No matter how minor a road traffic accident is, the knock on effects can be endless not only for the poor souls involved, but also for the people that get caught up in the after effects.
Studies have shown the majority of road traffic accidents are a result of driver behaviour or them being distracted, and a recent study from road safety charity Brake suggests that the majority of motorists believe they are safer than, or as safe as, the average driver and are quick to place blame on third parties.
The era is fast approaching when in-vehicle technology will be able to intervene to counteract human error to prevent an accident. Careless drivers need to be made aware of their habits behind the wheel and take positive steps to improve their driving.
With health and safety legislation now placing more responsibility for road safety on employers, driver safety technology can help fleet managers and could be adopted by the major automotive manufacturers in the near future.
As well as saving lives, driver safety technology can also help to save businesses that operate fleets thousands of pounds a year in accident costs. For example, the Trimble DriverSafety dashboard gives fleet managers an accurate overview of individual driver behaviours. This allows fleet managers to address issues directly with the drivers and give further training if needed.
This type of technology can also help to stamp out false insurance claims made against companies where road-users accuse fleet drivers of causing accidents or damage to other vehicles. It can flag up harsh manoeuvres such as hard braking, as well as validating whether the vehicle was in the area at the time of the incident.
Road traffic accidents can cost thousands of pounds and obviously even more so if casualties are involved. When you take into account the additional paperwork, the loss of productivity from the vehicle being out of service and damage to the corporate image, the cost rises even further.
The wide spread adoption of telematics technology could help save the fleet industry millions and steer us towards a crash-free future.
Andrew Yeoman, managing director of Trimble MRM in Europe