FMW Editorial Staff
In order to reduce driver risk and help drivers change behavior, look at the information that’s coming in. And, these days, the more data, the better! Motor vehicle violations and license-checking information. Past crash and collision incident information. And, especially, telematics. Combined and normalized, the aggregate data provides terrific insight into risk.
Actionable Data Ensures a Focused Action Plan
Only after data is collected and the picture fully formed, can a potent action plan be developed. that targets drivers, departments, or the organization. A focused approach is more efficient because a company can reduce broad-based training to drivers that they may or may not need. Finally, the personalized approach is more successful in rectifying a specific driver performance or behavioral problem.
At the driver level, an action plan can address training. At the departmental or enterprise levels, issues such as culture, scheduling, or job performance metrics can be addressed.
The good news, as mentioned above, is that there’s more data that allows better decision-making. The bad news is that more data requires for analytics, specifically more in-depth analyses to obtain a deeper look at problems and their root causes. That, in turn, demands more benchmarking to compare peers or different divisions within a company.
A Crash-Free Culture
One of the most-often corporate driver safety goals is to create a crash-free culture that is commonly characterized by specific company policies that are strictly enforced. Yet, policy alone does not create a culture.
A better description of a crash-free culture is a shared mindset where everyone thinks driving safely is as important as productivity, profitability or any of the other things that define organizational success.
Safety must be considered and integrated into everything a company does – service calls, sales goals, vehicle specifications, managerial and leadership endorsement, and more.
When a company is looking at everything it does from a safety viewpoint, its success or failure is measured by both the number of collisions, near-misses, incidents, motor vehicle violations, and telematics exceptions and its responsiveness in turning around problematic trends.
Three Areas of Driver Risk
So, how does a fleet or safety manager begin to ensure success in reducing risk at the driver level? eDriving has identified three particular risk factors — speeding, distraction, and fatigue. This safety company points out that speeding is responsible for approximately 30% of all road fatalities in the US. Although not a high-frequency event, speeding is a high-severity event.
Distraction continues to be one of the major causes of crashes across the US that fit into three categories — cognitive (mental), physical (taking your eyes off the road), and multi-tasking (texting).
As drivers have been educated on the dangers of drinking, ignoring seatbelts, or unfamiliarity with new vehicle technology in the past, today’s drivers need to know that distracted driving happens in a variety of ways.
It’s often very hard to identify drivers who are fatigued. In fact, most drivers would not recognize the signs of fatigue unless they are taught to look for them — yawning uncontrollably, lack of eye movement, forgetting mileage driven. Short or long-term rest will resolve the condition, but only fatigue awareness and action will prevent a crash.
Data Related to the Three Areas of Driver Risk
In this new age of mobile apps and business intelligence (BI), there are new ways for companies to employ data to reduce driver risk. Mobile apps can be easily installed on every employee mobile device.
Apps can be configured for use across multiple zones, helping to coordinate and understand actions and fine-tune processes.
Dashboard analytics allow for a clear understanding of where drivers’ time is being spent throughout the workday. The data can help identify opportunities to be more productive.
Management safety portals allow oversight of multiple policies across multiple devices too. Built-in reports make it easy to modify policies, understand employee behavior, and get a fuller picture of what is happening. It’s another way you can manage the mobile employee.