Monitoring Driver Behavior: SPEEDING, IDLING, RAPID ACCELERATION, AND HARD BRAKING
The real risk to business owners with deployed fleets is driver behavior. Within driver behavior, there are many facets. Are the drivers speeding or driving erratically? Are they burning fuel with long idle stops? Jack Rabbit starts? Rapid braking? For the business owner, this translates to wasted fuel, dings on their reputation and in the very, very worst case, accidents that damage the owner’s livelihood. By monitoring driver behavior with GPS tracking the risk can be mitigated.
Let's look at the "Big 4" factors in what we in the GPS tracking business call driver behavior.
Look at any insurance industry study and they will point out that speeding is a key contributor to accidents. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute study points out that in 2014, speeding was a contributor in 28% of motor vehicle crash deaths. Since 2005, the number is 30%. Surely, these can be considered catastrophic numbers. The impact to everyone involved, from the victim, to the driver, to the business owner is incredible. Not to overlook the victim, but looking at it from the business owner's perspective, the risk can mean liabilities, loss of income, loss of equipment, insurance issues and even, ultimately, the loss of their business. In fact, with modern GPS tracking technology, the risk can be mitigated by driver assessments and corrective action training.
Rapid Acceleration and Hard Braking
These "aggressive driving" factors are detectable by some of our Car Tracking devices, like the MT3060 OBD II Car Tracker and the GV300VC Van & Truck Tracker. These indicators of bad driving techniques cause excessive wear and tear on the vehicle, higher fuel and brake replacement costs, as well as increased risk of accidents. If the company name is on the truck, its reputation is at risk due to an aggressive driver.
Excessive idling is a factor that leads to a number of negative impacts to the business. Idling can be indicator of an inefficiently used driver or vehicle. Is the driver and vehicle under utilized? Can they be better tasked with more stops or a route that is more efficient? Idling can simply be a waste of fuel which equates to a waste of money and an unnecessary pollution burden to the environment. Perhaps a 30 minute break in an air conditioned restaurant or mall would be a better choice than idling at a rest stop. Getting the driver out of the seat, stretching and walking can refresh the driver in ways that benefit your business. With one of our GPS trackers, you will be able to identify excessive idling events quickly and easily.
Summary: It's the trend, Not the event
Today's tracking devices offer a lot of information on cars and trucks - how efficiently and safely they are used. The risks to bodily harm, inefficient fleet deployment, driver fatigue and even reputation can be minimized by using GPS trackers.
At the same time, monitoring driver behavior and reacting just to specific device reports (speeding, idling, acceleration, braking) shouldn't be used as an exclusive tool to hassle drivers. They certainly can be used for training and coaching. While jack rabbit acceleration can be a heavy foot on the accelerator leaving a green light, it can just as easily be accelerating to get to speed on an interstate on-ramp, or to pass a slow vehicle. Braking can be caused by other cars on an interstate responding to another driver, road debris, or a traffic incident. Unfortunately, our technologies can't tell you if a dog ran out in front of your driver. However, a good GPS tracking solution like ours will combine the capabilities of the hardware with that of the software to help you identify trends. If report after report shows Rapid Start or Hard Stop, something needs to be corrected.
The fleet management system is the key to resolving the difference between a one off event and a trend. Our fleet status gives a scoreboard view of events, alerts provide real-time information of specific events of interest, reports offer detailed historical data to identify trends, and our playback functionality gives you the chance to understand the events in context. By using gps tracking devices and monitoring driver behavior, you now have the tools to determine how to assess the driver, how to educate him or her and how to improve your business.