Top Fleet’s Best Practices
You have probably figured out by now that by tracking the right driver behaviors, you can optimize performance, reduce accidents, and become an industry leader in safety. The use of safety scorecards or automated machine learning have changed the game. For those safety managers out there using manual scorecarding, you might be missing out on some key metrics that the machine learning watch lists are looking at. There are hundreds of key metrics that can help predict unsafe drivers, but the 5 that are scorecard must-haves include:
1. Speeding Incidents
Your telematics alerts are going off daily with speeding incidents. Sometimes there are false positives and where do you begin to start analyzing (and when for that matter with everything else going on)?
The truth of it is, although extremely common, speeding is a factor in nearly one-third of fatal crashes. To truly prevent accidents, a fleet needs to factor speeding occurrences into their scoring. If you have issues with false positives and incorrect speeding data, you’ll need to find a solution to standardize that data to ensure you’re accurately tracking important speeding incidents.
2. Hard Braking
Yes, harsh acceleration is a tell tale sign of “lead foot syndrome” and aggressive driving, but fleets not analyzing hard braking on their scorecards are missing out on some key data. While hard-braking can be mistaken for the occasional accident-avoidance; it’s most commonly associated with tailgating.
Virtually, any sign of aggressive driving should bear some weight in your scoring, especially hard braking.
3. Corner Handling Incidents
Corner handling can be an enormous indicator of a dangerous driver on the road. Slow speed and high speed incidents on corners are signs of not only reckless driving, but distracted driving. Drivers involved in one or more accidents are around 6.5 times more likely to have been exhibiting aggressive driving behaviors preceding their accidents.
The signs shouldn’t be ignored, and corner handling is a key metric most fleets are capturing with a standard telematics tools.
4. HR Incidents
A driver gets into an argument with a coworker. The same driver got a verbal warning for misbehaving on the docks, but the only occurrence that hurt his manually-accounted safety score was his minor backing accident the week prior.
Without the HR incidents included, a fleet safety manager would have never realized from a scorecard that this driver could be distracted due to issues at home and is in need of intervention. Unsafe driver habits aren’t only exhibited behind the wheel, and tracking all signs can be the difference between an early intervention and a serious, expensive accident.
5. Internal accidents & incidents
If you aren’t logging and tracking minor accidents and incidents involving your drivers, regardless of if they’re DOT recordable or not, you need to put a system in place. Tracking and logging minor incidents, when combined with other leading indicators, is critical to assessing driver risk.
These events during a short period of time are tell-tale signs of future accidents in the making. Sure, you’re already tracking bad behaviors that a driver was caught for (inspection violations, DOT recordable accidents, speeding citations, etc) but what matters even more are the bad behaviors that weren’t caught. If a driver has a clean MVA and four backup accidents, three customer complaints, and an internal cell phone use observation, would you consider that driver at the top of their game?
You can’t rely on only the events that drivers are official caught for to understand their risk profile. You need to see the complete 360 degree view of their behavior, and this involves implementing a system that accurate tracks and manages these events.
Fix This Now: Limited Communication Touchpoints
When was the last time you reached out to a driver on any given day? Yes, this red flag actually falls on you, the safety team. When was the last time you touched base with a driver recently on the watchlist? Even small verbal warnings about minor issues can make a driver more alert of their behaviors and open the door for them to share any potential issues.
On the same note, have you reached out lately to your best drivers? Tracking your touchpoints a little more carefully can not only prevent accidents, but can help drivers see they are appreciated for their good behaviors and also help prevent driver turnover.
Data Backed Solutions
Combined with a solid fleet safety program in place, scorecarding is a must for any fleet that wants to improve their safety. To help automate the collection of data, many fleet businesses adopt hardware and software tools that track and transmit this information wirelessly to a connected software platform.
If you aren’t automatically getting daily watchlists of drivers through your Safety Suite, your manual scorecarding might be missing one of the vital behaviors you should be looking for. Just weighting one of these into your scorecarding could make a $20,000 difference for your fleet.