According to statistics from the UK Department of Transport, there were just under 180,000 road accidents in 2017 which resulted in either injury or death, and with 37.5 million cars registered as roadworthy in the UK, that means that 1 in every 200 vehicles on the road is likely to get into a serious accident.
The good news is that metrics like these can be monitored closely and used to form the basis of bespoke driver training programmes and road risk policies, thanks to the advent of integrated telematics. By assessing driver performance, integrated telematics can help reduce driver instances of speeding by up to 53%; not only as a result of easier tracking for fleet managers but because it allows drivers to assess their own levels of performance in the field.
By having accurate information at your fingertips, you are in a much stronger position to introduce damage control in the event of litigation and/or an assessment by your insurance company.
With the average cost of a ‘slight’ road traffic accident costing the UK economy over £24,900, the financial implications are serious. Companies with fleets have a responsibility to work with drivers who are more prone to making mistakes. By focusing on a driver’s particular strengths and weaknesses you can offer them training tailored to their individual areas of improvement: such as speeding, tailgating, distractions on the road, driving without required break periods and engine idling.
Another way to encourage safer driving is through the construction of league tables to promote healthy competition between field staff. Like sales-driven businesses, drivers who frequently score highly on these league tables could be rewarded with incentives, such as holidays, bonuses and prizes.
The 2017 RAC report on monitoring states that 23% of drivers admit to having used a handheld mobile at the wheel. Those who use their cars for their jobs are more likely to use handheld phones: 26% of business drivers say they either rarely or sometimes make calls in this way, compared with 18% overall.
The increase in the number of people using their mobile phone whilst driving is a rapidly growing concern. This has resulted in the government imposing much stricter punishments for drivers, from March 2017 drivers found using their mobile phone will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. On top of that, if a driver is caught twice, their punishment doubles. The harsh crackdown doesn't come without reason, it was reported that drivers using mobile phones killed one person every ten days last year.
Brake, the road safety charity sound that 26% of fleets don’t run any driver education/awareness sessions on the topic of driver distraction. While many people are aware of the risks of mobile phone use whilst driving, they need to be better reflected in company policies.
Solutions like TomTom Telematics OptiDrive 360 help promote safer driving by analysing driver behaviour based on 8 different performance metrics: speeding, driving events, idling, fuel consumption, constant speed, coasting, green speed and gear shift. (coasting areas are shown to help anticipate and influence driving style, and potentially reduce fuel.)
By linking up TomTom Telematics WEBFLEET fleet management system with a vehicle tracking link, a separate fuel consumption link and the PRO driving terminal, each performance metric can be monitored by both driver and fleet manager alike. By tracking speeding, for example, a telematics system can allow drivers to see what the speed limit is wherever they are and help them keep within it. It also alerts drivers to harsh steering and sudden braking, fuel wastage as a result of idling, overall fuel consumption, fluctuations in speed, and optimal performance.
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