Risk & Business Magazine Nesbit Agencies Fall 2021 - Page 12



High-Tech Fleet Safety

F leet safety programs have been around since , well , the beginning of automotive fleets . There have been a lot of changes since the beginning , but things are now speeding up much faster than they were before . New technology has changed the face of fleet safety in much the same way that it has changed nearly every other industry . Now , there is an entire industry lifecycle which is primarily devoted to the behavior of drivers and the improvement of safety .

Even just a decade ago , the entirety of telematics consisted of a device being placed in a vehicle which tracked the behavior of the driver of that vehicle . Data would be collected and their driving habits could then be reviewed by fleet managers with an eye for how it could be improved . Often , action would be taken to address problem areas , but the analytics were not in line with the improvements being made in technology .
Modern telematics is rapidly becoming essential to fleet safety programs . Tracking multiple data points over a variety of situations and through multiple devices allows in-depth improvement programs to be put in place . For example , data can get so detailed that it can point to which segments of a given road a driver is having trouble with . At that point , companies can decide what programs to utilize for improvement of driver activity .
These systems are also taking in information from other sources and fusing it with the driver data for an everincreasing level of specificity . Often , information can be pulled from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA ) and state and federal regulations into the same dashboard that the driver data is being pulled into . This means that driver infractions that may not show up in the telemetry from the vehicle itself may be pulled in from other databases to give a more complete view of what is going on .
Additionally , factors can be revealed that are somehow impacting safety programs without managers being aware of them . One of these factors could even be where the driving is taking place . It may seem obvious but driving 100 miles in New York
City and driving 100 miles in rural West Virginia are two experiences which could not be more different . Companies can utilize geographic data to help track new routes , road and traffic conditions , or even the times of day in an effort to find the optimal safe driving conditions for the fleet or for individual drivers .
Once data has been analyzed , more purposeful training programs can be put in place as a form of corrective action ( if necessary ). The middle portion of the safety improvement lifecycle is a combination of preventative training and training based primarily on predictive modeling . New hires would go through some courses to train on the specific vehicles that they would be operating and to learn the risks they may face on the job . Existing drivers in the fleet would receive training which is based on what telemetric data is telling the managers about what those drivers may need .
Since these types of programs have been implemented across the country , incident rates have seen dramatic improvement . In some cases , that improvement is up to 30 %.