Optimize your telematics solution in six simple steps
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You may consider your current telematics program to be effective – but could it do more?
More fleets are recognizing the potential of telematics-based safety solutions for reducing risks you may encounter on the road. Telematics delivers multiple benefits to fleets, including reduced operational costs and improved route management, fuel efficiency and customer service.
The new wave of behavior-based telematics is transforming driver safety by providing greater insights into driver attitudes and behaviors, the root cause of 94% of crashes. These insights help provide fleets with a near real-time view of driver performance, enabling them to take prompt and targeted intervention.
Here is how to assess the effectiveness of your current telematics solution, or a solution you are considering. Determine whether your solution could achieve greater risk reduction with these six simple steps.
1. Assess whether your solution matches your needs
There are different types of telematics solutions available. The latest behavior-based telematics technologies utilize smartphone sensors to identify, record and provide feedback on the driving behaviors most predictive of crash risk, including acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding and driver distraction.
Other benefits of smartphone-based behavioral telematics is that they can be used by any driver, vehicle and location. They can also be used alone, or can add behavior-based insights to existing devices
2. Start with a safety culture
You are more likely to see a long-term reduction in collisions and incidents if you introduce telematics as your driver safety solution with a solid safety culture in place. It’s important that your safety culture is embraced and communicated as a management mission. This means creating a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterize your organization’s commitment to safety. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do your employees know that their safety is important to your organization?
- Do your colleagues see, feel and hear that road safety is important on a regular basis?
- Is driver safety part of your company’s core values, beliefs and attitudes?
3. Identify driver risk levels
By conducting thorough driver risk assessments at the outset, you can build a risk picture for individual drivers and prioritize those most in need of training. Predictive, validated risk assessments can determine the likelihood of a driver being involved in a crash/incident. They can also identify drivers’ strengths and weaknesses for targeted training.
Risk assessment instruments should be comprehensive, addressing driver characteristics, attitudes, habits, vehicle condition, route patterns, knowledge of defensive driving and ability to identify hazards.
4. Combine multiple sources of data
Telematics already can provide extensive information about a driver, including data on ignition, trip distances and times, engine idling, speed and much more. Adding behavior-based (smartphone) telematics can provide additional insight regarding how a driver performs on the road. And you can go even further by combining the results of Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) point-in-time checks, on-going license monitoring and collision and incident data. With this, you can obtain a much more detailed and holistic picture of organizational risk and more accurately rank driver risk levels.
Having one, unified view of individual and organizational risk via a single platform means your organization can constantly evolve data insights and monitor risk in real-time. You can share these insights with drivers and managers to help facilitate road safety discussions and form the basis for actions plans for improvement.
5. Incorporate driver training into your solution
Vehicle telematics programs along with insights provided by behavior-based telematics data can change driver behavior. However, interpreting the data and scheduling interventions to address risky driving behaviors can be a challenge for driver managers.
A driver risk management solution that automatically prescribes both core training and targeted training to address individual risk patterns can help your organization proactively manage risk.
6. Benchmark your results
Benchmarking simply means assessing the effectiveness of your driver risk management solution. It helps you keep track of crashes, injuries and incidents per mile and provides insights at regular intervals, such as monthly, quarterly, and annually, to help you identify trends over time and continually monitor driver behavior and performance.
Not only does benchmarking enable you to see how the teams and departments in your organization are performing, it also enables you to compare your organization to others in your industry.
Whether you are assessing the effectiveness of your current program, or considering a telematics solution for the first time, these recommendations will help you achieve greater risk reduction from your driver risk management solution and sustain those reductions over time.
eDriving helps organizations to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations and total cost of fleet ownership through a patented driver risk management program.
Mentor by eDriving is a smartphone-based solution that collects and analyzes driver behaviors most predictive of crash risk and helps remediate risky behavior by providing engaging, interactive micro-training modules delivered directly to the driver in the smartphone app. As part of a broader risk management platform, Virtual Risk Manager®, eDriving provides organizations with everything they need to establish safety as a strategic imperative, and support drivers and managers as they strive to create a crash-free culture®.
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Jim Noble is Senior Vice President of Risk Engineering at eDriving.
Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.
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