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Bad driving is hitting UK motorists directly in the pocket, a new survey has found - with particularly striking implications for fleet operators.

According to a study carried out by insurer Direct Line, cautious and sensible driving can save individual motorists up to £560 per year on petrol costs by halving the number of times they need to fill up. The research analysed some 319,000 journeys made by more than 2,000 drivers over two months.

It singled out a range of bad driving behaviours - including aggressive acceleration, harsh braking and rash cornering - as being among the major causes of fuel wastage. The report found that those with bad driving habits drove an average of 413 miles between refilling, while motorists with good driving habits managed an average of 693 miles.

These findings came as the RAC revealed that fuel prices in the UK were at their highest point for 18 months. The average cost of diesel now stands at 119.63p per litre, with unleaded at 117.23p. Needless to say, this has an immediate bearing on fleet operators - specifically, their bottom line.

Fortunately, fleet tracking systems can deliver significant savings on fuel costs by improving driver behaviour and enhancing fuel efficiency. For one thing, it enables more precise route planning, cutting out wasted miles. Fleet tracking data also provides a powerful tool for use in driver development. It's particularly valuable for driver debriefing sessions, identifying areas for improvement and highlighting to drivers the extent of their shortcomings and what they are.

Telematics allows fleet managers to tailor training programmes to suit individual employees, a far more effective approach than laying on generic training sessions. Another possibility is using fleet tracking data for the development of league tables - ranking drivers by performance, encouraging healthy competition between them - and other driver incentives, thereby improving driver motivation and boosting employee retention.

Since 2001, Teletrac Navman has helped more than 17,000 customers, connecting over 220,000 vehicles in the process. Some 93 per cent of our customers say they've saved money as a result - so the benefits of fleet tracking are clear for all to see.

In addition, the pound continues to depreciate in the wake of the EU referendum vote in the summer, and will no doubt continue to do so as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit lingers. It's all the more vital, then, that fleet operators now take whatever steps they can to improve fuel efficiency and cut out undesirable driver conduct. Fleet tracking makes it possible to do both while also improving customer service into the bargain.

Adam Partington is a Integrated Digital Marketer at Teletrac Navman.

Adam Partington has written for both The Independent and The London Evening Standard. He has worked in the Telematics industry since 2014 and is a regular contributor to the Teletrac Navman blog, taking a special interest in government policy issues, driver behaviour and road safety.