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Telematics: The Missing Piece Of The Driver Safety Puzzle

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Your best drivers are those that tend to get the job done on time, not get fined or file for insurance claims on the regular. They may even get the best praise from your customers yet this solely isn’t a guarantee that they’re practicing safe driving behaviour at all times. Even the best of drivers make mistakes.

Relying solely on financial penalties, demerit points or feedback from customers only gives you a fragment of the whole picture. Without access to the right kind of information, such as speed events or excessive driving habits, your drivers might be posing a real risk to the business, themselves and the public. Reactively taking  action against events that arise isn’t the best course of action. Instilling a culture of safety in the business is a challenge if you are unable to pinpoint the areas that need improvement yourself.

Driver scorecard systems allow drivers to become aware of their behaviours and allow you to track progress as they become a more conscious road user. Implementing a Safety Management System (SMS) can go a long way in helping to improve upon current safety procedures. You can use both the scorecards and SMS to encourage safety practices throughout the business. They’re an effective tool for creating a safer, happier and more compliant workforce.

Settling The Score

Driver’s aren’t deliberately acting in an unsafe way – they’re well aware of the risks that come with the job. After all, it’s their livelihood at stake. Even the best drivers aren’t immune to poor driving behaviours, especially considering how tough it can be sharing the road - it’s easy for unsafe driver behaviours to creep in and become habits. Without a way to measure these, how can you understand how your fleet is faring when it comes to driving safely?

Setting Up For Success

Driver scorecards are a part of an in-vehicle monitoring system that tracks on-road behaviour. Each driver is assigned a unique PIN which they enter into an in-cabin device at the start of every trip. As driving sessions are recorded and tracked, the driver is scored in either green (for exemplary behaviour), amber (behaviour needs improvement) or red (immediate actions to be taken) based on their average performance over time.

Here are some of the ways a scorecard system can improve safety across your fleet.

  • Identify obstacles caused by problematic driving
    Find out what behaviours you need to track. This could be speeding on highways during long distance trips or taking sharp corners when trying to get to a destination on time. Knowing what to look out for ensures you can isolate the behaviours that need the most attention, rather than being overwhelmed with an overload of data at once.
  • Discuss driving habits with drivers
    Once parameters are set up and you know what you want to track, the scorecard does its work. A score for each of your drivers is created against an average set by you, which can be viewed and compared at any time. Amber or red drivers can be identified early on, so you can put preventative measures in place, such as setting up a training session for that driver. The scorecard gives you an easy way to demonstrate the risks and educate drivers on ways to improve. This is also an opportunity for drivers to discuss reasons for risk-taking, such as tight schedules or working long hours. You can then work on improving day-to-day operations to ensure safety stays top of mind.
  • Create a plan to reward better driving
    As drivers become more aware of their behaviour and make efforts to improve, it’s important to recognise and highlight that change in a positive way. Rewarding drivers not only shows a commitment to creating a culture of safety, it also incentivises drivers. They have an individual goal to work towards that is more tangible than simply becoming a more conscious driver.  Plus, they have the reassurance that they work in an environment where their wellbeing is made a priority.

Safety Benefits

The benefits of driver scorecards go far beyond keeping an eye out for drivers. They reduce costs from financial penalties, as well as internal costs as drivers aren’t using unnecessary fuel by braking harshly or speeding. Staying compliant is far easier as you can determine fleet-wide behaviours and compare your drivers with legal speed limits and industry standards of practice.

And, of course, they keep your drivers alert and safe while on the road. The technology acknowledges one-off incidents without punishing a driver, while allowing you to reduce continuous bad habits that pose a risk.

Even the presence of technology automatically changes a driver’s behaviour for the better. Knowing that they’re accountable for how they act behind the wheel helps them to be a more conscious driver.

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