Fleet Risk Management: Improving Driver Safety & Training with Telematics

March 19, 2020

Fleets are legally required to install ELD devices in their vehicles due to the ELD mandate. The mandate only requires a device that logs driver hours in real-time, but many fleet managers are seeing the benefits of using a full telematics system. Telematics offers a comprehensive look into the use of fleet vehicles—gas consumption, brake usage, engine functioning, and so forth. While many fleets recognize the advantages of this tech, they don’t always use it properly and therefore do not leverage its full capabilities. We’re talking about fleet risk management.

Fleets often focus on the cost-cutting and efficiency benefits of telematics. Managers can plan efficient routes, avoid delays, and reduce secretarial costs. These are great improvements for any fleet, but safety is just as important. A stronger focus on safety can save a fleet thousands of dollars annually and potentially millions in the long run by avoiding lawsuits.

Collectively, fleets lose an average of $60 billion dollars each year due to accidents. Each accident costs a fleet company approximately $15,000 - 70,000. If the accident results in an injury or fatality, costs can jump even higher. This figure does not include the damage to your company and your reputation. You may lose product, encounter delays, or face accusations of negligence.

If you’re using telematics systems to save your company money, then your focus should include safety. The increasing claims of loss are a direct result of driver behavior, and monitoring your drivers with telematics is the most effective way to reduce costs.

What is Fleet Risk Management & How Does Telematics Help?

Fleet risk management is the attempt to reduce risk to a fleet. This includes driver safety and training, vehicle maintenance, and fleet compliance. The reduction of liability is typically a top concern for fleet companies, as it should be.

Where telematics can help is by giving you more visibility into performance. Telematics systems often include:

  • Real-time location monitoring
  • Route planning
  • ETA monitoring
  • Fuel economy
  • Idle times
  • Hours of Service monitoring
  • Engine diagnostics
  • Alerts for accidents
  • Alerts for maintenance issues
  • Automatic emergency services in case of an accident
  • Theft protection
  • Insight into driver behavior

It’s that last feature that you want to focus on in risk management. A telematics system is like a black box in an airplane. It records speed, maneuvering, idling, braking, and even things like when a door opens. This data is useful in the case of an accident claim, but it can also adjust preventative training to improve the road behavior of your drivers.

For instance, one of your drivers regularly cuts corners too quickly. Another brakes too late, forcing them to slam on the brakes at stop lights and stop signs. You are able to see this behavior on your telematics software, and can use it to tailor training to the individual. This will help avoid accidents, prevent excessive wear, and reduce insurance costs. Below, you’ll see how to take advantage of this and include it in your motor fleet risk management planning.

Using Telematics to Adjust Drivers’ Behavior

When approaching fleet risk management planning, you must think like an insurance company. These companies calculate rates based on risk assessments. They know that substance abuse accounts for 30% of accidents, that distracted driving resulted in 3,166 deaths in 2017, and that drowsy driving resulted in 90,000 accidents and 795 deaths in 2017. Worst of all, speeding claimed the lives of over 10,000 people in 2016.

The U.S. Department of Transportation conducted a study on the use of telematics and safety. They saw a 50% reduction in sudden acceleration, hard braking, and aggressive maneuvering. There was a 33% reduction in speeding in day cabs and a 42% reduction in speeding of sleeper cabs. One of the most widely cited studies is from the SAMOVAR DRIVE project. This study saw a reduction in crashes of 28% with the use of telematics.

Insurance companies use these resources to assess risk and set insurance premiums, but they also use these studies to encourage insurees with GPS insurance discounts. In fact, some insurance companies will pay for you to install telematics systems. It greatly benefits them when your fleet drivers focus on safety but it benefits your fleet company just as much.

After assessing your fleet risks, the next step is integrating telematics with training. Telematics allows you to measure a driver before their training and after to ensure adherence and effectiveness. It also identifies specific problems with a driver’s behavior on the road. Use it to tailor training and adjust training over time. In the past, fleet managers were unaware of driver behavior until an accident or ticket. The only adjustments they could make were through confrontation and corrective action. Telematics equips you and your drivers with another solution. It's a preventative measure that is also more likely to reduce your driver turnaround.

All of that may sound great, but here are specific examples of what you can correct with GPS fleet tracking and telematics systems.

Speeding & Aggressive Driving

GPS fleet trackers monitor speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and much more. This results in wasted gas, more wear on vehicles, and a greater likelihood of accidents. When a fleet manager begins tracking these behaviors, it reduces the chance they’ll occur becasue the act of letting drivers know this behavior is being monitored encourages drivers to stay on their best behavior.

Bad Driving Trends

Telematics systems don’t just inform and record driver behavior in real-time. It also creates reports on individual drivers and assesses trends. Sometimes a single incident of bad behavior won’t register, but a fleet safety management system bolstered with telematics spots recurring trends. It provides predictive analytics and devises training recommendations.

Apply this to driver training and encourage improved driving with incentives and rewards. Since you’re able to track good driving as well, you can reward those who are exemplary. This helps to shift the company culture towards safety and driver satisfaction.

Excessive Time on the Road

GPS has seen impressive improvements over the last few decades. One advantage to that is better routing and reporting. We are now able to see in advance if there is construction or an accident on a planned route. From this, we can draw routes that avoid these delays.

Also, the GPS tracker notifies you of unplanned stops, detours, idle times, and more. This gives you insight into waste incurred from drivers. Again, the simple act of monitoring helps to reduce these instances, but the big draw here is that you’re improving routes—and less time on the road means less room for error.

Emergency Situations

When emergencies happen, it isn’t always the driver’s fault. However, you might not know of the accident if the driver has been injured. Many telematics systems will alert emergency services and fleet managers of incidents so you can know right away and send emergency help, if necessary. You’ll also be able to quickly send another truck to transport goods and avoid delays or dispatch roadside assistance for repairs, fuel, and other needs.

Another thing to consider, is that you’ll know where your drivers are at all times. For instance, a snowstorm damages the vehicle or makes it impossible to continue on. The storm may last for several days or several hours. The vehicle’s heating shuts down with the storm or the driver has no food or water. Before telematics, stranded drivers would essentially be on their own. Even if you sent someone to help them out, you might not know exactly where the driver is. GPS ensures your driver’s safety in any type of emergency.

Maintenance Issues

A vehicle with issues is more likely to break downand more likely to cause accidents, costing you extra money and impacting your bottom line. Keeping up with routine maintenance and focusing on preventative care are the best solutions to keep expenses down. With vehicle fleet telematics, you’re able to monitor oil life, tire pressure, and much more. You can also schedule regular maintenance alerts to ensure you stay up-to-date on battery checks, tire rotations, and the like.

Faulty vehicles cost you money and put your drivers at risk. Avoid this with a fleet telematics system.

Making Improvements to Your Fleet Safety Program

Fleet risk management plans are only effective if standards are thoroughly maintained. Raising the bar is one way to ensure that the changes you make stick. Start slow, and focus on improving one thing. Then raise the bar and make another correction. If you start by achieving a 60% improvement, increase it to 65%, then 70%.

Another approach is to incentivize your drivers. Provide them with rewards for improvements in their driving behavior to incentivize continuous good driving. Some fleet tracking companies provide rewards programs to easily implement the changes because it can be daunting to make changes to a workplace. Some companies encounter pushback in doing so, but incentives help to reduce the impact of these changes. They may even encourage a better work environment.


There are many advantages to building your fleet safety management system with telematics. Safety and compliance are just a portion of the benefits you receive. Learn more about GPS fleet tracking and building a fleet risk management plan at Azuga.

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Safety

Accountability

Efficiency

Reporting

Rewards

Fleet Risk Management: Improving Driver Safety & Training with Telematics

March 19, 2020

Fleets are legally required to install ELD devices in their vehicles due to the ELD mandate. The mandate only requires a device that logs driver hours in real-time, but many fleet managers are seeing the benefits of using a full telematics system. Telematics offers a comprehensive look into the use of fleet vehicles—gas consumption, brake usage, engine functioning, and so forth. While many fleets recognize the advantages of this tech, they don’t always use it properly and therefore do not leverage its full capabilities. We’re talking about fleet risk management.

Fleets often focus on the cost-cutting and efficiency benefits of telematics. Managers can plan efficient routes, avoid delays, and reduce secretarial costs. These are great improvements for any fleet, but safety is just as important. A stronger focus on safety can save a fleet thousands of dollars annually and potentially millions in the long run by avoiding lawsuits.

Collectively, fleets lose an average of $60 billion dollars each year due to accidents. Each accident costs a fleet company approximately $15,000 - 70,000. If the accident results in an injury or fatality, costs can jump even higher. This figure does not include the damage to your company and your reputation. You may lose product, encounter delays, or face accusations of negligence.

If you’re using telematics systems to save your company money, then your focus should include safety. The increasing claims of loss are a direct result of driver behavior, and monitoring your drivers with telematics is the most effective way to reduce costs.

What is Fleet Risk Management & How Does Telematics Help?

Fleet risk management is the attempt to reduce risk to a fleet. This includes driver safety and training, vehicle maintenance, and fleet compliance. The reduction of liability is typically a top concern for fleet companies, as it should be.

Where telematics can help is by giving you more visibility into performance. Telematics systems often include:

It’s that last feature that you want to focus on in risk management. A telematics system is like a black box in an airplane. It records speed, maneuvering, idling, braking, and even things like when a door opens. This data is useful in the case of an accident claim, but it can also adjust preventative training to improve the road behavior of your drivers.

For instance, one of your drivers regularly cuts corners too quickly. Another brakes too late, forcing them to slam on the brakes at stop lights and stop signs. You are able to see this behavior on your telematics software, and can use it to tailor training to the individual. This will help avoid accidents, prevent excessive wear, and reduce insurance costs. Below, you’ll see how to take advantage of this and include it in your motor fleet risk management planning.

