As companies look to improve safety measures, much attention is being focused on fleet safety and driver behavior. Telematics has received lots of buzz in recent years. Considering the numerous ways telematics can enhance fleet safety programs, it’s no surprise.
The biggest benefits of telematics? Fleet owners can improve overall safety while reducing employee exposures and injuries. The benefits don’t stop there, though. The data received from telematics devices also can be used to improve fleet performance and reduce operational costs.
How it works
Telematics utilizes a vehicle’s built-in diagnostic software and a simple-to-install GPS tracking device to monitor driver behavior and vehicle location. Through a web-based software program, businesses can monitor the location and movement of vehicles in real-time to improve fleet operation. These systems can track many things, including:
- Hard braking
- Rapid acceleration
- Number of miles driven
- Time of day driven
Is telematics right for your fleet?
Telematics must be used properly to see results. The technology itself does not improve driver behavior — it’s how businesses use the data collected by fleet management systems. Therefore, companies that are committed to not only monitoring driver data, but acting based on the results, may benefit from telematics.
Speaking from experience
Since 2016, Amerisure’s telematics program has served as the foundation for many organizations’ fleet safety programs. Through the years, Amerisure has collected performance data and surveyed customers to understand the critical elements of a loss-reducing telematics program. The following are 10 best practices for new and established telematics program participants to consider:
- The program should be administered at the senior officer or owner level.
- There should be a designated telematics program manager who spends approximately 20 percent of working hours managing the program and analyzing the results.
- Know your benchmark, determine a goal or objective, then regularly monitor data and make adjustments to achieve the objective.
- Use benchmarks to determine three to five data categories to improve on. Additional data points can be included for later monitoring or measurement, but only a handful of metrics should be focused on at a time.
- Over the course of the year, monitor all safety events to adapt to changing pace and results.
- Fixed and maximum speeding should be the foremost focus of any new program.
- Check telematics reports and results at least once per week.
- Individual telematics reports and results are best communicated to employees in one-on-one discussions at least once per week.
- Companywide results should be presented in departmental, divisional and company meetings either monthly or quarterly.
- Organizations that have a discipline or incentives associated with their telematics program usually see behavioral changes more quickly.
Creating an effective telematics program can be challenging. Some of the most common challenges include initial installation issues (e.g. time, accuracy and coordination), and employee culture or willingness to buy in to the program. However, implementing these 10 best practices can alleviate some of these challenges — enabling you to reap the benefits of a successful telematics program.
Telematics is a powerful tool to help maximize the safety and efficiency of a fleet of vehicles, but it isn’t the only tool companies should consider implementing. At Amerisure, we offer our commercial automobile policyholders the opportunity to sign up for our FleetAlliance® program, which includes a robust lineup of driver safety tools, such as: dash cams, cellphone blocking technology and driver behavioral assessments. To learn more about telematics, or other fleet safety strategies, please visit www.amerisure.com.