Does anyone actually know how their fleet drivers perform while on the road when nobody is watching? Would you like to know? Most people would answer yes.
According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), risky driving is estimated to cause or contribute to 40% of crashes. In this article, we will explain the definition of risky driving and suggest solutions to help you monitor and coach your fleet drivers.
What is Risky Driving?
UMTRI states that risky driving refers to a range of driving behaviors, such as speeding, that greatly increase the chance of a crash or increase the severity of injuries if there is a crash.
Unfortunately risky driving takes place much more often than you would assume. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety sampled driving behavior and 87% of the sampled drivers displayed at least one risky behavior while driving within the last month.
Some common risky driving behaviors include but are not limited to:
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Being distracted, e.g., by talking or texting on the phone, eating and drinking, even adjusting the radio station
Not wearing a seat belt
Speeding (driving over the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions)
Driving while drowsy
Other types of reckless driving include running red lights and not stopping at stop signs, failing to yield, passing on a two-lane highway where it is restricted, and passing a school bus when it’s stopped and has its lights flashing.
On the bright side, risky driving is an issue that can be greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated, within your fleet. Risky driving behavior is something that drivers choose to do, which on the flip-side means they also have the power to choose to drive more safe.
The Consequences of Risky Driving
The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is an employer-led, private/public road safety non-profit dedicated to reducing crashes, injuries, fatalities and crash-related costs. According to NETS, taking an active approach and “investing in road safety” can reduce a fleet’s crash rate by 50%.
We have the facts so now we ask ourselves, how can I stop risky driving in my fleet? Reducing and/or eliminating risky driving from your fleet may seem like an impossible task. New England Mobile has provided the following section to give you some ideas on where to start.
Risky Driving Action Plan
Determine which behaviors you need to focus on- The first step is to find out what specific risky behaviors are present in your fleet. According to Geotab, "You can only manage what you measure" and that statement is 100% accurate. New England Mobile can help guide you to many safety solutions on the Geotab Marketplace to help fleets collect data on risky driving. This is important because having accurate data supports informed decision-making.
Two examples of Geotab Marketplace solutions for measuring driving safety:
Advanced Driver Assistance System — Advanced driver assistance system solutions like Mobileye Advanced Collision Prevention and MOVON Driver Assistance System use various warnings and alarms to measure risky behaviors displayed while driving. Take advantage of features like forward collision warnings and safe driving distance alarms to indicate to your drivers if they are following too closely to the vehicle ahead. Integration with MyGeotab means that fleet managers can create rules and exceptions for drivers and use the camera feature to monitor all risky driving events. The Mobileye Exception Report measures and logs the type and number of safety warnings in events per 100 miles (screenshot below). You can then use this data to make informed decisions on areas your drivers need to improve in.
Driver Safety Scorecard — Geotab’s Driver Safety Scorecard makes it easy to see trends in risky driving behavior. This report primarily focuses on aggressive driving, seat belt usage and speeding behaviors in your fleet. This report will pinpoint where additional training is needed. Learn how scorecarding works.
Provide Resources for Drivers to Improve Their Skills and Behavior- How will you educate and motivate your drivers to create a safety-focused driving culture within your fleet? Here are some training and coaching solutions from the
Geotab Marketplace Solutions that can be used to support a driver coaching program:
GO TALK Live In-Vehicle Verbal Feedback — Geotab’s IOX-GOTALK uses text-to-speech to provide real-time spoken alerts to drivers based on predefined set rules. Drivers receive immediate feedback in the areas of seat belt usage, dangerous driving, speeding and more. Customize the messages so they offer specifically tailored instructions for each driver.
Automated Driver Training — Predictive Coach actively monitors driver behavior and assigns specific training courses to drivers based on their displayed driving behaviors. Drivers can view the courses from their smartphone or tablet, as well as a desktop computer or laptop. This automated solution helps save money and time, while keeping fleet managers in the loop on how their drivers are performing.
Virtual Risk Manager — eDriving by Interactive Driving Systems identifies driving behaviors such as speeding, harsh cornering, harsh accelerating and braking and seat belt use. One central system contains a full information history on each driver, making it easy to keep track of individual progress for each member of your fleet. Providing direct feedback to drivers on high-risk behavior reminds drivers to comply with expected driving behaviors.
Old driving habits can be hard to break, making it difficult to motivate drivers to maintain new safe driving practices and keep improving their skills. One of the best ways to keep your fleet motivated is to boost employee engagement. Recognizing your fleet for their hard work and achievements, especially in front of all their coworkers, can be highly motivating and help cultivate an environment where safety is a priority.
Challenge your drivers and turn everyday driving into a friendly competition with The Driver Challenge by d2go. This gamification solution scores drivers based on customizable KPIs and tracks and analyzes behavior trends. By making safe driving an interactive and social task for your fleet, you help spark their competitive side and get everyone involved. Drivers will be able to encourage and support each other and recognize who is improving.
Continue to Collect Data, Track Progress, and Push for Future Improvements
To keep your fleet advancing forward it is important to continue tracking their driving behavior. By keeping track of goals your fleet has already achieved and the goals they are striving to reach, you can make sure they push ahead and are on track for future improvements.
A simple way to track driving trends among your fleet is with the Geotab Trended Exception Report. View daily, weekly, or monthly trends on your dashboard. Share these trends and insights with your fleet to show them their actions have an impact on fleet safety and to continue to motivate them.
To Sum It All Up
Putting time towards creating better safety practices within your fleet will benefit not only your drivers and your business, but everyone your fleet meets while on the road.
Establishing a culture of safety can positively impact other areas of business, such as employee engagement and company reputation.