Three Reasons Why Driver Monitoring Solution Is A Must For Fleets

Date: September 7, 2020

Author: Anchal Pandey

  1. Enhances Safety
    1. Aggressive Driving
    2. CSA Scores
  2. Reduced Insurance Costs
  3. Review Driver Performance
  4. Real-time Alerts
  5. Driver ID
  6. Conclusion

Chasing scenes in action movies are the best!

Car Chase

Fig 1.  Chasing a car

Watching the protagonist chase a villain on a highway at high speed might give us the adrenaline rush, but it is not good for a fleet.

If you want your fleet to be efficient, then the first step is to ensure that the drivers are not engaging in such risky behavior and are completely focused on what they should. 

But how can you monitor the driver’s behavior while being miles away from them? 

By using Driver Monitoring System

Should you consider it for your fleet? How can you use it to increase your productivity

There is a reason why many fleets decide to install DMS in the vehicles. Driver monitoring solution is mandated by law. Therefore, companies have to make sure that the drivers are complying with working hours legislation.

Euro NCAP has already addressed the need for driver and vehicle protection by making driver attention monitoring a standard safety feature. 

In the US, SAFE Act requires the Department of Transportation to analyse how driver monitoring systems can prevent distraction, driver engagement, automation complacency and the foreseeable misuse of advanced driver assistance systems. 

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from driving. Every day about 8 people in the United States are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. There are three main types of distracted driving:

  1. Visual: takes eyes off the road
  2. Manual: Takes hands off the road
  3. Cognitive: Takes mind off the road

Texting while driving tops it all since it includes all 3 types of driving distraction. As per NHTSA, sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, it is equal to driving the length of football field with eyes closed.

Therefore, the SAFE Act legislation requires rulemaking to mandate the installation of driver monitoring solution in the vehicles based on study’s results.

This is not it. There are more reasons to install this must-have technology.

1. Enhances Safety

Driving is dangerous. But poor driving is even more. 

In this section we will focus on aggressive driving and how can we eradicate this issue to achieve the right CSA score

1. Aggressive Driving

The root cause of majority of issues is aggressive driving. Apart from the obvious reasons, it burns more fuel, increases wear-and-tear, damages company’s reputation, violates the law and can lead to higher insurance rates and premiums. 

Although most of us know what aggressive driving costs, it is still one of the main financial leaks for the fleets.

How to tackle aggressive driving?

A safety culture can be inculcated that has detailed policies for reducing aggressive driver behavior and workforce management. Driver scorecards and benchmarks can show the drivers where they stand in the terms of safety and can help in ranking them amongst others. 

If the drivers know about the system installed to improve their performance, then they will be more prudent, more alert.

2. CSA Scores 

Individual drivers can also see the benefit in improving their driving records in relation to the PSP scores.

As you know, CSA scores are critical to the success of a carrier. 

When managed well, a CSA score can help carriers get access to preferred loads and even reduce insurance rates. So, an improved PSP report and a good team of safe drivers can hugely impact the CSA scores for a carrier. 

FMCSA rates the carriers based on the CSA scores. A high score can lead the fleet to receive warning or maybe forced to join intervention programs. 

When the fleets invest in making a safety culture, the chance of happening such incident reduces and saves the business from these troubles. 

By using the data from driver monitoring system, managers can carefully point out the weak spots of the driver. It encourages safe driving habits and alerts the driver if they are not attentive towards driving. 

The management can also enlighten the drivers about the safety culture and what you consider unacceptable driving practices. They can offer a combination of both behind-the-wheel and online training. 

The training can be refreshed on an ongoing basis as per their past records!

Distracted driver

Fig 2. Driver Distraction can cause accidents

2. Reduced Insurance Costs

Bad driving habits might result in costly affairs such as:

  1. Downtime Cost: Vehicle downtimes unless the required repairs are done. Downtime mitigation is the key to keep a fleet up and running.
  2. Accidents: According to NHTSA, Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. 

Driver monitoring can help avoid such accidents by detecting drowsy and distracted drivers and leads to huge savings! Better fleet and driver utilization can help in fulfilling customer demands and thus improve your services. 

Harsh braking and sudden acceleration can cause wear and tear on vehicles. A team of good drivers is always helpful in reducing such operating expenses. 

3. Review Driver performance

Prior to DMS technology, there was no way to monitor driver’s actions or road conditions. But now in-cabin videos are considered to be very useful in getting a holistic picture of drowsiness and distraction events.

By looking at the driver’s previous performance, the management can check where the driver was driving safely, which can be awarded and where the driver was showing unsafe driving behavior that can be trained. 

Driving events captured in the video can be helpful in highlighting unsafe events.

Analysis of driver behaviour

Fig 3. Driver Behavioral Analysis can improve fleet efficiency

This information can be used to decide what works for the driving program and what doesn’t. 

It can lead to lesser collision, efficient driver behavior and higher fleet productivity. There is a scarcity of good drivers in the industry. With better training and appreciation, drivers will enjoy their work more and stick to the company for a longer duration. Fortunately, we already have such a product. 

PathPartner DMS can also be used to check if the collisions were not caused by your driver and avoid false insurance claims. If you want to know more about PathPartner Driver Monitoring System then send us a mail on marcom@pathpartnertech.com.

4. Real-time alerts 

This alerts the driver in real time and also gives driver-related information in real-time so that you are aware of what is going on in the vehicles. This way, you stay updated every step of the way and also there is no delay in delivery. 

You will be able to align with the customer’s needs and there will be no loss of clients. It might happen that old clients who had bad experiences might come back as they come to know about your great service. They might, as a result, recommend your brand to their friends and family!

And what’s better than a satisfied and happy client base? 

Also, the real-time data can help the management to respond to any emergency or accident on the road. This way, they can assess, the situation, and send help if needed. This will help the fleet to avoid emergency situations.

5. Driver ID

It’s not always easy to keep track of who is operating which vehicle. Driver monitoring solution can identify the driver and offer additional insight about their behaviour. Moreover, the seat belt alerts will make sure that the drivers are putting on the seat belts and alert them if they are not used.

6. Conclusion

Here is how you can take care of your company’s two most important assets i.e. drivers and vehicles. 

You can easily use driver monitoring system for the wellbeing of the driver. The drivers might not be happy after finding out that you are going to install a DMS. 

To solve this problem, gamification and rewarding system can be added. The management can explain why safe driving and DMS installation is important to both driver and the company.

Try to keep the lines of communication open.

Once drivers realize that monitoring can be beneficial to them and it is for their own wellbeing. They will be glad to show good behavior and earn good point for it. It will improve driver retention rate.

For long haul truckers, the vehicle is more than a work environment for them. Its their home away from home. This is where they live and rest on the road. 

They might feel that their privacy is affected due to the camera installation. Although the camera only records driver distraction and drowsiness events, to make the drivers more comfortable with the setup, companies can make rules on who can view and access the videos. 

With clear rules in place, the privacy and comfort of the drivers can be assured.

The management can also promote drivers to take breaks at regular intervals or 20-minute naps at a safe place like a rest stop. 

The drivers can take caffeine if they can’t stop or rest. Establishing healthy sleeping habits like 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night will also reduce drowsiness events.

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