Ananth Rani is president and co-founder of Azuga, a next-generation fleet telematics solution that significantly improves driver efficiency and safety at an affordable price. He was previously the cofounder of Xora, (acquired by Click Software), a leading player in mobile workforce management.
President and co-founder of Azuga
The focus on driver safety is becoming more prominent across fleets of all types and sizes due to not only the risks, but also the astronomical costs associated with it.
On average, on-the-job vehicle accidents can cost an employer more than $24,000. Even worse, if the crash results in an injury, this cost can increase to over $125,000. By fostering a culture of safety across fleets and educating employees on how to practice safe driving behaviors, these crashes are preventable.
Recently, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), hosted the Drive Safely Work Week campaign that brought awareness to distracted driving and reckless driving. According to NETS executive director Joseph McKillips, “Employers have the opportunity to play an important role in reversing the recent increase in traffic fatalities.” However, that’s easier said than done, as consequence-based warnings by employers elicit little response and employees resent command and control methods of legacy GPS fleet tracking systems.
Implementing a rewards-driven telematics solution offers a refreshing and innovative approach to GPS tracking that makes safe driving a fundamental part of fleet management. With a fully integrated telematics technology in place, managers will see endless benefits for their fleets. For example, distracted driving prevention technology allows managers to monitor and prevent mobile device usage while driving. Additionally, gamification-based rewards programs incentivize and motivate drivers to practice safe driving behaviors. Both of these tools combined allow fleet managers to monitor, manage, control and reward employees into adopting safe driving habits. These tools also positively impact the bottom line through operational efficiencies and savings.
FOUR STEPS FOR SAFETY SUCCESS
Through the step-by-step guide below, fleet managers can implement the perfect combination of safe driving and driver rewards initiatives.
STEP 1: PREVENT DISTRACTED DRIVING
Make sure company policies on mobile device use are clear and consider having employees sign a distracted driving policy to drive home its importance. To boost compliance, look for technologies that help monitor and disable functions on drivers’ mobile devices anytime their vehicle is in motion.
STEP 2: IDENTIFY COMPLIANCE WITH POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Speeding is the primary cause of accidents and elicits higher fuel costs, fines, insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs if a collision occurs. Understanding which drivers have a tendency to exceed posted speed limits is crucial to understanding hidden risks. Businesses are much better off preventing violations, public reports and accidents rather than reacting to them.
STEP 3: USE DRIVER SCORES TO MAKE SURE WORKERS KNOW HOW THEY DRIVE
When something is measured, it tends to improve (this is called the Marshall Effect). By sharing details with the management team on drivers’ specific behaviors that increase risk—like speeding, hard starts and hard braking—drivers build an awareness of aggressive driving that otherwise wouldn’t be there. In many cases, workers are surprised by this data. Using scores to compare workers’ performance against all of their peers is a powerful way to recognize good habits and deter bad ones.
STEP 4: INITIATE REWARDS TO PROMOTE DESIRED DRIVING BEHAVIOR AND BOOST CULTURE
Eighty-five percent of employees feel motivated to perform at their best when incentives are tied to their performance. Using rewards directly related to driving behavior will help to transform company culture from a “gotcha” approach of management to one that gets the team fired up about being recognized for doing things the right way in front of their peers. This is a great way to positively enhance culture, building a tangible sense of camaraderie and competition among team members to win points and rewards.
Using these steps, practicing safe driving eventually becomes an intrinsic part of employees’ daily workflow, and in the long haul the roads will become much safer too.