Ball of confusion
03 November 2016
Fleet managers are being bombarded with so many different messages about how to make their fleets and drivers safer that it is causing confusion in the marketplace, according to Chris Horbowyj of GreenRoad Technologies.
The range of safety solutions for vehicle fleets is becoming so extensive and diverse that the choice is bewildering, making it easy for managers to miss the ideal solution in the torrent of information they have to wade through.
As the wealth of information increases so does the risk that they will end up with a myriad of different equipment, bought with the best of intentions, which will not meet their requirements as effectively as an alternative solution.
“Looking at telematics alone, there are so many different solutions many of which, at first sight do the same thing, it makes it very difficult for operators to identify the right product to meet their requirements," observes Chris Horbowyj of GreenRoad Technologies. "The key is to keep sight of your end objective.
“If it’s driver safety then it is important to remember that the root cause of up to 90% of traffic accidents is poor decision-making by drivers. You can buy all the mirrors, cameras, monitors and tracking systems you like, but you won’t maximise your chances of success until you address driver behaviour.
“Driver behaviour is the key to fleet safety – and it is vital to get drivers on-board with your safety strategy. They are, after all your ambassador, the people on whom your business and your customers rely.”
While simple tracking telematics only provide insight into a driver’s whereabouts, nowadays sophisticated systems can detect and report on risky driving behaviours. Some are linked to cameras and can capture vital footage before and after safety incidents for later examination.
What very few systems do, however, is feedback to drivers in real time when they stray from a safe, smooth driving style. Many rely on managers analysing reports, investigating behaviour and taking appropriate where necessary, including feedback to drivers.
Horbowyj notes: “There is a confusing plethora of telematics options on the market. Fleet managers need to ask if a telematics system both engages drivers in a positive and timely manner to help them to improve, but also is supported by clear reporting channels to provide ease of use for the operator.
“Ingraining good driving habits on a daily basis leads to long-term, sustainable, positive change across a fleet. Empowering all drivers to take charge of their own improvement leads to positive engagement.
“Better driving leads to safer journeys, lower accident-related costs, lower insurance premiums, less wear and tear on vehicles and reduced fuel costs – which results in considerable savings.”
GreenRoad Mobile, launched last year, is an app that works on smartphones and tablets and which acts as a “coach in the cab” for drivers. The app can detect risky manoeuvres such as sharp cornering, swerving, sudden acceleration and harsh braking and automatically warns drivers in real time, so they can adopt a safer, smoother style. Managers can access succinct, easy to read, reports online, tailored to their specific requirements.
Drivers who reach a consistently safe standard of driving over at least 500 hours of driving are rewarded by being accorded ‘Fleet Elite’ status by GreenRoad.
Chris adds: “We have always put driver behaviour at the heart of our approach and engaged drivers from the outset. GreenRoad works every minute they are at the wheel.
“Further there is no delay in processing information or waiting for reports to filter back via fleet managers making it a compelling and measurable solution.”