Telematics & Fleet Safety Go Hand in Hand: Here Is Why

Companies should understand why telematics and fleet safety go hand-in-hand in ensuring the health and well-being of their drivers.

Telematics & Fleet Safety Go Hand in Hand: Here Is Why

Accidents happen despite the most extraordinary efforts of fleet safety and company risk managers, and even businesses with fleet safety programs, consistent driver safety meetings, and excellent driver hiring standards are susceptible. Identifying behaviors that increase the risk of accidents is sometimes challenging, but it is also critical for employees' health, the company's viability, and the safety of other drivers on the road.

Fortunately, there are new and innovative means to address this challenge, namely the implementation of telematics software. Companies should research and understand the direct correlation between telematics and fleet safety and design a plan to integrate its capabilities into existing processes.

What is Telematics?

Telematics is a technology that allows users to track various data about a single vehicle and an entire fleet. Telematics systems collect and visualize data such as driver behavior, vehicle location, vehicle activity, and engine diagnostics on software platforms that assist fleet operators in managing their resources.

Telematics and Fleet Safety Go Hand-in-Hand: Four Reasons Why

The following are four reasons why telematics can be vital to ensuring fleet safety: 

1. It Helps Drivers Avoid Speeding and Unsafe Driving

Excessive speeding can result in road injuries or deaths. To make matters worse, passenger vehicles that crash with heavy vehicles, such as trucks and buses, introduce a much higher fatality risk for occupants. Trucks and buses can weigh as much as thirty times more than a passenger car.

However, fleet drivers can better understand their driving performance via telematics, which can help them learn to avoid unsafe behaviors, including:

  •  Speeding
  •  Abrupt acceleration
  •  Forceful braking

Fleet managers and supervisors can also examine this data to identify false positives, enhancing the accuracy of the review process. Finally, it can be used to train drivers on better driving behaviors to lower the risk of collisions and other traffic offenses.

2. It Helps Prevent Driver Fatigue

Managing driver fatigue entails recognizing when potentially fatigue-related events occur and assisting in its mitigation. Proactive measures are critical, so management should learn to look for and acknowledge tiredness before incidents happen.

Telematics systems aid in managing driver fatigue by keeping track of critical data, including:

  • Mileage
  • Overall driving time
  • Adherence to hours-of-service limits

Real-time monitoring allows management to anticipate potential incidents and protect fleet and passenger vehicles. 

3. It Improves Visibility Fleet-Wide 

Management needs visibility across the fleet to assess and manage certain risks, including:

  •  Fleet inefficiencies (such as suboptimal routes and wasted fuel)
  •  Reduced productivity
  • Schedule delays

In today's high-paced environment, shippers want carriers to deliver fast and accurate data, leading to a better customer experience. Telematics enables businesses to track and monitor their fleet and assets to meet these demands. It allows communication with customers about delays that may affect delivery times and give more precise predicted arrival times.

Finally, some solutions can extend your visibility to any 3rd party vehicles that may be operating in your business. Typically, telematics involves some kind of hard-wired device installed in your vehicle; an exceptionally difficult ask for any 3rd party developer. With the right solution, however, your existing telematic data can be combined with that from 3rd party fleets then viewed and analyzed in a single portal.   

4. It Provides Maintenance Recommendations

Driver error is not the root cause of every road incident - overdue vehicle care can be another factor. Fleet telematics can help management take measures to prevent these potential problems by ensuring that all vehicles receive routine inspections before being driven and track the reporting of any observed issues through to resolution.

They can also alert you to any vehicle-diagnosed problems. Engine data is retrieved from in-vehicle diagnostics systems. This real-time data assists fleet operators in keeping cars maintained and safe to drive. When mechanical faults arise, the telematics system may send out alerts, making it easier for management to respond swiftly and reduce vehicle downtime. Fleet managers can arrange preventative maintenance more efficiently, allowing them to keep their fleets safely on the road for more extended periods.

Combine Telematics With Top-Notch Driving Behavior

When implementing a fleet telematics system, it's crucial to emphasize to your drivers the importance of safe driving and the importance of their feedback. Technology can reinforce and encourage safe driving habits, but it can also create communication channels and allow drivers to take an active role in the fleet's safety.

Telematics systems alone will not lower your fleet's likelihood of an accident or loss. Fleet safety requires unbias feedback to drivers, coaching only when they do not self-correct, consistent application across owned and 3rd party vehicles, and encouraging safe behaviors. By incorporating telematics into your risk management strategy, you may significantly improve your company's overall safety culture.


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