Using Telematics to Adjust Drivers’ Behavior

When approaching fleet risk management planning, you must think like an insurance company. These companies calculate rates based on risk assessments. They know that substance abuse accounts for 30% of accidents, that distracted driving resulted in 3,166 deaths in 2017, and that drowsy driving resulted in 90,000 accidents and 795 deaths in 2017. Worst of all, speeding claimed the lives of over 10,000 people in 2016.

The U.S. Department of Transportation conducted a study on the use of telematics and safety. They saw a 50% reduction in sudden acceleration, hard braking, and aggressive maneuvering. There was a 33% reduction in speeding in day cabs and a 42% reduction in speeding of sleeper cabs. One of the most widely cited studies is from the SAMOVAR DRIVE project. This study saw a reduction in crashes of 28% with the use of telematics.

Insurance companies use these resources to assess risk and set insurance premiums, but they also use these studies to encourage insurees with GPS insurance discounts. In fact, some insurance companies will pay for you to install telematics systems. It greatly benefits them when your fleet drivers focus on safety but it benefits your fleet company just as much.

After assessing your fleet risks, the next step is integrating telematics with training. Telematics allows you to measure a driver before their training and after to ensure adherence and effectiveness. It also identifies specific problems with a driver’s behavior on the road. Use it to tailor training and adjust training over time. In the past, fleet managers were unaware of driver behavior until an accident or ticket. The only adjustments they could make were through confrontation and corrective action. Telematics equips you and your drivers with another solution. It's a preventative measure that is also more likely to reduce your driver turnaround.

All of that may sound great, but here are specific examples of what you can correct with GPS fleet tracking and telematics systems.

Speeding & Aggressive Driving

GPS fleet trackers monitor speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and much more. This results in wasted gas, more wear on vehicles, and a greater likelihood of accidents. When a fleet manager begins tracking these behaviors, it reduces the chance they’ll occur becasue the act of letting drivers know this behavior is being monitored encourages drivers to stay on their best behavior.

Bad Driving Trends

Telematics systems don’t just inform and record driver behavior in real-time. It also creates reports on individual drivers and assesses trends. Sometimes a single incident of bad behavior won’t register, but a fleet safety management system bolstered with telematics spots recurring trends. It provides predictive analytics and devises training recommendations.

Apply this to driver training and encourage improved driving with incentives and rewards. Since you’re able to track good driving as well, you can reward those who are exemplary. This helps to shift the company culture towards safety and driver satisfaction.

Excessive Time on the Road

GPS has seen impressive improvements over the last few decades. One advantage to that is better routing and reporting. We are now able to see in advance if there is construction or an accident on a planned route. From this, we can draw routes that avoid these delays.

Also, the GPS tracker notifies you of unplanned stops, detours, idle times, and more. This gives you insight into waste incurred from drivers. Again, the simple act of monitoring helps to reduce these instances, but the big draw here is that you’re improving routes—and less time on the road means less room for error.

Emergency Situations

When emergencies happen, it isn’t always the driver’s fault. However, you might not know of the accident if the driver has been injured. Many telematics systems will alert emergency services and fleet managers of incidents so you can know right away and send emergency help, if necessary. You’ll also be able to quickly send another truck to transport goods and avoid delays or dispatch roadside assistance for repairs, fuel, and other needs.

Another thing to consider, is that you’ll know where your drivers are at all times. For instance, a snowstorm damages the vehicle or makes it impossible to continue on. The storm may last for several days or several hours. The vehicle’s heating shuts down with the storm or the driver has no food or water. Before telematics, stranded drivers would essentially be on their own. Even if you sent someone to help them out, you might not know exactly where the driver is. GPS ensures your driver’s safety in any type of emergency.

Maintenance Issues

A vehicle with issues is more likely to break downand more likely to cause accidents, costing you extra money and impacting your bottom line. Keeping up with routine maintenance and focusing on preventative care are the best solutions to keep expenses down. With vehicle fleet telematics, you’re able to monitor oil life, tire pressure, and much more. You can also schedule regular maintenance alerts to ensure you stay up-to-date on battery checks, tire rotations, and the like.

Faulty vehicles cost you money and put your drivers at risk. Avoid this with a fleet telematics system.

Making Improvements to Your Fleet Safety Program

Fleet risk management plans are only effective if standards are thoroughly maintained. Raising the bar is one way to ensure that the changes you make stick. Start slow, and focus on improving one thing. Then raise the bar and make another correction. If you start by achieving a 60% improvement, increase it to 65%, then 70%.

Another approach is to incentivize your drivers. Provide them with rewards for improvements in their driving behavior to incentivize continuous good driving. Some fleet tracking companies provide rewards programs to easily implement the changes because it can be daunting to make changes to a workplace. Some companies encounter pushback in doing so, but incentives help to reduce the impact of these changes. They may even encourage a better work environment.


There are many advantages to building your fleet safety management system with telematics. Safety and compliance are just a portion of the benefits you receive. Learn more about GPS fleet tracking and building a fleet risk management plan at Azuga.

Take a look at related posts.