Fleet managers can benefit from using vehicle tracking software to stay informed about their companies’ fleet of vehicles and driver performance. Best-in-class vehicle tracking software like Crystal Ball’s solution also calculates and provides fleet managers with each driver’s score. These scores are calculated using individual driving habits such as speeding, braking, acceleration, and cornering, and help businesses identify their best-performing drivers and their high-risk drivers.
Driving style scores are also important to help businesses plan, make informed decisions, mitigate accident risks, identify areas where driving can improve, and properly manage their fleet’s fuel usage.
In this article, we’ll tell you how driver scores are calculated, what factors are used in calculating scores and how to identify your company’s best drivers and its high-risk drivers.
What Are Driver Scores?
A driver score is a numerical ranking that is based on several key factors. The results provide an indication of safe driving behaviour. Driver scores are calculated on a scale of 0-100 per driving event and are generated daily.
Driver scores are generated using data for driving events that occur during a normal trip. These driving events can include braking, driving over the speed limit, acceleration, how a driver corners, whether a driver is distracted, and whether they’ve been wearing a seatbelt.
Some of these systems also have a built-in warning to alert drivers when they brake, accelerate, or corner too harshly.
The driver or safety score is the sum of all event scores for a given day and provides an almost instant and complete picture of a driver’s on-road behaviour throughout the day.
Factors and metrics used for calculation
Vehicle tracking software gauges and monitors the speed of the vehicle every second and then calculates the following:
- The number of times the vehicle changes speed (second-to-second)
- The magnitude of these changes (acceleration and braking) in speed
- How fast the driver goes around corners
- The amount of time the vehicle has actively been driving
These calculations contribute to the acceleration index and braking index.
Acceleration score: All speeding events are added together and multiplied by their severity. This value is then divided by the total time of that specific trip. Using this calculation ensures that owners do not penalise drivers for driving more or less than their colleagues.
Braking score: Here, all braking events are added together and multiplied by their severity. However, because excessive braking is considered a higher risk factor, the levels of speed changes (due to the braking) are different.
Driver score calculation formula: To calculate the driving score, the following formula is used:
- All the weighted acceleration and braking events are added together
- Vehicle speed is factored in
- Total driving time is computed
- The acceleration and braking scores are then calculated
- The totals are then averaged and subtracted from 100 to indicate the driving score.
The Importance of Driver Scores for Fleet Management
Driver scores are used to identify which drivers should improve their driving and which drivers should receive additional driver training.
Driving scores help businesses reduce fuel costs and increase road safety.
Identifying areas for improvement
As mentioned, a driver score is calculated based on the following driving events:
Should the driver score indicate that any of these events need improvement, the fleet manager can engage with the driver to work on and improve their driving style for a specific event. The driver score shows both the driver and fleet manager exactly where the driver is lacking and which area to work on.
The app will also, in real time, be able to show these gradual improvements and notify the driver of the improvements in their driving style and behaviour.
Promoting safer driving habits
Because acceleration, braking, driving too fast, and cornering all have an impact on road safety, knowing where drivers need to improve on their on-road behaviour is extremely important.
Using their driving score, a driver can improve their behaviour in the following ways:
- Avoid harsh braking
- Avoid excessive acceleration
- Stick to the speed limit
- Avoid distractions while driving
- Improve their cornering and turning
- Make drivers more aware of their driving style
Incentivising Safe Driving Practices
Introducing incentive programmes – using an employee’s driving score – is a great way to encourage drivers to improve their on-road behaviour.
These incentives can include giving employees cash rewards and company merchandise and may include using peer recognition practices to encourage good driver behaviour.
By making drivers aware of their driver scores and by incentivising them for better driver behaviour, one can promote safer driving habits.
The advantages of driver incentive programs or initiatives include:
- Can improve staff morale
- Reduce the business’ insurance premiums
- Improve driver retention
- Reduce accidents and improve road safety
- Promote safer driving practices
Reducing Distracted Driving
Moreover, the use of driver scoring can reduce drivers’ likelihood of distracted driving. Any activity that takes your attention off the road and your driving is classified as a distraction. Examples include talking on your cell phone, sending a text message, using and looking at your navigation system’s screen, and eating.
The three main distractions that can reduce safety on the road are:
- Visual: When a driver does not focus on and take their eyes off the road.
- Manual: This occurs when a driver takes their hands off the wheel (to eat or talk on a cell phone).
- Cognitive: When a driver does not focus on their driving and lets their mind wander.
Distractions take a driver’s attention off the road and can significantly increase the risk of causing an accident. A driver who does not pay attention to the road is more prone to drive faster than the speed limit, brake harshly or corner too fast which can lead to car crashes.
In summary, a driving score indicates how well and safely someone drives. Improving driving scores is a great way for businesses to reduce fleet fuel costs, reduce insurance premiums, and promote road safety.
Scores are generated using driving events such as braking, speeding, acceleration, idling, and how a driver takes corners. They are also used to identify which drivers should improve their driving or receive additional driver training.
To improve your drivers’ on-road behaviour, contact Crystal Ball today for assistance and guidance on which telematics solution would best suit your business.