According to the World Health Organization, just a 5 percent reduction in the average speed can reduce the number of fatal crashes by as much as 3 percent. Driver safety technology has been successful in helping large fleet and field service organizations to manage such risky driver behavior, and subsequently reduce accidents, vehicle downtime and prevent lost productivity due to road incidents.

Once deployed, driver safety solutions send real-time alerts to the driver as well as to the back office so drivers are aware of poor driving and can change their behavior, and the back office can use the data to identify who needs coaching, helping to reduce incidents and mitigate risks associated with road-related accidents.

Eaton Sales & Service LLC, a major petroleum equipment supplier, uses a driver safety solution to monitor poor driving. Using their in-vehicle safety technology, fleet managers can execute back-office analyses of aggressive maneuvers such as “jackrabbit starts,” hard braking, harsh turns and excessive speed to better identify and then coach the people that put the company at risk.

Driver safety solutions also allow employees to learn the parameters of safe driving so they can make immediate adjustments to their behavior. For Eaton, that resulted in a 30 percent reduction in speeding.

Fostering business intelligence through extended safety capabilities
Organizations can extend the capabilities of their driver safety solutions even more by using performance management analytics tools. These tools can consolidate driver data across a large workforce to provide fleet managers with advanced business intelligence. Generating performance reports, for instance, helps to identify trends and manage by exception. A performance report can detail the driver scores of a workforce for up to a month, to show who has experienced the biggest change in driving style over that period and why. If one driver is braking too hard or turning too aggressively, this will be highlighted in the report. The management team can view the information and arrange for coaching if needed.

Mobility solutions also impact driver safety
Identifying drivers who need coaching is only one part of operating a safe and efficient fleet. Drivers need ongoing benchmarks of their driving skills. With the right technology, they will be always-aware of road safety, no matter what vehicle they are using.

Mobile apps are also increasingly important as a tool for monitoring safety in field service. This technology allows drivers to monitor their behavior by having data from the vehicle sent to their smartphone. The app picks up harsh maneuvers such as hard braking, jackrabbit starts, speeding and sharp turns and will rate the maneuvers as acceptable, moderate or hard. This provides the driver with performance intelligence to increase road awareness, enabling them to make improvements. The organization benefits from reduced accidents by deploying a safer workforce on the road.

Companies and individual drivers must take responsibility for their fleet safety. Rewarding and recognizing individuals helps to promote a safe driving culture across the organization. But beyond safety, improved driver habits can reduce fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear caused by harsh and aggressive driving.

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