Fleet Focused: Keeping Drivers Safe and on the Road
Hans Bodine, CEO - May 28, 2019
I'd like to start this article off with some sobering statistics:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that “every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash, every 10 seconds an injury occurs, and every 5 seconds a crash occurs.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these accidents generate nearly $871 billion in economic and social loss every year. Further broken out, direct economic costs (damage to equipment and infrastructure) equate to $277 billion, and indirect economic costs (injury and loss of life) make up the remaining $594 billion.
We've all read reports and seen news stories about drivers working 24-hour shifts, falling asleep at the wheel and causing horrible, gut-wrenching accidents - but this figure still comes as a surprise. And it's not just the overworked and over-tired contributing to these figures. Here are some common risky behaviors that can - and do - occur when you own and operate a fleet of vehicles:
- Sharp or delayed braking
- Driving without a seatbelt fastened
- Ignorance of blindspot locations
- Taking turns too sharply
- Merging in "no-merge" zones
- Abruptly changing lanes and improper signaling
- Using company vehicles for personal use
- Distracted driving and reversing
Perhaps most troubling is that there are already measures already in place to curb these behaviors. Fleet and driver safety trainings are mandated by many oversight boards and government agencies. But when drivers acknowledge risky behaviors and still engage in them, more needs to be done to ensure the safety of workers, fleets, businesses, and the general population.
A study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that over half of all drivers in every age group, not just the risk-loving youth, have texted or emailed while driving, run a red light, or driven 15+ miles over the speed limit within the last month...even while acknowledging these behaviors as bad. So the question becomes: "If businesses provide fleet safety trainings and drivers willfully ignore them, what more can be done to ensure safety?"
Thankfully the auto and tech industries have risen to the challenge and, in true market-disruptor fashion, solutions have been cropping up to provide quantifiable change for an industry in need.
Vehicle automation and safety feature advancements have progressed exponentially over the last decade, making cars on the road today safer than ever been before. Rising demand for base models vehicles with advanced safety features is being met with progressive legislation in local and national governments. Thanks to the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, all new vehicles under 10,000 lbs must include a backup camera as a standard feature as of May 2018. Additionally, features like automatic braking and electronic stability control are offered on most makes and models today with little to no up-charge.
But Automotive Fleet said it best, "Advanced vehicle technologies hold much promise for making driving a safer experience. However, that potential will only be fully realized when drivers understand how to use them, use them as intended, and avoid misusing or becoming over-reliant on them." It's vitally important to recognize the capabilities of new technological advancements but to also acknowledge and address their limitations. Automatic braking systems are no substitute for vigilant driving and correct application of your car's brakes!
Brian Tefft, senior researcher for the AAA Foundation found that “A substantial proportion of [our survey] respondents demonstrated what we believe was a concerning lack of awareness of some of the key limitations of the technologies. [...] These technologies are not meant to replace us behind the wheel. They’re meant to help us out.” And the solution, Tefft says, starts with the dealers, automakers and rental-car companies educating the consumer on the vehicle's capabilities and limitations. Proper training on when and how to use these advanced features can make a world of difference.
While it still ranks fourth in market adoption, telematics is a growing segment that's seeing near constant innovation in hopes of keeping our roads safer and saving businesses money. Telematics is available for all drivers on the road today, but it's primarily used in fleet management solutions to mitigate risk and increase savings for businesses. Telematics.com writes, "By tracking how fleets drive in detail, greater efforts can be made to increase driver safety. Fleet tracking allows fleet companies to track their vehicles individually and as such to make suggestions and amendments to driving habits that could increase the risk of accidents. They can also be informed about potential road hazards, dangerous driving conditions and in-vehicle issues."
And as the technology becomes more advanced, more options are available to fleet management companies. Today, telematics can track:
- Time and duration of drive
- Speeds of the vehicle
- Braking or accelerating sharply
- Erratic Cornering
- Highway miles
- Surface street miles
- Total mileage
- Total number of journeys
- Vehicle diagnostics (MPG, odometer, etc)
- Panic alerts
- Job dispatch, delivery and messaging
- Dashboard camera feed
- In-vehicle activity like seatbelt use, door openings, hood and trunk lifts, and internal temperature.
- When the device is unplugged/tampered with
And many telematics companies offer the ability to customize rules to fit corporate policies. By adopting telematics technology, fleet managers and business are also seeing an increase in savings related to fuel costs and vehicle maintenance. Learn more about that here.
Safety and You
It's ultimately up to your company to ensure your fleet is operating within local and national safety guidelines; and it also fall to your business to provide your drivers with safety trainings and resources. But choose Carlease, and our dedicated business leasing specialists will help you customize a fleet with the lastest in technologies and advanced safety features. We provide telematics solutions and an easy to use fleet management dashboard so you can be sure that when you're drivers are on the road, they're monitored and protected!
Working with Carlease ensures your business is outfitted with the best possible fleet, at a price that's right for you.
Still not convinced Carlease is the best option? Reach out to our business leasing experts today and find out how easy, fast and painless the leasing process can be. And how much money you and your business could save.
Our business leasing experts combine extensive research, personal support, and easy vehicle selection help you make an informed decision - all from the comfort of your home or office. When you’ve picked your perfect vehicle(s) and customized lease plan, our agents will take care of the financing and deliver your new lease(s) right to your door, saving you hours of time and aggravation at the dealership and saving your business money.
Visit Carlease.com or call (847) 714-1414 today!