Within the GPS telematics industry, service providers have spoken to the material benefits of GPS tracking solutions for years. Whether it be improved fuel efficiency as a result of reduced idling, more efficient routing, or ensuring vehicle maintenance is monitored and issues are addressed before more expensive repairs arise—GPS tracking solutions can lower cost and improve efficiency.
But what isn’t spoken about enough is the impact on fleet safety that GPS telematics services deliver that has material benefit to the health and well-being of your employees and your business.
Data from nationally recognized sources such as the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHTSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) paints the real cost of unsafe fleets to a business. A fender bender can cost a business $16,500. Should an injury occur, that amount increases five times to $74,500. And if there is a fatality involved, the cost to the business is $500,000. And that doesn’t account for the significant cost to your employees, your brand, and the community. These costs can put your employees and your company’s future at risk.
With costs like these from unsafe fleets, it is a wonder every fleet on the road isn’t equipped with the latest GPS tracking technology available to avoid these risks to employees and business alike. While we would like to trust that drivers make the right decisions to be safe, we know that 78% of all accidents are the result of some form of distraction. If they are talking on the phone, they are four times more likely to be in an accident. If they are texting, eight times more likely. GPS telematics can ensure that you can control as many variables that could lead to an accident.
Improving the safety of a company’s fleet can have a material impact on a company making safety a priority for their employees and the company.
Impact Fire Services uses Azuga Fleet to monitor and manage its fleet of 245 vehicles nationwide. Impact Fire Services installed Azuga’s telematics solutions as a condition of its vehicle insurance renewal given the reduced risk that the insurance company identified that Azuga Fleet could reduce. More and more insurance companies realize the benefits of GPS telematics solutions and the positive impact it has on reducing risk, which means lower insurance premiums for their customers. Prior to installing Azuga Fleet, Impact Fire Services had 37 at-fault accidents costing more than $900,000 in insurance losses and high deductibles of $185,000. It didn’t take long for the fleet manager to quickly realize that the implementation of GPS fleet tracking was good for drivers and great for the business.
Thanks to telematics data and a renewed commitment to safety, drivers dramatically improved driver safety scores, as much as 80% in some cases. The same drivers whose safety scores were in the single digits now consistently score above 80, a great score indicating a safe driver. Over a three-year period, Impact Fire Services was able to reduce its accidents by 78% and $145,000 in annual fleet deductibles. Moreover, the insurance company was able to realize more than $800,000 in annual savings. It was a win for everyone—significant savings for Impact Fire Services, significant savings for the insurance company, and equally important, greater safety for their employees.
RISE OF VIDEO
Because safety is so important, it is no coincidence that there is a dramatic proliferation in the number of GPS telematics providers launching dashcams. The value of a dashcam is that it allows a company to capture what really happened. Azuga branded its dashcam as the Azuga SafetyCam because it is an accurate witness to capture your driver’s view of the road and help reduce your risk, coach your drivers, and improve fleet safety.
According to the American Trucking Association, 70% of all accidents are not the fault of the commercial driver, yet in most cases, the company is deemed at fault. However, with dashcams, the company now has real time video as evidence of an incident that often absolves the company and the driver of the fault in an accident. There are many stories where having video proof of what happened saved companies thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in possible payouts and insurance claims.
4 STEPS TO SAFETY
Fleets can increase safety through telematics by taking an integrated, comprehensive approach to safety within their fleets following this four-step process:
1. Conduct a performance assessment.
With telematics solutions in place, you can identify the drivers, the common behaviors, the locations, and the impact that unsafe driving has on fleet safety.
2. Prevent and coach.
Once you know where risks lie, you can prevent and coach drivers to improvement. On-demand, personalized coaching solutions built into telematics solutions allow fleet managers to customize training based on individual driving behaviors and deliver the necessary training directly to a smartphone or computer to eliminate the possibility of unsafe behaviors.
3. New insights and reports that go beyond the standard.
With rich data sets to analyze, telematics services provide reports that help fleets identify complicated trends and patterns. By comparing data to similar businesses by SIC code, geography, fleet size, or environmental factors, telematics providers give fleets deep insights into how they can improve based on like companies.
4. Continuous safety.
Safety should be a commitment to a process and a way of doing business. By implementing a safety plan and then building routines to measure and monitor performance, fleets can realize the benefits to their business and their drivers. Telematics providers today can assist in helping fleets implement a safety plan that continuously monitors driving behaviors and helps fleets avoid accidents and unsafe habits before they result in a costly incident.
Telematics solutions provide a rich set of data that allows fleets to improve the safety of their drivers. Fleets can capture data relative to hard acceleration, hard braking, hard cornering, speed limit violations, geo-fenced exceptions, and usage by time of day. With the right technology in place, this data can be served back to a business’ fleet manager in a way that lets them pinpoint the driver, vehicle, location, and the time when infractions occur, as well as any risky driving behaviors that could lead to potential incidents. Using this information, fleet managers can detect which drivers are at-risk due to dangerous driving habits and can coach them to help improve driver safety in the future.
Commit to safety as part of your company values and install durable systems to make safety top of mind every day. Encouraging safe driving doesn’t need to be a source of friction between drivers and their fleet managers. Instead, telematics technology should reward safe driving behaviors so that everyone benefits, including fleet-based businesses, managers, drivers, and the communities in which they operate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Garret Seevers is the vice president of marketing and demand generation for Azuga, a leader in GPS telematics. The Azuga team conducted research with its install base and conducted hundreds of customer interviews that informed this article. Find out more, visit www.azuga.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS:
OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine.