Improve Driver Behaviour with Telematics

How Does Vehicle Telematics Measure and Improve Your Drivers’ Behaviours?

During the 2020 calendar year, there were 1,106 people killed on Australian roads. Whilst this is a reduction on the 2019 year, it is still a large, unacceptable number that we must continue working to reduce.

Australian Government - Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Developments & Communication - Road Death Database

The most common causes of fatal vehicle accidents in Australia are:

  1. Speeding
  2. Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  3. Not using seatbelts (whilst not accident causation, indeed a contributor to the outcome)
  4. Fatigue
  5. Distraction

What are the typical driver behaviours measured by vehicle telematics?

Vehicle telematics solutions can measure many different aspects of a vehicle and its operation. The primary measures relating to driver behaviours are:

  • Vehicle Speed
  • Seatbelt Usage
  • Harsh Braking
  • Harsh Cornering
  • Harsh Acceleration

Harsh driving generally indicates a driver operating their vehicle in an aggressive manner or being distracted. There are many comprehensive studies which conclude that aggressive drivers are more likely to be involved in a traffic incident.

State of the Road A Fact Sheet of the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q)

How do vehicle telematics measure driver behaviours?

Telematics solutions are fitted with a GPS to track the location of the vehicle. With the use of algorithms, the vehicle speed is calculated from the GPS data. This calculated speed is then compared to the roadway’s posted speed limit to determine if the driver is speeding.

An accelerometer in a telematics device allows the acceleration and de-acceleration of the vehicle to be measured. This measurement allows for sudden changes in acceleration or direction to be recorded, such as the harsh behaviours mentioned above.

With a vehicle telematics solution capable of measuring and reporting data from the vehicle’s Controller Area Network (CAN bus), details such as seatbelt use can be captured. When the sensors record an occupied seat without a seatbelt being engaged, this data is captured for further actioning.

A quality vehicle telematics solutions’ reporting capabilities provide customisable dashboards and reports across desktop and mobile applications. These solutions will also deliver notifications to drivers where an immediate behaviour change is essential. Safety-related incidents such as speeding are an example.

Collating data into a report card format for drivers is another crucial attribute of a quality vehicle telematics solution. This data may be shared with drivers periodically to encourage positive driving behaviours. A summary of this data can be shared across a group of drivers using the concept of “gamification” to promote improved driving behaviours.

What are the advantages?

There is a genuine opportunity to improve an organisations’ driver team’s overall safety by measuring and managing their behaviours. Assisting drivers to understand how their actions may be placing them, and others, at risk and what they can do to improve their behaviours is critical.

Most fleet vehicles are mobile billboards. If drivers are operating these vehicles in a discourteous and/or dangerous manner, reputational damage to the organisation is a real possibility. Clients may consider this as part of their future purchasing decisions.

An improved safety culture will result in ongoing financial benefits. Reductions in insurance premiums are one potential benefit. Further financial gains come from the enhanced efficiency of the vehicle fleet. Vehicles driven in a non-aggressive manner use less fuel, have reduced tyre wear, and incur lower maintenance costs.

The safety of employees is key to any progressive organisation, as is the business’s market perception. Managing the safe driving behaviours of employees is a crucial attribute to achieving these outcomes. From the management of these behaviours also comes significant and measurable financial improvements.

How can vehicle telematics improve the safe and efficient management of your vehicle fleet?

Is your existing vehicle telematics solution providing you with all the available advantages?

To discuss the improved use of technology to manage your fleet reach out to Adam Welch at Bestrane Group. +61 419 292 678