How Fleet Telematics Improves Driver Safety

8 min

Key Takeaways:

  • Fleet telematics improves driver safety by monitoring all your vehicles in real time, allowing you to promptly identify and correct risky behavior to avert potential accidents.
  • On top of that, telematics ensures your fleet remains in top shape by monitoring your assets’ health in real time and notifying you of any maintenance issues.
  • GoCodes’ real-time GPS trackers keep you informed about your drivers’ whereabouts and driving habits at all times. This allows you to enforce adherence to designated routes and safe driving practices.

For the overwhelming majority of fleet managers, ensuring driver safety is a top priority, and rightly so.

With the right safety strategy in place, you can prevent accidents as well as injuries, and even save lives.

However, protecting the well-being of your drivers can also be a huge challenge.

After all, there are countless potential risks on the road, and there’s only one of you, so it’s impossible to keep tabs on every single vehicle and driver’s behavior at all times.

Or is it?

Enter fleet telematics, a game-changing technology that takes driver safety to whole new heights.

Curious about how? Then read on.

We delve into the advantages of telematics, backed by compelling research and real-world examples illustrating how this technology positively influences drivers’ behavior and enhances their overall safety.

Let’s get started.

Enables Real-Time Vehicle Tracking

Telematics systems enable you to track your vehicles’ GPS locations in real-time, allowing you to promptly identify and rectify risky behavior to avert potential accidents.

It’s no wonder, then, that fleet managers across the board are turning to this technology as their ally in ensuring the safety and well-being of their drivers.

In fact, in a 2022 survey by GPS Insight, a staggering 74% of fleet managers echoed the sentiment, acknowledging the significant impact of GPS fleet tracking on enhancing overall driver safety.

Illustration: GoCodes / Data: GPS Insight

And why wouldn’t they?

With the ability to keep a watchful eye on drivers and vehicles around the clock, you get, put simply, more control over their actions, making sure they navigate the roads with greater care.

For instance, with real-time monitoring, you can immediately detect if a driver deviates from the route and guide them back onto it.

Some systems even issue route deviation alerts directly to drivers, further boosting accountability and encouraging them to take ownership of their behavior and habits.

But that’s not all. This feature proves invaluable in emergencies, too.

Facilitating immediate location identification allows emergency responders to dispatch assistance as quickly as possible.

After all, in situations like these, every second counts.

Now, to enable real-time monitoring, you need to install GPS tracking devices in your vehicles, such as the one made by us at GoCodes, shown in the image below.

Source: GoCodes

Don’t let its size fool you, though.

GoCodes GPS trackers can be quite a game-changer for the safety of your fleet.

Providing minute-by-minute location updates as well as recording vehicle speed, engine hours, acceleration, and hard braking, they keep you informed about your drivers’ whereabouts and driving habits at all times.

Leveraging this data, you can then enforce adherence to designated routes and safe driving practices.

Besides, your drivers can rest easy knowing that someone’s always got their back, ready to swoop in and lend support no matter what challenges arise on the road.

Remember, real-time tracking isn’t just about control.

It’s about providing peace of mind—to fleet managers and drivers alike.

Monitors Driver Behavior

Telematics, however, isn’t just about tracking GPS locations anymore.

Nowadays, there’s a plethora of different sensors and devices that monitor various aspects of driver behavior on the road, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Harsh braking
  • Acceleration
  • Cornering behavior
  • Seatbelt usage
  • Fatigue
  • Lane departure
  • Following distance

Having such rich data at your fingertips can be quite helpful in spotting drivers exhibiting unsafe practices and developing targeted training programs to rectify these behaviors and promote safer driving habits.

This approach certainly proved effective for one Georgia contractor dealing in heavy civil construction projects, reports For Construction Pros.

They outfitted their entire fleet with telematics devices, not just to track their drivers’ movements, but also to evaluate their performance.

Each week, they compile reports with everyone’s scores, and when they notice drivers that underperform, they provide coaching and support, helping them to become better, safer drivers, says the business process manager for the contractor:

“We had one person who was driving a heavier vehicle who had earned an F the previous week. So, we had a serious talk with him. The next week, he went from an F to an A-, so we had a lighter talk with him. ‘You did great last week, we’re all proud of you, keep it up.’We may not have ever known about this driver’s habits without [the telematics system].”

Thus far, the outcomes have been promising.

Not only are the drivers improving, but they’re also making the roads safer for everybody.

This is mostly because each driver receives personalized tips based on their own weak spots.

For instance, if a driver struggles with excessive harsh braking, they are advised to maintain a greater distance from other vehicles to allow for ample braking space.

More often than not, it’s these small adjustments that can make a world of difference.

But here’s the thing: you can only fix what you can measure.

That’s precisely the role of telematics.

By constantly monitoring driving behaviors, this technology helps you identify weaker drivers that would otherwise probably fly under the radar.

Provides Maintenance Alerts

The safety of your drivers isn’t influenced just by their own behavior but also by the condition of the vehicles they operate.

Fortunately, telematics ensures your fleet remains in top shape by monitoring your assets’ health in real time and notifying you of any maintenance issues, such as:

  • Low tire pressure
  • Engine overheating or other engine faults
  • Poor battery health
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Deteriorating brake performance
  • Low fluid levels

This allows you to jumpstart the maintenance process to address these problems long before they escalate and become a danger to your drivers.

Similarly, some solutions also issue alerts when scheduled service is due, ensuring that upkeep tasks and inspections are never overlooked.

gocodes asset maintenance message screenshot
Source: GoCodes

This not only simplifies the maintenance process but also makes sure that it’s done correctly, keeping your vehicles roadworthy and safe for the drivers.

