Fleet News

Opinion: Technology can help protect drivers

Human error is a factor in 95% of all road accidents, but a higher percentage of resource goes on vehicle roadworthiness and improved vehicle construction, despite the fact that vehicle defects are a factor in only a very small percentage of fatal road accidents, says Navman Wireless.

It argues that a cultural shift in the focus of road safety is needed, with fleet operators adopting a more driver behaviour focused safety ethos.

Monitoring and improving driver performance when embedded in a safety culture that places greater or at least equal emphasis on driver performance as it does on vehicle condition, has the potential to greatly reduce human error and therefore greatly reduce the number of road accidents.

Research indicates that there are currently around five deaths and 65 serious injuries on UK roads every day at an annual cost of £32 billion.

Steve Blackburn (pictured), European vice president at Navman Wireless, said: “The commercial fleet industry, working together with technology/software providers, can help prevent these needless causalities by making a driver behaviour focused safety culture a Corporate Social Responsibility priority.

“In recent years, the automotive industry has invested most of its energy into building vehicles that are safer to drive and protect passengers in the event of a crash.

“The next evolution should focus on preventing crashes from happening. Driver behaviour is a key factor in crashes; we need to place the emphasis on monitoring and improving driver performance in order to eliminate ‘at risk’ driver behaviour.

“We may then see a reduction in the so-called ‘big three’ incident types, which include rear-end collisions, intersection crashes and lane change/merge collisions.”

Navman Wireless believe the advancement and adoption of ‘smart telematics’ as part of a new safety ethos could lead to a dramatic reduction in road accidents.

Telematics data could be modelled to identify “at risk” driver behaviour such as tailgating, giving fleet managers the means to rectify behaviours’ identified as high risk.

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