In the world of businesses with mobile workforces, ending the day with all of your vehicles in one piece and safely parked where they’re supposed to be is always a win. However, simply because your vehicle was not in an accident doesn’t mean that your driver is operating the vehicle safely.
Information about driving habits is best gathered through the use of GPS trackers and fleet management software. Let’s take a look at what the GPS tracking data can tell you and why it’s important to your business.
Driving Habits To Track
GPS trackers will track data not only about the location of the vehicle that they are installed in, but also about how the vehicle is being used. For example, a GPS tracking program will be able to tell you the vehicle’s average speed and compare that to the posted speed limit on the roads that the vehicle is using. You can use this information to identify drivers that are consistently violating speed limits well before they get that first painful ticket.
In addition to comparing your vehicle’s speed to posted speed limits, our GPS tracking software gives you the option to set a maximum speed for each of your trackers and receive notifications each time that speed is violated. This allows you to ensure that your drivers never push the vehicles beyond a safe speed, such as 70 or 75 MPH or even lower if you have vehicles that regularly carry heavy, dangerous or fragile materials.
GPS tracking will also tell you when the vehicle experiences a hard-braking event. This can tell you a lot about the driver’s behavior, such as implying that they are not slowing down early enough when approaching stops, or worse, they are following other cars too closely and having to slam on the brakes when the vehicle in front of them slows. The latter can be a major predictor of potential accidents and is a particularly dangerous driving habit.
Other unsafe behaviors that can be identified with our tracking software include harsh turns and fast starts. These actions can be dangerous on the road and detrimental to the maintenance of the vehicle.
Benefits To Your Business
The primary benefits of maintaining a safe fleet are obvious: fewer tickets and fewer accidents, and ideally when accidents do happen, they will be significantly less severe. There are a number of other, less tangible benefits that can be seen as well.
For example, negative driving habits that are observed by members of the public or current and potential customers can have a damaging effect on your reputation as a company and your ability to land or keep business. While these observations may be reported to you through the use of “How’s My Driving” phone numbers, often the damage to your brand goes unrecorded and costs you immeasurable amounts of money. Tracking allows you to identify drivers that may be generating these kinds of observations. This offers you the chance to train and improve the undesired driving habits.
The use of GPS tracking doesn’t need to have a negative connotation. Tracking offers a unique opportunity to identify and highlight your best and safest drivers, those whose driving habits exemplify what your employees should be doing on a daily basis. Unlike traffic tickets, accident reports and “How’s My Driving” reports which tend to identify the least safe drivers on your workforce, tracking gives you data to showcase the drivers that obey speed limits (both posted and set manually by you), limit hard-braking events, and even minimize vehicle idle time. By identifying and rewarding these drivers, you can create an environment where safe driving is as important as customer satisfaction, and the result will be an increase in both!
Collecting Safety Data
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations of your business and let safety monitoring slip into the background until an event such as a ticket, accident or another roadway incident, brings it back to the forefront. Effectively managing your fleet’s safety is no different than other aspects of your business and should be monitored frequently.
We recommend creating a log or spreadsheet to record all of your fleet safety inputs. These should include traffic tickets, accident reports, reported driving observations, and unsafe driving data from your fleet tracking program. Using this combined data, you can formulate a scoring system to identify and reward your best drivers as well as identify and retrain your high-risk drivers.
Looking for help getting a system set up? We’re here to help. With 24/7 live support and over 10 years’ experience in the GPS tracking industry, we can get your fleet safety monitoring rolling in no time.