Know the benefits of a driver behaviour monitoring system
This article is all about what you can do to empower your drivers and improve driving behaviour in your fleet – all of which give numerous business benefits you can’t overlook.
On top of that, you will discover some factors that affect driver behaviour and driver assessments that can assist you in ensuring you hire the right drivers.
What is driver behaviour?
Driver behaviour can be defined as the actions a driver performs while operating a motor vehicle. It’s essentially driving methods and a driver’s characteristics, either intentional or unintentional. Typically, driver behaviour is characterised on a spectrum from normal to risky and aggressive.
If you are a fleet manager, it’s useful to understand the factors that can influence your driver’s driving methods, as they can affect your driver’s ability to assess risk and make decisions on the road.
Take a look at some pointers:
Factors that affect driver behaviour
Distractions: Any action that takes your driver's eyes off the road is considered a distraction. A common distraction is the use of smartphones for text messages and calls while driving.
Reckless driving: Actions such as speeding, going through a traffic light, changing lanes without indicating, or driving too fast can put other road users at risk, all of which is considered reckless driving.
Fatigue: Apart from the actual dangers of falling asleep on the roads, even a tired driver may have slower reaction times than an alert driver, making it more difficult to respond to sudden road hazards.
Age and experience: There is a weight of evidence that proves that age and experience have effects on crash risk. For example, studies consistently found that teenage drivers had dramatically higher crash rates than older drivers, particularly drivers older than 25.
Driving under the influence: Drunk driving causes nearly half of all fatal accidents and numerous crash injuries every year. In South Africa, 50% of all accidents that occur on the roads involve a member who is over the legal alcohol limit. However, alcohol is not the only substance that can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. Prescription medications, illegal narcotics, and over-the-counter medicines can all cause confusion, drowsiness, and poor decision-making.
Now that you understand the factors that influence driver behaviour, there’s more you can do to ensure you hire the right drivers for your fleet.
Assessing a driver's abilities and attitudes to driving can significantly help the employee and employer. The qualities of a good driver are derived from attitude, skills, and knowledge.
You can consider conducting driver assessments to analyse behaviour and attitude together, after all, they are interconnected.
Here are some, so you can understand your drivers before they hit the road.
Types of driver behaviour assessments
The driver behaviour questionnaire (DBQ)
Drivers are asked questions about how they drive daily, and can indicate on a scale (0 = never and 5 = nearly all the time) how often they performed each driving behaviour on the list.
Attitudes toward traffic safety scale (ATTS)
Here they asked questions about their views on road safety, which will give a fleet manager an idea about their behaviour and how they approach traffic laws.
Driver behaviour transactional analysis (TA)
This test will help you understand how your drivers react under pressure, and their working styles. This model will help you find out information about how they organise their work and time and communicate with each other.
6 ways to improve driver behaviour and safety
Establish safety policies
Companies should create policies, procedures and safety expectations for drivers to follow. These should be signed by managers and drivers and reviewed regularly to show how committed your company is to reducing traffic-related crashes, injuries, and death. And these policies can be shown to drivers during training sessions, for example, your no-distraction policy.
Check driver records
Check driving records and history before bringing new drivers on board. You can filter out those with poor driving history, to avoid future incidents.
The best way to instil safe driving methods is to educate your drivers on safety protocol. Show them the consequences of risky driving behaviour, over-speeding, distracted driving, and more. You could also send them on a driver behaviour course to better equip them.
Motivate your drivers
Training your drivers will motivate and encourage them to perform better, as it creates a space for growth and to develop their skills. Empower your employees with the right set of values for success, creating positive practice.
You could also create incentive programs where they are rewarded for driving well, to enhance their good driving habits.
Actionable data from a fleet management platform can be used to show your drivers the best way to drive. For example, you can pick up if one driver is idling more than others, and then you can let these drivers know. If others are following safe driving procedures, this can help motivate other drivers to reach that level too.
If your vehicles are maintained well, you’ll have a safer fleet overall. They will run better where you can prevent road accidents and protect your drivers. In real time, you can get alerts if there are any engine faults, worn brake pads, oil and water fluctuation, and other diagnostics, so you know when you need to service your vehicles.
Use vehicle telematics software
Use the smart data from a fleet management platform to get the insights about driving behaviours and methods you need. You’ll be able to pick up events such as speeding and harsh braking, and put systems in place to stop these incidents in their tracks.
Here’s more on how telematics software can help you monitor the drivers in your fleet.
How to improve driver behaviour through a fleet telematics management platform
As we know, there is a benefit in identifying unsafe driving methods. Insurance companies always look for ways to reduce insurance claims and road accidents by monitoring safe driving habits on South African roads.
We also know that safe driving impacts the longevity of a fleet and can help cut costs.
Here’s how a fleet platform can help you improve driver behaviour:
Driver behaviour reports
Get driver scorecard data reports from a fleet platform and get the driver insights you need to pick up idling, aggressive driving, speeding, and more – all of which are costly to a fleet.
Also get detailed reports for each behaviour. Say for instance, speeding is an ongoing trend with one of your drivers, then pull up a detailed speeding analysis. It could have detailed locations, duration and distance travelled over maximum speed limits, so you can get the full picture of a speeding incident. Or maybe your fuel costs spiked, get an excessive idling report to see if this is the cause.
On-demand trip reports can also be retrieved if you want to analyse and compare all your vehicles, and the drivers using those vehicles.
These reports will help fleet managers take real-time measures to mitigate issues.
Driver behaviour alerts and reminders
With all the daily tasks a fleet manager faces, a fleet platform will help with its alerts and reminder features. Managers can customise driver behaviour alerts and receive the info they feel is necessary. So they can create a trigger alert for when the ignition is on and off, and choose where they want the alert to go, i.e. email. Or get alerts in real-time when safety rules aren’t followed, and correct this immediately.
Drivers can get preventative in-cabin alerts in real-time too, so they know when they are breaking the rules of the road or safety violations. For instance, if they are not leaving a proper distance from the other vehicle. Also create reminders for certain events, so for example, maybe you want to be reminded to check a certain route a driver is taking, to see if speeding persists.
Get up to eight internal or external cameras to help keep your drivers, fleet, and cargo safe. These cameras can pick up all sorts of detection including front collision warnings, smoke detection, distracted driving, yawning, and more. Smart In-cabin screens keep your drivers safe and they can get visibility of their blind spots, and the cameras alert them in real-time of any dangers or issues. With the footage, you’ll also be able to protect drivers from false accident claims. In the event of poor driving, fleet managers can also use the footage to bring up the incident with the driver in question.
Benefits of improving driver behaviour monitoring system