Drivers and vehicles are both vital assets when operating a fleet-based business. Your customer’s orders need to be delivered, passengers need to be transported and goods need to get from point A to B in the shortest amount of time. For this reason, telematics data can really help you improve your transportation network, in addition to helping you reduce the number of accidents your drivers and fleet of vehicles are involved in.

The importance of a reliable fleet insurance broker

Having a vehicle in your fleet involved in an accident doesn’t only affect your company, it also affects other areas too. For example, a third-party vehicle and public or private property may also be damaged. Therefore, it’s important to contact a number of fleet insurance brokers or use an online comparison site to get fleet cover that meets your business needs. A comprehensive policy will provide a lot more cover than a standard third party only policy.

In the event that an incident does take place, the two main factors for this are driver behaviour or mechanical failure. Fleet owners and managers are responsible for the conduct of their employees as well as vehicle maintenance. Cars and vans can easily be serviced regularly, but you’ll need a different approach to monitoring your driver’s responsibility.

Telematics Technology for business fleets

This is where a telematics policy comes in handy. This technology has been around for many years, and the software is used in a bunch of GPS applications to help drivers navigate roads. Fleet managers and owners can also track their vehicles in real-time too. Where telematics data really sets itself apart is being able to capture a number of different data types. This allows operators new ways to gain valuable insights into how their drivers behave when behind the wheel.

The latest technology can gather a wealth of data about a driver’s actions and reactions when he/she is out on the open road. Idling, speeding and heavy braking are just a few prime examples that are looked at. Without a telematics device, this information would be unattainable. Insurers also offer telematics cover, sometimes referred to as ‘black box insurance’. This can help businesses reduce their fleet insurance costs as a number of risk factors will be assessed.

80% of accidents that occur each year on UK roads are down to a driver fault, this is according to data from the Department of Transport. These are accidents that could have been avoided if the driver behind the wheel followed road safety guidelines.

This is where telematics data can really deliver a game-changer. Fleet managers can understand where risks are likely to happen by monitoring the driver’s behaviour. Employees that regularly demonstrate unsafe behaviour behind the wheel are more likely to cause an accident.

Employing responsible drivers for your business

Ensuring an employee has a clean driving license isn’t always enough. Fleet managers now have to be a lot more proactive and take the necessary precautions to protect their assets and the general public from reckless driving. Those who do take risks on the road can be educated through awareness courses by their employer. Telematics data ensures there is a level of accountability on the driver’s part. The operator will be able to see what his/her employee is doing when going from one location to the next.

As we’ve discussed above, telematics data doesn’t just provide GPS tracking. These advanced systems can monitor acceleration, deceleration, continuous sharp braking, speed violations and even use of a mobile phone whilst the vehicle is moving. This information can help you reduce the number of accidents that could have been prevented. It also ensures drivers are kept safe, including others around them on the road, through encouraging safer driving.

When we use the word ‘preventable’, we understand that not all fleet accidents will be eliminated through telematics monitoring. However, keeping everyone safe should be a top responsibility. Equally, many drivers are happy to use this new technology, as this gives them a chance to demonstrate their excellent driving and road safety.

Organisations that implement telematics aren’t just experiencing a lower number of incidents among their fleet, overall efficiency has also improved. Vehicle maintenance and fuel consumption have benefited.

Ultimately, any organisation that uses this technology will need to establish its own driving policy for employees and enforce it when required to do so. The data can be comprehensive but is only useful if you can take action. Drivers must be held accountable for their actions, similar to any other job. Consequences must be clear and repeat offenders must not be allowed to continue, as they’re putting themselves and others at risk. It’s also a good idea to reward responsible driving behaviour too. This will create a positive work environment and boost morale.

By now, it should be clear that telematics offers a number of advantages; it keeps everyone safe, cuts cost and improves efficiency.