This is the first blog in a series on telematics, and how understanding data from your collection vehicles can boost your business.
The series will include articles on:
- Vehicle safety
- Cost management
- Driver debrief
- Telematics future.
In this first piece, I am going to look at vehicle safety and how telematics can make your fleet safer for both drivers and the public.
Telematics provides data from the vehicle giving feedback on everything from the driving style of the driver, the hours the driver has been working, how often breaks are taken, and efficiency and maintenance requirements of the vehicle.
Safety of the driver
As telematics devices provide feedback to depot managers and planners, it provides a valuable tool when it comes to driver safety.
Typically, drivers are subject to regulation on how much driving time they are permitted to do, and the telematics devices will feedback on whether the driver has exceeded their permitted driving time, or has not taken enough breaks.
A tired driver is more likely to make mistakes and could get themselves involved in accidents if they work more than they should. Indeed, evidence shows that reaction times for tired drivers are slower, meaning their ability to maneuver to avoid or mitigate a crash is reduced.
This is especially important when drivers are working early or late shifts, or particularly at night when tiredness becomes an even bigger factor.
If drivers get involved in accidents, telematics also provides evidence of who was at fault and can be used for insurance claims or if necessary for the police.
Telematics also provides information on the condition of the vehicle, enabling maintenance to take place when it should or identify faults. This can help to prevent critical failures on brakes and engines that could cause harm to drivers and crews.
Safety of the public
Ideally, vehicle drivers are responsible and take appropriate care when at the wheel. According to the World Health Organization, excessive speed contributes to 30% of fatalities on the road in high-income countries.
But on many routes, there can be stop/start conditions followed by long stretches back to the depot or to the next customer.
These differing driving conditions can mean less attention is paid by the driver and risks other road users or pedestrians.
For example, if the data shows the driver has been accelerating too quickly, braking too harshly or driving above speed limits, then this can be addressed by showing the driver the evidence and working with them to drive more safely through training. If it becomes a recurring pattern, then disciplinary action can be taken backed by evidence.
Additionally, smoother acceleration and braking, plus driving at speed limits is more efficient helping to make fuel and emissions savings from the vehicle.
Fostering a strong health and safety culture provides benefits to the business.
If health and safety are embedded into a hauler’s operations, drivers feel more compelled to follow the protocols and believe they are working for a company that wants to look after them.
Managers and controllers can use telematics to assess not only individual performance but how they are doing across the fleet. Worrying trends can be identified and rectified.
In circumstances where disruptions do occur, telematics gives real-time visibility and when used in conjunction with software such as the AMCS Platform and Mobile solutions, gives the opportunity to adjust routes so customers remain served. Indeed, minimizing accidents also means more time for vehicles and drivers on the road, leading to better customer service.
Good health and safety procedures also mean Injury and sickness time is reduced from drivers operating their vehicles in a controlled manner. Additionally, this means other drivers are used in a more efficient manner and aren’t stretched by needing to take on routes from others.
In my next blog, I’ll look at why telematics can make a big difference in reducing all transport costs incurred by your business, and how our AMCS Telematics solution can help.
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