Picture this: one of your fleet drivers is talking on his mobile phone while driving. He enters a road and knocks over a schoolchild. Although the child is ultimately unharmed, the incident, including your driver’s recklessness, is captured by a witness on a phone camera and posted on social media. Your company’s reputation suffers as a result and you miss out on business.
It’s no secret that distracted driving can lead to any number of undesirable consequences. Besides injuries and possible fatalities, there is damage to assets, reputation, and your bottom line. The question is: how can you prevent distracted driving? And yes, it is largely preventable.
A vehicle tracking system can be hugely beneficial in his regard. We take an inside look at how high-quality tracking solutions not only discourage bad driving but add great value to every aspect of fleet management.
The Importance of Preventing Distracted Driving
Reducing accidents caused by distracted driving is a small but crucial part of the fleet management function.
Types of distractions
Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in any activity that reduces the driver’s focus. Types of distracted driving include:
- Texting and talking on a mobile phone
- Eating and drinking
- Smoking or vaping
- Reading a map, book, magazine, newspaper, or instruction
- Diverting attention to electronic devices like smartwatches, tablets (or a company device that logs parcel deliveries for example)
- Diverting attention to roadworks, billboards, accidents, and other road users – including arguing with other drivers
- Fiddling with the radio or climate controls
- Emotional and mental distractions – including anger, grief, anxiety, depression, illness.
There are distracted drivers on almost every road, during every hour of every day. When operating a fleet of vehicles it’s vital to ensure your drivers avoid distractions (and are equipped to avoid other distracted drivers out there).
In short, a distracted driver poses risks to:
- Him or herself
- Other drivers
- The vehicle and other vehicles
- The load being transported and the business interruption consequence – including possible litigation
- The company’s reputation
- Insurance cover – including increased premiums
How Vehicle Tracking Solutions Help
Fortunately, vehicle tracking is a proven means of reducing distractions and curtailing these risks. Good fleet management includes establishing driving and traffic safety protocols that all company drivers must follow. These regulations will set ground rules around smoking, eating, drinking, mobile and cell phone usage.
With the best will in the world, drivers may feel it necessary to make or answer phone calls. They may also grab a snack, neglect to fasten their seat belt or become embroiled in an aggressive driving incident.
Tracking solutions provide the company with essential tools to ensure driver best practices are adhered to.
Monitoring driver behaviour
One of the key ways that vehicle tracking solutions can help prevent distracted driving is with systems that monitor driver behaviour. Tracking solutions generate detailed insights on driver behaviour and provide feedback based on pre-agreed safe driving protocols.
By tracking and recording metrics like acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding, and idling, the system can identify unsafe driving patterns. Drivers can then receive feedback and coaching based on these metrics, encouraging them to adopt safer driving habits. Management can also address distracted driving incidents that are evidenced and send the individual for additional training or discipline if necessary..
Ongoing monitoring and feedback help develop a culture of responsibility and accountability within the organisation, making all your drivers better at their jobs.
Leading modern vehicle tracking systems, supported by advanced GPS technology, trigger real-time alerts and near-immediate data on your vehicle’s location and performance. This enables full visibility for fleet managers across your entire fleet of vehicles, together with the ability to manage the fleet and drivers’ performance swiftly and efficiently.
Benefits of Implementing Vehicle Tracking Systems
Vehicle tracking systems enhance driver safety by providing real-time monitoring, optimising routes, and measuring and improving driver behaviour.
This is in addition to initiating emergency assistance, supporting vehicle maintenance, and preventing theft.
Improving driver safety
Vehicle tracking systems can improve driver safety by monitoring and measuring their performance, providing them with an incentive to implement safer driving practices.
In fact, the system’s real-time monitoring and interventions can alert a driver to unacceptable driving with an in-cab audible alert to warn the driver of harsh braking, excessive speed, and dangerous cornering. It can also flag routes that may have become hazardous and safely re-route the trip.
Plus, in emergency situations, vehicle tracking enables quick assistance by transmitting the vehicle’s location to emergency services. Lone worker protection apps integrated with tracking systems demonstrate the company’s duty of care toward the employee or contractor and improve overall peace of mind.
Reducing the risk of accidents
Tracking systems continuously monitor drivers for risky driving and provide feedback and coaching to promote safer driving habits. They also track vehicle speed and issue alerts for exceeding speed limits.
Additionally, vehicle tracking systems help support timely maintenance by supporting the identification of performance or mechanical problems and issuing alerts. This reduces the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failures.
Use of Dash Cams
It’s worth stating again that most distracted driving is preventable. Sometimes, all it takes is a little reminder or a ‘teaching moment.’ Advances in technology make it easier to implement these interventions.
Dash cams with GPS and smart features have proven effective in reducing reckless, distracted driving and accidents. They improve accountability by recording everything that happens on the road and encouraging better driver performance.
Identifying distracted driving behaviours
Drivers using a dash cam have been shown to be 33% safer behind the wheel.
A driver-facing dash cam provides the ultimate picture of driver behaviour. In particular, driver-facing dash cams are effective in reducing bad habits like eating, smoking, mobile phone usage, and anger or impatience behind the wheel.
Dash cams deliver a number of driver benefits such as:
- Positive reinforcement of good driving – including incentives and rewards
- Proof that the driver wasn’t responsible for an accident if one occurs
- Event-based training videos to help improve driving performance
Alerting fleet managers
Video events captured by top dash cam systems are sent to the cloud and can be downloaded on demand. They are also sent to fleet management over the mobile network. This allows managers to view events in real-time and stay fully apprised of developments relating to their vehicles and drivers.
Smart integrated apps are another incredibly convenient interface. Such an app brings all the fleet management data and insights to the user’s mobile phone, enabling him or her to have on-the-go access to relevant driver, event, and vehicle information.
At Crystal Ball, we are proud to offer telematics software that integrates vehicle tracking systems, 4G dash cams, and lone worker protection apps. This software provides fleet managers with a comprehensive management tool designed to optimise all aspects of fleet operations.
Besides addressing distracted driving, it helps to reduce fuel costs, vehicle wear and tear, accident rates, insurance premiums, and operating costs and improves overall safety. To learn more about how we can add value to your company’s fleet please contact our professional team at Crystal Ball.