their key observations.



Data and Safety

By Adam Danielson, Sales and Business Development Director

The volume of fleet safety data is continually expanding. The data alone, even when normalized and aggregated, cannot identify the difference between good and risky drivers.

The adage “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” explains the need for tools to use actionable data in driver safety.

The volume of data is continually expanding. The data alone, even when normalized and aggregated, cannot identify the difference between good and risky drivers. To assess risk, the data needs to be compared to appropriate benchmarks.

Benchmarks can be set both at the fleet and driver level to compare data against the organizational goals and industry standards.


Fleet Management Resources


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

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

Fleet Street
Fleet Street has 30+ years of experience and knowledge using a spectrum of wholesale and retail channels to simplify your involvement in the remarketing process.

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

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.

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

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

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