Comment attributed to Barney Goffer, UK Product Manager at Teletrac Navman
In 2023, driver training remains a crucial part of road safety for commercial fleets across the globe. According to HSE, there are approximately 70 fatalities and around 2,000 people seriously injured every year in accidents that involve vehicles linked to the workplace. A significant number of these accidents are found to occur during the delivery and collection of goods.
An ongoing training strategy is imperative for teaching new drivers road safety skills, whilst ensuring more experienced drivers continue to comply with safety regulations and remain on track with performance goals. Driver training affords the opportunity for fleet managers to refresh driver skills, solidifying an emphasis on best driver practices that benefit the business, drivers, and other road users.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people lose their lives to road traffic accidents globally. The safety of all vehicle operators is of paramount importance to fleet managers – if risky driver behaviour is allowed to continue, there can be serious implications for both the business and those on the road.
Through real-time audible alerts, a fleet management system can help to detect and reduce risk of accidents. Utilising behavioural learning, it can spot when a driver approaches a violation such as exceeding a speeding limit, allowing the driver to be notified before anything escalates into a serious situation.
Keeping costs low
A new research study of more than 1,800 fleet operators has revealed that telematics is key to benchmarking driver behaviour. The biggest benefit to using telematics is driver safety (37%) with 91% of respondents reporting seeing a reduction in accidents. Telematics are also a sound investment for optimising finances as 24% of fleet operators reported that they are implementing new driver behaviour programs to help navigate fuel and maintenance costs. Against the current economic climate, fleet managers and operators need to look closely at more ways to improve efficiency, safety, compliance, and performance in order to keep costs low and avoid any increased overheads.
Poor driver behaviour is not only dangerous to other road users, but it can also have a huge impact on costs, company time and resource. Speeding violations, excessive fuel use, idling time, and harsh breaking or cornering, shows lack of duty of care behind the wheel. When a driver is involved in an accident, maintenance costs and rising insurance premiums can become a financial drain.
A fleet management system places the fleet manager right in the driving seat, by presenting real-time data that showcases how their drivers are handling their vehicles. This can help with spotting repetitive compliance violations or even first-time policy offenders in advance, allowing fleet managers to nip any misdemeanours in the bud. By using insight to improve activities on the road, businesses frequently experience a reduction of fuel and unplanned maintenance costs, accidents, and insurance premiums.
Personalised coaching programs with smart dashcams
Moving beyond notifications on a screen, smart dashcams equipped with AI technology help improve the quality of fleet driver training. As the cameras read the road, they interpret whether the action by the driver is appropriate, allowing fleet managers to provide visual examples of how drivers behave behind the wheel. Whilst traditional telematics solutions offer a great starting point for driver coaching, smart dashcams go much further. They help to contextualise events on the road to provide a real world view of driver behaviours.
The footage from dashcams opens up the opportunity to demonstrate these safe driving techniques to drivers during training sessions, helping to reinforce good habits and reduce the likelihood of road accidents. Turning video into meaningful insight, smart dashcams continuously coach drivers to make the best decisions and help to improve driver safety as they take a balanced approach which builds trust between drivers and managers.
Train and retain talent through driver scorecards
The UK driver shortage, exacerbated by the pandemic, makes driver retention vital to the survival of a successful fleet operation. Encouragingly, 40% of survey respondents reported that implementing telematics has helped to build a safe driving culture within their organisations.
Fleet managers and operators can reap the benefits of investing in employees with a monitoring system that provides the opportunity to reward positive behaviour, keeping employees motivated on the job. The data produced from driver monitoring can provide fleet managers and operators with the insight to create incentives for drivers to hit personal training milestones and performance KPIs. Whether that’s creating healthy competition between drivers to achieve the best scorecard, offering financial incentives, or providing positive feedback which encourages good behaviour, a program of rewarding drivers extends the impact of driver training and maintains ongoing behavioural learning.
Not only does a fleet management system facilitate a reward program, but it also provides fleet managers with a comprehensive view of driver performance, allowing them to provide in-depth guidance to drivers throughout their employment. A scorecard is a valuable tool that tracks driver progress over time – feedback given from driver scorecards serves as both a motivator and a coach for drivers to continuously improve their skills and maintain safe driving habits.
Harness the power of a fleet management platform
Digital fleet management tools can help train and retain the best talent in the fleet industry. A monitoring system for businesses both large and small is crucial, as it helps fleet managers implement personalised driver training and coaching programs using a fleet management system that presents telematics data in a meaningful way.
By using telematics data and continuous monitoring, it’s easy to implement a driver training program that is personalised and tailored to each driver, giving them renewed confidence and control on the road.