November 16, 2015
A few weeks ago we received information that a vehicle from one of our enterprise customer’s fleet was involved in a major accident. The driver managed to get away with non-life threatening injuries, but the vehicle was deemed a total loss. On checking the driver’s past history of driving from our database, we weren’t too surprised to find that the average quarterly driving score (Azuga’s Enhanced Driver Scores) was in the low 50s and he ranked among the bottom 12 percent of about 1000 drivers. The scores, being averaged over a 90-day period, indicated that the driver was consistently engaging in risky behavior. In particular, braking scores were in the mid 30s and acceleration scores in the mid 50s. Other incidents reported from other large fleets also showed similar correspondence between quarterly driver scores and accidents. Managers see this data and often wish they had taken action sooner by addressing the issues with the driver. Through actionable data and gamification that Azuga Fleet provides, managers can avoid the expenses, inefficiencies and dangers that result from risky, careless driving. This also helps to alter their management style from “gotcha” to “great job” effortlessly, helping to retain and motivate team members to drive safe.
The individual component scores of braking, speeding, acceleration and idling are computed and weighted to form a composite average that makes up the ‘Driver Score’. While this driver score is not a predictor of accidents, it provides a good indication of the risk associated with a particular driver and the need for corrective measures to mitigate these risks. With the help of our data science team and insurance industry expert team the highly robust driver scoring algorithm also now factors in duration, magnitude and frequency of speeding, braking, distracted driving, acceleration and idling events along with time and weather conditions of these events. These factors are known predictors of crash events and are used by the insurance industry to evaluate risk.
For example, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) recently reported that 25% of speeding related, large-truck fatalities occurred during adverse weather conditions. When it first starts to rain, the oil on the road mixes with water to form a particularly slippery surface. It is recommended that speeds be reduced on wet roads by as much as a third, and overspeeding during these conditions can increase the risk of a crash significantly. Azuga’s Enhanced Driver Score factors in weather conditions during overspeeding (as well as braking and acceleration) events and represents this as a single easy-to-understand metric.
Apart from the need to ensure fleet safety from a compliance perspective, the costs associated with motor vehicle crashes makes for a strong case to make safe driving an integral part of business culture. The total costs related to an accident goes beyond just asset loss (property damage) and extends to lost productivity, medical care and legal costs. According to a white paper prepared by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) the total costs for crash events are estimated at:
In addition, hard braking, overspeeding, hard acceleration and idling events all increase fuel consumption, which can tack on even more to the bottom line.
Given the high costs associated with crashes, it is clear that safe driving behaviors directly affect the bottom line and should be recognized as such. Positive results are realized when driving performance is incorporated into the overall evaluation of job performance. Reward and incentive programs typically involve recognition, monetary rewards, special privileges or the use of incentives to motivate the achievement of a predetermined goal. Companies are gradually realizing that ‘gamification’ – the process by which natural human tendencies are harnessed to work towards a rewards-based goal – provides a means of healthy competition that enhances and reinforces positive behavioral change. These desired use patterns emerging from intrinsically ‘gameful’ experiences can be a powerful motivating force to improve driving behavior among fleet drivers.
Azuga’s mobile app for fleet drivers is a paradigm shift towards reframing incentives and getting fleet drivers to change their behavior. With this mobile app, drivers are able to compare their driver scores with other fleet drivers on a leaderboard. Since these scores are based on events carried out by the driver, it becomes easy for a driver to understand that he or she would have to reduce such events in order to improve driving scores and be within range of his or her peers. Azuga’s platform also enables fleet managers to reward drivers with gift cards sent from the web app to a driver’s mobile app. Such incentives further encourage drivers to perform better by driving safer. The fleet tracking app, through its Gamification and GPS fleet tracking features, offers a novel way of improving fleet safety with high ROI as a result.
Do get in touch to learn what it can do for your fleet and for quotes and demonstrations.