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How to reduce the dangers of night driving for commercial fleets

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As longer nights draw in, the weather turns colder and we prepare to wave goodbye to the summer months, drivers will face a greater number of risks whilst on the roads; especially if driving at night. However, there are many ways to make night driving safer; Teletrac Navman details some of the practices that both fleet managers and drivers can implement to enhance road safety.

 

Road casualty statistics show that 33% of severe accidents occur during the hours of darkness. This is as a result of reduced visibility and an increased danger of falling asleep behind the wheel, which in itself, accounted for 20% of serious accidents on motorways and monotonous roads in Great Britain, in 2018[1].

 

Although there is generally less traffic on the roads during the night, darkness makes distance and speed much harder to judge accurately and drivers’ vision can be impacted by the lack of light, or glare caused by headlights. Similarly, any road users who are considered vulnerable – such as pedestrians and cyclists – can become even more vulnerable under the cover of darkness.

 

Commercial vehicle safety

Drivers of commercial vehicles are required to travel all hours of the day and night and as the most important asset in transport, there’s a duty to keep them safe. By fitting telematics technology, fleet managers can monitor the status of each vehicle in terms of its safety, productivity, maintenance and workflow information.

 

If an accident or safety incident occurs, AI-driven telematics reporting and integrated dashboard cameras will provide operators with the full context in real-time, arming them with the knowledge as it happens. This is especially advantageous at night time, as there often aren’t as many witnesses available. In addition, managers can access real-time alerts which track and record risky or unsafe driving behaviours, such as sharp cornering, rapid acceleration, and harsh braking. Driver scorecards can then be implemented as required, to benchmark unsafe behaviours and inform training requirements for the fleet.

 

Knowledge of fleet location during the night

Journeys aren’t always as simple as driving from A-Z. Night time road closures, congestion or route changes, for example, can all disrupt the workflow and productivity of the fleet. With exact GPS tracking, fleet managers can view the location, time and speed of its vehicles. This allows them to alert the driver make changes to the route if needed. However, onboard driver alerts must be low distraction, so as not to increase driver risk. Additionally, if a driver is in danger, then knowing their location could literally be lifesaving.

 

Conclusion

Commercial vehicle drivers do not have to become a statistic. In addition to standard vehicle checks to ensure lights are working, tyres are suitable and windscreens are clear, there are additional and effective ways for fleet managers to assist in the safety of their drivers, via onboard tech, to training and scorecards. Telematics is a powerful and necessary tool, that provides fleet managers with greater visibility and access to data about driver behaviour, to keep them safe 24 hours a day.

 

[1] Teletrac Navman Road Safety Dashboard containing data from the 2020 Department for Transport’s Road Safety Report

 

 

 

 

 


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