Sep 15, 2019Safety is a core responsibility of which fleet operators must be mindful, yet there is room for much more improvement with current approaches. The problem is that many believe the technology developed to help alleviate fleet safety risks is difficult to use and costly. Amidst sophisticated sensor technology, location tracking, fleet-management software and other advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), many companies still rely on basic practices to mitigate bad driving behavior.
We're talking about the "How's My Driving?" sticker, a decades-old solution that isn't cutting it for fleets of any size. In fact, there are a variety of cost-effective IoT solutions that can help you tackle poor driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving. Let's consider how IoT devices and applications can help fleet managers tackle deadly driving behaviors and deliver better business value.
Pair With the Right ELD
The first step toward safer fleets is throwing out the outdated tools and habits that aren't working. From stickers to paper records, we all know that these outdated methods are more prone to human error and inundated with mistakes. Installing any old electronic logging device (ELD) won't cut it, either.
The perfect ELD match should integrate seamlessly with your current day-to-day activities. Choose an ELD that is easy to install and rugged enough to withstand a harsh in-cab environment. ELDs with few connections are best, as they minimize potential points of failure. Features such as a touch-screen display, wireless connectivity and integration with your current hours of service application are also ideal.
Support Your Crew
An ELD can be used not only as a tool to efficiently log hours in the trucking industry, but also to inspire safe habits. Sophisticated fleet-management applications and cloud analytics, combined with onboard ELDs and real-time diagnostics, can help you tackle common yet potentially deadly habits, such as cell phone usage, texting, speeding, harsh braking, risky lane changes and more. It enables fleet managers to coach on safe driving behaviors and implement a road-safety program with campaigns that give incentives for safe driving. Engaging your crew in these positive and meaningful ways can only net favorable outcomes for your fleet operations.
Fostering a Safe Culture
With advanced IoT technology, organizations are more capable than ever of fostering safer roads. However, all employees must take part in maintaining a culture of safety. For workers to participate in that culture, they must be equipped with adequate safety and communications systems.
Research shows that fleets could decrease their accident rate by as much as 35 percent by implementing driver-safety programs. To help fleet managers feel comfortable enough to implement IoT solutions for safer driving, start simple by identifying a few key metrics to measure and coach on the riskiest behavior and ensure your infrastructure for reporting, analysis and management is user-friendly and interoperable across different departments. When your drivers feel they are valued and provided with ample resources to train and re-skill, the potential increases for more consistent performance and safer roads for all.
Failure to invest in fleet safety puts the entire community and your business at risk. Why open yourself up to fees and fines when there are a variety of advanced devices, applications and cloud technologies available to help?
With the IoT, you ultimately reduce pressure on truck drivers to self-manage, allowing them to focus on optimizing customer service and getting the task at hand completed. Additionally, the greater public will no longer be tasked with reporting unsafe driving behaviors. Curbing risky habits before they become deadly provides a much greater public service. By eliminating the middleman via the IoT, you can foster safe driving habits through real-time coaching, rapid alerts to potential hazards, and real-time insights into vehicle usage, health and location.
Let technology do the heavy lifting for you.
Michael Burdiek has been the president and CEO of CalAmp since 2011. A recognized M2M and IoT pioneer, Michael has led the company's rapid growth as a telematics and IoT market leader and has spearheaded several strategic acquisitions. Before joining CalAmp, he was the president and CEO of Telenetics Corp., a manufacturer of data-communications products. Prior to that, he served as the senior VP and general manager of Comarco's Wireless Test Systems unit, and he held technical and general management positions at that firm. Michael began his career as a design engineer with Hughes Aircraft Co. He holds master's degrees in business administration and electrical engineering from California State University, Fullerton, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University.