Insurance companies base their premiums on risk assessments, such as the probability of a fleet filing a claim, and base the price of a fleet's insurance on this information. This means if a fleet can show that they promote a safety culture, are safe on the road, and have few accidents, they can save on their insurance premiums. In addition, they will not lose money due to unexpected downtime for their fleet drivers and vehicles.
An essential part of risk management for fleets is making sure that their drivers don't practice aggressive driving or have poor driving habits. If just one fleet driver regularly drives aggressively and has unsafe driving habits, it doesn't just put that one driver at risk. It also affects the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, as well as the fleet's vehicles and the cargo they carry.
Businesses don't want to take on those kinds of risks and the costs associated with them. In order to avoid this risk and the costs that come with it, fleet managers should monitor and track driving behaviors.
Although there are many different types of risky driving, there are three that are the most common that fleet managers should monitor and try to change.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving involves activities that take a driver's attention away from driving. This can mean activities such as talking on the cell phone, texting, drinking, eating, smoking, changing the radio station, talking with other people in their vehicle, or simply not giving driving their full attention for whatever reason.
Another horrifying NSHTA statistic states that speeding has played a part in almost one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for more than twenty years. Driving faster than the speed limit not only puts the life of the speeder in danger but also endangers the lives of those on the road around them.
But it's not just driving faster than the posted speed limit that is dangerous. Even when following the speed limit, drivers can still be overspeeding if they go too fast to be safe in current road conditions. This includes driving too fast in bad weather conditions, in a construction zone, or in places where the road is poorly lit at night.
Hard turning, which means taking a corner too quickly, and hard braking, which is braking with more force than needed, are both dangerous habits that can endanger others, add wear and tear to the vehicles, and drain the gas tank faster. While these actions may happen occasionally in emergency situations, they should be rare. If drivers employ these tactics regularly, it could be a sign that fleet drivers are regularly distracted while driving.
Dangerous driving habits can cause fleets to incur higher costs than they have budgeted for. There are myriad ways to resolve bad driving habits; unsafe driving and poor fleet risk management can cost fleet money. Here are the three main ones.
Aggressive, unsafe, or reckless driving habits and traffic violations such as overspeeding, running red lights and stop signs, harsh acceleration, and hard braking can reduce gas mileage by anywhere from 15-30% on the highway and between 10-40% on stop-and-go traffic. When fleet drivers regularly practice dangerous driving habits, this can add up to some serious money over time. Since fuel is one of the largest expenses for fleets, monitoring driving behavior can help reduce fleet expenses.
Reckless driving causes more accidents and injuries and can raise your insurance premiums or keep them high. Insurance companies, like any business, are in it to make money. Fleets that consistently cost their insurance providers money end up paying higher premiums.
Speeding tickets also cause insurance premiums to rise and can negatively affect a fleet's reputation. This can cost your fleet its ability to attract and maintain clients, as well as contribute to rising costs from tickets, additional fuel, and wear and tear on your fleet vehicles. And that's not all. Since about one-third of fatalities are caused by speeding, this driving habit can cost fleets more than just financial damage.
Distracted driving, harsh accelerating, and hard braking can cause excess wear and tear on fleet vehicles, leading to more frequent repairs and maintenance. Many of these repairs can be prevented by improving driving habits that will also improve routine maintenance and scheduling processes.
In addition to raising insurance premiums, accidents result in downtime, reduced productivity for drives, and lost profits for the fleet. Add to that the costs of cargo and business losses and the effect on the bottom line becomes even more clear.
If a driver gets into an accident, the damage usually isn't limited to them and their vehicle. There may be damage to other vehicles on the road and property, as well as injuries and fatalities to other drivers and pedestrians.
The costs of these damages can be huge, even with insurance. Taking into account legal fees, potential lawsuits, and reimbursements, points on a driver's license, just one accident can lead to astronomical fleet expenses.
Fleet vehicles are a huge investment, and when vehicles are badly damaged from an accident caused by bad driving, they generally have to be replaced. This can be a significant blow to a fleet's budget. Even if the vehicle suffered minor damages, repairs would still need to be paid for, and it would need to be inspected before it would be able to get back on the road. And if the cargo was damaged, the fleet may have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it.
Knowing what these dangerous driving behaviors are and how much they may cost you, what can you actually do about them? With today's technology, fleets can track driver behavior using GPS systems and mobile apps like Waze. Here are three ways technology can help reduce risky driving behavior.
Installing GPS tracking devices can do more than find your fleet vehicle's locations on a map. Today's GPS devices are more than just a tracking location on the map. It can also be an essential tool for making fleet risk maintenance easier and improving driving habits. Fleet managers can monitor where their vehicles are and how they are being driven.
GPS devices can provide alerts when something happens to fleet vehicles in real-time. Fleet managers will know when something happens to one of the fleet vehicles as soon as possible. For instance, if a driver gets into an accident, fleet managers would normally have to rely on the authorities or the driver to let them know about it. With a GPS tracking device, fleet managers get alerts when incidents occur. This way, they can contact the driver for an update and ensure that they are not injured.
Once GPS tracking devices have been installed in fleet vehicles, they can be integrated with fleet management software and offer even more benefits for fleet management. By having an accurate picture of your driver's performance, you'll be able to determine if they have developed risky driving habits.
An accurate log of fleet drivers' performance helps fleet managers assess their drivers' skill sets and quickly identify whether or not they are following safety guidelines. Fleet managers can find out if a driver has developed risky driving behavior and use the information to provide additional training to help them improve their driving.
GPS fleet tracking combined with telematics software makes it possible for fleet managers to monitor statistics, including:
AI Dashboard cameras such as MiX Vision AI are smart systems installed inside fleet vehicles to help drivers in numerous ways. They are one of the fastest-growing safety application areas in fleet management. They empower drivers to identify and correct their risky driving behavior in real-time. The system consists of three cameras:
Drivers can identify and correct their risky driving behavior in real-time. Fleet managers can monitor remotely. This provides a safer, better-informed driving experience that protects drivers, pedestrians, vehicles, assets, and more.
If you are ready to root out risky driving and enhance your fleet management by implementing these powerful tools, MiX Vision AI is ready for you. Contact us to find out more.