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How to Improve Your Team’s Driving Habits to Protect Your Fleet Rastrac Team | Sep 7, 2022 12:51:00 PM

Your fleet’s driving habits are integral to your business's success. Speeding and distraction are just some of the factors that can affect your fleet liability, costs, and delivery accuracy. Cultivating a culture that considers driving best practices from the moment they join your fleet will benefit your business in the short and long term. 


What Are Good, Safe Driving Habits?

Following the speed limit and using hands-free devices while driving may seem like no-brainers. Still, the reality is that more than 9,500 people were killed in traffic crashes within the first three months of the year, early estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed.

Therefore, it is crucial to have a driver safety training plan in place and follow it regularly. It’s essential to instill safe driving habits in your fleet operators.

Those Safe Driving Habits Are:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Obey traffic signals
  • Do not operate vehicles under the influence
  • Do not use cell phones

Wear a Seatbelt

Not only is wearing a seatbelt the law, but it will also keep you safe in the case of an accident. Using dashcams to show drivers regularly wearing seatbelts can also help lower your insurance premiums.

Obey traffic signals.

Again, it seems like it should go without saying, but you’d be surprised to learn that in 2020, 928 people were killed in crashes that involved red light running. Half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in other vehicles that the red light runners hit.

No alcohol or drugs.

Your drivers should undergo frequent drug and alcohol tests when they are on the clock. 50% of your fleet’s drivers must be randomly tested for controlled substances, and 10% must be randomly tested for alcohol annually. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations regarding substance consumption and testing for fleet drivers. 

No cell phones.

Mobile device use is the cause of 25% of all commercial crashes. Make it your policy to ensure your drivers aren’t using personal mobile devices while on the job. Your fleet monitoring system can be set up to scan for out-of-network devices and flag noncompliant drivers.

Follow the speed limit.

For safety and compliance, your drivers need to follow the speed limit. GPS fleet tracking systems can send alerts when a driver exceeds the speed limit in a given area. The management dashboard can also alert drivers when they go through construction zones with speed limits that are lower than the norm.

Rest when it is needed.

Finally, remember that driving for hours without end is exhausting. 

Drivers must take a 30-minute break if they drive for eight consecutive hours. Be sure to track your drivers’ rest logs to ensure they follow the law and get the rest they need.

Bad Driving Habits Your Fleet Should Avoid

Besides incorporating good driving habits in your fleet drivers’ ongoing training, it is important to mention what bad habits drivers should also avoid. 

The worst driving habit is driver distraction. Use your fleet management system’s technology to ensure that drivers cannot use any company-issued devices while their vehicle is on, and warn drivers of penalties for using personal mobile devices. Companies allowing drivers to use phones while driving commercial vehicles can face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. 

Speeding is another major bad habit that fleet managers have to deal with. Drivers want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible to complete their routes, which is bad news for managers. A speed governor can restrict a driver’s speed to match your company's speed policies. 

Encourage your drivers to stick to a steady speed. Quickly accelerating or decelerating wreaks havoc on your fleet equipment and fuel consumption

How Driving Habits Affect Your Fleet

Driving habits are critical to the successful operation of your fleet. Your drivers are in control of your vehicles, and how they operate them affects your overall bottom line. Tracking your drivers’ behaviors will provide you with valuable insights and allow you to minimize risks to safety and revenue. 

Bad driving habits can lead to high risk and liability for your business. Wreckless fleet drivers will cause the cost of insurance to go up. Poor driving practices will also result in increased wear and tear leading to higher fleet maintenance costs. Investing in a smart fleet management system and ongoing driver best practices training will save you grief and money over time.

How to Reduce Dangerous Driving Habits in Your Fleet

Investing in a smart fleet management system and ongoing driver best practices training will keep your drivers safe and save you money.

Use an onboard camera system.

Onboard camera systems, like RastracVision, can help fleet managers collect and review important information about their fleet vehicles. Logging and reviewing actual vehicles' videos in operation makes it easier for fleet managers to identify potential issues in a driver’s behavior and correct them. For example, with video logs, you could identify if drivers are:

  • Tailgating;
  • Speeding;
  • Driving while distracted;
  • Using their signals;
  • Staying in their lanes;
  • Taking turns too tightly; and
  • Sticking to their Hours of Service (HOS) limits.

Use Artificial Intelligence.

Video footage of your drivers is a great start to protecting your fleet from poor driving habits, and incorporating AI in video analytics takes it even further. AI systems can help turn your camera systems into threat detection solutions.

Pay attention to vehicle maintenance.

Effectively maintaining your vehicles can uncover signs of unsafe driving habits. If brakes, steering controls, and other vehicle components are seeing more wear and tear than average, its driver may need special training or a reminder on best practices. Regularly checking on maintenance is a good practice and can help avoid accidents and keep repair costs down. 

Benefits of Fleet Management Tools

Several fleet management tools exist to help managers monitor and control drivers’ habits. One great option includes speed-limiting devices. Speeding to maintain a schedule or make up for lost time can be incredibly tempting. However, speeding is also a major contributing factor to vehicular accidents.

Imposing an absolute speed limit on a vehicle directly by installing a governor can help ensure that drivers never accelerate to unsafe speeds.

GPS solutions are also excellent tools for fleet management. GPS tracking solutions can do more than just monitor a driver’s location and driving behaviors—they can also help drivers navigate unfamiliar territory or heavy-traffic areas more easily.

For example, the Rastrac GPS tracking app gives fleet management access to map-based, real-time location data for each vehicle. Plus, with built-in video telematics GPS navigation, your drivers can determine the exact time and distance to their next location and build optimized routes that account for traffic and road hazards. They can then follow the route through visual and audio commands, so they don’t have to regularly take their eyes off the road.

Don’t let the cost of high-risk drivers strain your business. Reduce unnecessary costs due to high-risk driving behavior with the help of vehicle tracking solutions from Rastrac. 

Rastrac is a leading GPS fleet tracking and remote asset management solution for companies of all sizes, providing solutions for your every tracking need.

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