Dr. Law Teik Hua, head associate professor at the Road Safety Research Centre at Universiti Putra in Malaysia, provides a sobering reminder of why staying on top of fleet maintenance is so important.

According to him, inadequate brake upkeep coupled with vehicle overloading is a contributing factor to the rising number of accidents in the country:

“It’s true, I acknowledge that overloaded vehicles and faulty or malfunctioning brakes are the causes of the increased accident cases that have claimed the lives of other road users. I understand that some of them intentionally allow their loads to exceed the limits […] Therefore, when accidents occur, these heavy vehicles require a long distance and time to come to a stop, but due to their lack of maintenance, they contribute to collisions that also involve the lives of other drivers.”

These heavy vehicle operators might feel like maintenance simply isn’t worth the effort or the money, but fail to realize that ignoring it costs far more in the long run.

Telematics solutions with enabled maintenance alerts, however, make this vital task difficult to ignore.

By flagging any risks that could jeopardize your drivers’ safety, these systems empower you to take swift corrective action and keep both your vehicles and your drivers out of harm’s way.

Helps with Route Optimization

Telematics systems with route optimization capabilities significantly improve your drivers’ daily journeys, making them smarter, shorter, and, above all, safer.

How do they do it?

By calculating optimal routes, taking into account various elements, including:

  • Traffic conditions
  • Road work
  • Weather
  • Specific requirements like delivery schedules and time windows

By doing so, these systems enable drivers to reach their destinations as quickly as possible while avoiding potential hazards on the road.

Manual route planning simply can’t hold a candle to the efficiency of telematics.

With so many factors to consider and countless routes to sift through, finding the ideal path all on your own feels like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Automated route optimization, on the other hand, efficiently processes all these variables and calculates the best option within moments.

Moreover, telematics solutions not only preplan routes but also adaptively optimize them in real time as the driver is en route, should the need arise.

So, if plans change or the original route becomes unsafe, the software promptly reroutes the drivers, ensuring a hassle-free and safe trip from start to finish, no matter what.

Brad Anderson, co-owner of OneTwo Stop Portable Sanitation, swears by the power of automated route planning.

Illustration: GoCodes / Quote: Construction Dive

And frankly, it’s not hard to see why. It’s more accurate, efficient, and faster.

When it comes to your drivers’ safety, leaving things to chance simply isn’t an option.

After all, even the most cautious drivers and meticulously maintained vehicles can’t guarantee a hazard-free journey, especially on long and dangerous roads.

Route optimization ensures drivers steer clear of such paths and arrive at their destination in record time, all while minimizing the risks along the way.

Enhances Driver Training

Telematics allows you to tailor feedback and coaching to address each driver’s unique needs and weaknesses, in turn boosting the overall effectiveness of your training efforts.

By closely monitoring individual driving behaviors, these systems identify areas for improvement with precision and give you insight into the best strategies to mitigate risky behavior.

For example, if a driver demonstrates unsafe and reckless cornering by excessively speeding around bends or sharp turns, you may want to consider warning them about the hazards of losing vehicle control at high speeds or the risks of rollover accidents.

Additionally, you’ll probably want to instruct (or remind) them how to better anticipate road conditions, maintain proper lane positioning, or simply reduce speed when entering curves.

John Meola, safety manager at VMS, agrees that it’s the attitude and behavior of drivers that truly shape safety outcomes:

“[…] at the end of the day, the attitude and the sensibility of your employee behind the wheel will determine a lot of outcomes. Basically, if you can make that person a safer driver—more perceptive, more aware, more cautious, more conservative—the extended result is they don’t just leave those traits behind when they get out of the truck. If they are uniformly a safer driver, it will almost always translate into a safer worker on the jobsite.”

Therefore, it stands to reason that having the ability to correct or enhance those behaviors directly translates to better safety results across the board.

This is where telematics comes in.

It guides decision-making regarding how to approach each driver’s training by pinpointing exactly where they shine and where they might need a little extra polish.

Fleet managers across various industries also seem to agree that focusing on drivers is, indeed, the right course of action in this context.

A report from Motive highlights that driver-oriented initiatives, such as driver safety scoring and benchmarking, incentive programs, and coaching, are prevalent among fleet managers aiming to improve safety standards.

Illustration: GoCodes / Data: Motive

At the end of the day, there’s no doubt that training plays a major role in fostering safer driving habits.

But what truly improves the efficacy of training is leveraging telematics data to craft personalized coaching experiences, thereby making sure your drivers not only learn but thrive behind the wheel.

Conclusion

Overall, if you’re considering implementing telematics technology to boost safety, it’s crucial to communicate to your team that this transition isn’t about simply catching them making a mistake or micromanaging their every move.

The purpose of this technology isn’t control, but proactively identifying potential risks and nipping them in the bud.

And telematics really excels in this regard, efficiently detecting and neutralizing risky behaviors, ensuring your vehicles remain road-worthy, and guiding your drivers along the safest routes.

With such a dependable ally on board, who wouldn’t feel more confident hitting the road?

About GoCodes

GoCodes is the industry leader in tool tracking. We provide customers with the ultimate single vendor solution that includes cloud-based software, top-rated smartphone scanner apps and rugged QR code tags.

We pride ourselves on delivering a personalized service, cutting-edge technology and software that is easily used by your entire team.

GoCodes ensures our customers achieve success in their tool management projects every time.

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