One of fleet management’s top priorities should always be the safety of their drivers. Why? If they practice unsafe driving habits, it doesn’t just affect them. Reckless driving also impacts the safety of other motorists on the road, pedestrians, your vehicles, and the cargo they carry.
Your business does not want to take on that risk — so, how can you prevent three of the most common unsafe driving violations: distracted driving, speeding, and hard braking and turning? GPS tracking can be your simple solution! Let’s explore how.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving includes “Any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This could mean texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to other people in the vehicle, or fiddling with the stereo or navigation system while driving. In 2017 alone, distracted driving claimed 3,166 lives — meaning fleet management must prioritize identifying and correcting distracted driving habits. How?
With GPS tracking, you can remotely track a vehicle’s location and handling in real-time. By using Rastrac’s live GPS tracking system, you can even monitor whether your drivers are sticking to their assigned routes. If they’re on a route that they regularly take, your drivers won’t need to constantly look at the GPS to see where they’re headed — instead, they can keep their eyes on the road. With RastracGo, our portable GPS tracking device, you can also customize reporting at specific intervals to receive location data, plus data about several other important factors, including:
- Pressure and motion
- Vehicle acceleration and deceleration
- Light, humidity, and temperature
All of these features help you track where, when, and how vehicles in your fleet are being driven. This way, you can monitor how safely each vehicle is being handled and the types of environmental conditions in which your drivers are operating. By identifying any current or potential issues as soon as possible, you can correct any unsafe driving practices or conditions before they cause a dangerous accident.
According to the NHTSA, speeding has been involved in almost one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for over two decades. In 2017 alone, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities. Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder, but all of the drivers and passengers on the road around them, plus your vehicle and its valuable assets.
You may be thinking that it’s impossible to know how fast your drivers are going unless you’re physically in the car with them. However, a GPS tracking system allows you to monitor the speeds at which your vehicles are traveling from any remote location. It can also track how quickly your drivers accelerate and decelerate, plus how quickly they move through intersections.
It’s also important to keep in mind that speeding doesn’t just mean driving over the posted speed limit. If a driver is driving at the speed limit, but that is too fast for the current road conditions, it is also a huge safety concern. For example, if there is bad weather, construction on the road, or a stretch of road that isn’t well lit at night, drivers may need to adjust and drive below the speed limit to ensure their safety.
With a GPS tracking system that also monitors environmental conditions such as pressure, light, humidity, noise, and temperature, you can easily identify when drivers are going through potentially unsafe driving conditions. Then, you can more closely monitor their driving habits, send them an alert that they need to be extra cautious, or even put them on a different route that may avoid a storm or road construction altogether.
Hard Braking and Turning
While the occasional hard braking and turning can be expected in the case of an emergency, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you see this kind of behavior often, it could mean that your fleet drivers are not adhering to safety guidelines and may be habitually distracted while driving. How can you determine if a driver has a history of hard braking and turning?
LMU-3035, one of our GPS tracking products, is ideal for managing driver behavior. It will alert fleet management if there is an instance of harsh braking, hard turning, or rapid acceleration. With our comprehensive data reports, you will be able to easily see if the need for hard braking or turning was a one-off instance, or if a particular driver has a pattern of unsafe driving practices.
Additionally, with RastracView, our new gps tracking app, your drivers can effectively turn their cell phone into a collision prevention device. All they need to do is download the app and place their cell phone in a dashboard cradle, and the app will utilize the phone’s camera to warn them of any nearby threats on the road. For example, it will tell the driver if they’re following the car in front of them too closely, drifting out of their lane, and if something dangerous is blocking the road. This way, they won’t need to make a sudden stop — they’ll be aware they need to slow down ahead of time. It will also send fleet management a “report card” so they are able to monitor how safely each driver is operating their vehicle.
Paired with your GPS tracking solutions, there are many other cost-effective and simple techniques that can help combat distracted driving within your fleet. Educating your drivers on safe driving practices, having surprise inspections, ensuring that they are taking appropriate breaks so they don’t need to eat or talk on the phone while driving, and setting clear distracted driving policies are just a few ideas.
When it comes down to it, ensuring all of your drivers are able to return home safely is worth any amount of effort and investment. After all, you can’t put a price on the safety for your employees, other motorists on the road, pedestrians, your vehicles, and the cargo they carry!