While many fleets focus on the ability of telematics to track vehicles and cut fuel costs, its importance as a tool to improve safety and driving behavior should not be overlooked. The data that technology can record and monitor such as speeding, harsh acceleration and braking can be key to identifying poor driver behavior.
“Telematics data is effective in encouraging driving behavior change among drivers to improve fleet safety,” says Lisa Dorn, associate professor of driver behavior at Cranfield University. “If they are not aware of the danger they are in, how can they be expected to change behavior? Telematics data is a good way for fleet managers to provide evidence to address the risk.”
Telematics systems tend to be one of three types: smartphone app-based solutions; the ‘black box’ systems, which record data in the background, which can be analyzed later; and those, which provide instant feedback to the driver through a bleep, lights and/or a picture that flashes up on the console inside the cabin.
If drivers ignore that, an audible warning follows, a second and then a third, which brings with it a penalty and the fleet manager is alerted. If they adjust their driving early, the light reverts to green and only the driver knows. “Drivers can monitor their performance against elite driver status and can compete with other drivers,” says managing director Rupert Lyon Taylor. Rewards follow.