Mark Forrest, managing director, Trimble Field Service Management
For businesses operating fleets, there is no more valuable asset than its drivers. But being out on the road can prove to be a dangerous work environment as fleet managers are often unaware of how good, or bad, their drivers are performing.
In fact, careless driving can cost companies thousands or even millions of pounds each year.
Around 10,000 accidents take place, on average, every day, on Britain’s roads and figures from Fleet200 members indicate that a single Fleet200 company spends £1.3 million on accidents per year.
Of greatest concern for fleet managers is how to be made aware of any drivers carrying out reckless manoeuvres such as rapid acceleration, hard turns and braking and excessive speeding.
These driving practices can impact a business’s bottom line, both through associated costs and the potential to be detrimental to a company’s reputation. Promoting a safe driving culture is therefore essential.
Fleet managers have a duty of care to ensure they are providing drivers with the equipment and conditions they need to operate safely and efficiently and driver safety solutions have grown in importance from being a desirable to essential necessity.
Being able to monitor individual driver behaviour, fleet managers can take out back office analysis and turn the data collected into meaningful information.
Training on safer and more economic driving can be made for individual drivers, resulting in lower accidents and liability, therefore helping to manage the risks and costs associated with work-related driving.
There are also many different procedures and management policies fleets can implement to help to manage drivers more effectively.
For example, introducing ‘how is my driving?’ stickers, which display a contact number to call if a driver is perceived to be performing poorly, have proven to produce an improvement in driver behaviour.
If this improvement can be raised simply by the addition of a sticker with a call to action, then the correlation between the presence of a driver safety solution and driver behaviour will be even more positive.