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Fleet Safety: Reduce Collisions with Telematics

  • September 02, 2021
  • Kinana Hussain
  • Reading Time: 3 minutes
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In a recent survey of fleet managers conducted for CalAmp by James Brehm and Associates, reducing collisions was the number one priority of fleet managers, and for good reason: Repairs and injury claims can add up fast. In the same survey, injuries from crashes had the second-biggest reported effect on the bottom line, after customer service quality.

Collisions may be an evitable part of fleet operations, but organizations can take proactive steps to reduce them, and their associated costs. Especially for cash-strapped fleets, the answer doesn’t need to involve purchasing brand new vehicles outfitted with all the latest safety-related bells and whistles (and a sticker price to match).

An effective fleet safety program, one that starts with a written safety policy and includes continuous driving training, is the clear path to safer driving. As part of that safety program, a fleet telematics solution is a must. Today these solutions do far more than provide GPS-based location tracking.

Consider the ways in which vehicle telematics can help you improve driver behavior and reduce collisions.

Identifying bad driving habits

Chances are, most of your drivers operate safely. It’s the handful of aggressive or risky drivers on your team that are most likely to be involved in a collision. But which drivers are those?

The James Brehm survey revealed that 71% of fleet managers don’t understand which drivers need coaching in order to improve fleet safety. If you have no good way to identify these drivers, let alone the specific driving habits they need to reform, you’re left with sharing generic safety messages and offering cookie-cutter coaching instead of taking a more targeted, more effective approach.

Driver behavior reports from your telematics-based fleet management software provide the missing link. You’ll see which drivers tend to speed, brake hard, swerve or corner hard so you can customize your coaching and set goals accordingly.

Driver scorecards can show you at quick glance who are your highest-risk drivers so you can flag them for additional driver training. Scorecards also let you measure their improvement over time. Of course, your safest drivers will earn the highest marks. Recognizing and rewarding these high-value employees could help you retain them in a tight labor market.

Capturing indisputable video clips

Most aggressive drivers are convinced their actions behind the wheel are safe. But sometimes, seeing is believing. Video telematics captures video clips of the critical seconds before, during and after an incident, whether it’s a crash, a harsh braking event or something else. Managers can see what really happened — and review the footage with the driver during virtual or in-person coaching sessions.

A smart dash cam that’s enabled with artificial intelligence (AI) and fully integrated with a telematics solution can create video clips in response to a variety of triggers, from rapid  acceleration and hard cornering to driving through a stop sign and tailgating.

Managers can even get alerted to these events in near-real time via text or email. If a driver appears to be driving dangerously, a quick phone call can determine if they need a break, a new route or a reprimand.

RELATED: Using Video Telematics to Improve Driver Behavior

Averting accidents via in-cab alerts

Sometimes a second or two of distraction is all it takes to end up in an accident. In-cab audio alerts made possible by a video telematics solution warn drivers about inadvertent speeding and lane swerving/drifting, as well as tailgating, harsh braking and failure to stop at stop signs.

These alerts empower drivers to self-correct in real time and help keep their attention focused on the road ahead. Because they act as in-cab coaches, they also remove some of the coaching burden from managers.

Real-time crash alerts

Sometimes when drivers get in fender benders, they fail to report them. As a result, vehicles may have damage that managers aren’t aware of. Equally troubling, the driver isn’t held accountable.

A good fleet telematics solution will alert you in real time if one of your vehicles is involved in a crash. That visibility enables managers to take the appropriate actions, including discussing the incident with the driver.

With an add-on service such as CalAmp’s Crashboxx®, you’ll learn immediately about the severity of the collision, which can facilitate better decision-making. Crashboxx also provides detailed accident reconstructions, which can speed accident investigations and potentially mitigate liability.

In the James Brehm survey, fleet managers reported that improving fleet safety was the number one most important benefit of fleet telematics, which makes sense. A good fleet telematics solution helps managers pinpoint which drivers need help and delivers data-driven insights on exactly how to help them.

The payoff may happen sooner rather than later. Almost three-quarters of survey respondents reported a positive return on investment from their fleet solution in less than 12 months.

Our fleet and asset management solution, CalAmp iOn™,won the 2021 IoT Evolution Product of the Year Award by IoT Evolution World. Schedule a demo today.

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