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Tech Minute Video: Fleet Safety

Javier Otiz
Project Consultant
Javier joined the Rastrac team back in August 2005 and currently is a Project Consultant working with partners to provide GPS tracking and fleet management solutions in order to improve efficiency.


Javier back again with a Rastrac Tech Minute.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about a very serious topic that all fleet managers struggle with. That is fleet safety. We know that every fleet manager thinks about this subject every day when the fleet leaves their assigned locations. They know the company is liable for everything that happens involving their fleet vehicles, whether its harmful to the vehicles or the drivers or other people affected outside the company.

Fleet managers continuously try to find ways to mitigate this risk by implementing driver policies establishing guidelines for safe driving and then implementing tools to help them enforce the guidelines. The safety guidelines typically have to do with speeding, harsh braking, sudden acceleration, changing lanes and tailgating; in other words aggressive driving. 

The use of video as a tool is becoming very popular, but it’s expensive to implement and is most effective for looking at past events. Video is very effective at recording what the driver is doing and if the fleet manager needs to go back and look at the video to investigate an incident, they can do that by matching the date and time to the recording. However, most of these systems are not terribly effective while the vehicle is moving and only influence driver behavior when drivers are coached by the fleet manager, after the fact.

Rastrac has several ways for fleet managers to promote driver safety and change driver behavior in more real-time methods.

# 1 – Rastrac has released a new product add-on that turns a cell phone into a collision avoidance device. You download the app and acquire a dashboard cradle and put your iPhone in the cradle while you’re driving. The phone camera then acts as an intense traffic viewer and warns the driver of threats close by. It will tell the driver if they are following too close, drifting out of their lane and if something is moving into a dangerous position in front of them. And, it will give the fleet manager a report card for each driver.

# 2 – Rastrac can also utilizes a robust device in vehicles that has an audio alert when drivers are harsh braking, accelerating rapidly or making abrupt turns. Each time a driver cuts the wheel too hard, has to stomp on the brakes or takes off like a bat out of H (pause) you know what I mean, it will set off a different audio tone, so the driver understands what they’ve done incorrectly and can make sure they don’t do it again.

# 3 – Rastrac has the ability to send alerts to any user, any time. Most fleet managers utilize this feature to receive these alerts if a driver goes outside the parameters set for the fleet. What they don’t take advantage of most of the time is the ability to send alerts directly to the driver when the driver goes outside the guidelines. The alerts can be sent via email or text and the driver can read them when they stop. So, the driver realizes they might need to make a change in their driving habits much sooner.

We think about this everyday too and we continue to make improvements in our products that help fleet managers do their job better. If you are concerned about driver safety and changing driver behavior come see us at Rastrac.com or give me a call.

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