Truck Driving Safely

Driver and fleet safety are incredibly important here at Geotab and dangerous behaviours of road users, such as excessive speeding, remain important contributory factors in fatal crashes. Driver behaviour and its management can have a great impact on the activity of your fleet, but most of all, the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Three Types of Data Used for Detecting Dangerous Driving

The Geotab GO7 vehicle tracking device has three main types of data that can be used to determine dangerous driving: vehicle acceleration, vehicle road speed, and vehicle engine speed.

  1. Vehicle Acceleration – Acquired using an accelerometer in three directions: forward/backward, up/down, left/right.
  2. Vehicle Road Speed – Acquired from up to two sources:

(a) Data from GPS modules

(b) Data from the vehicle’s diagnostic data bus (if available)

3. Vehicle Engine Speed – Acquired from a vehicle’s diagnostic data bus (if available). Using this data, it is possible to determine if a vehicle is:

  • Speeding (in combination with map data)
  • Braking harshly
  • Accelerating harshly
  • Cornering harshly

Fleet Managers are continually adding new safety measures to their current practices and policies to reduce risk, liability and more importantly, accidents. There are many forms of aggressive driving that can put your drivers and others on the road, at risk. Rear end collisions are the second highest reportable accidents.

The ability to know your level of risk can help you provide significant improvements to driver behaviour. By simply monitoring and reducing harsh braking, you ultimately reduce rear-end collisions and the liability and costs associated with these types of accidents.

What is Harsh Braking?

Harsh braking occurs when a driver uses more force than necessary to stop the vehicle. The presence of harsh braking often indicates aggressive or distracted driving and can lead to costly claims, as well as increased maintenance issues.

It is important to note that harsh braking does not always mean your driver is being unsafe or aggressive while operating. Often these same type of harsh braking events occur to avoid accidents from happening. Reviewing such events with your drivers is a valuable exercise.

Benefits of Monitoring Harsh Braking

Reducing harsh braking can increase the overall safety of your drivers and the general public, and can provide continuous savings to your fleet operations. The benefits of monitoring harsh braking include:

  • Reduced rear end collisions
  • Prevention of aggressive driving behaviours
  • Improved safety of drivers and public
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Reduced brake issues

How to Monitor and Reduce Harsh Braking Events

If you’re not already using a Telematics solution, implementing telematics into your safety program will offer major improvements. You can expect significant improvements to the performance and behaviour of your drivers, as well as a reduction in accidents and related costs within your fleet.

By installing Geotab’s GO7 device in your fleet vehicles, you can receive reports and real-time alerts for aggressive driving and hard braking events. In addition, Geotab offers live in-vehicle coaching through buzzers or our newly introduced GO TALK with spoken feedback to drivers.

When you can’t be with your drivers in their vehicles, having a telematics system that allows you to be the virtual supervisor with real time alerts and corrections will have ongoing benefits to your fleet by reducing accidents, reducing maintenance and ultimately reducing your overall costs.

Author: Samantha Chigwedere, Business Development Manager – Geotab Africa

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