This article was written by Rich Radi, ARI’s director of our Driver Excellence® program and originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Field Technologies Online.
Used in conjunction with a comprehensive safety program, today’s technologies can help improve driver performance, lower accident rates, and streamline administrative efforts and costs.
Most successful organizations have a safety program in place to ensure employees have a safe work environment. Those policies, however, do not always extend to a company’s vehicles, even though motor vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of occupational fatalities.
Extending a workplace safety program to motor vehicle drivers is crucial for improving the safety of your employees. The following are six technologies to track driver behavior, crash and incident rates, and driving trends to help employers reduce crashes, risk, and liability.
Test Vehicle Policy Comprehension
A vehicle safety policy allows employers to document driving and vehicle use standards. Employers can improve driver safety, increase compliance, and reduce liability exposure through the use of a vehicle safety policy.
Turning your safety policy into a customized, interactive online document with an exam at the end to certify driver comprehension further eliminates a portion of your fleet risk. In addition, managers can track the drivers’ progress and scores to ensure compliance.
Driver Skills Assessment
Employers should measure driver competence through extensive driver training that fits the employee depending on their tenure with the company. New hires should have a baseline skills assessment and driving skills improvement training as part of their onboarding process.
A driver skills assessment provides real-world driving simulations, allowing employers to learn each driver’s strengths and areas for improvement. Automatic prescriptive training assignments based on the results of the driver skills assessment can improve skills in areas drivers may be deficient. Upon completion, drivers are placed in a risk-level category, given an overall score, and assessed in key skill categories.
Tailored Online Training
Online training provides another method for periodic training based on driver skillset and job function. Whether for new hires, existing drivers, or violators, online training modules cover a wide range of topics to ensure drivers know how to tackle a variety of situations in an assortment of vehicle types. Drivers are tested for comprehension at the end of every module. When they pass, they receive digital certificates of completion.
Motor Vehicle Record Assessment
Initiating a motor vehicle record (MVR) assessment program that identifies your company’s high-risk drivers quickly and accurately is crucial to any driver safety program. Depending on the fleet vehicle policy, obtaining MVRs for drivers’ spouses, qualified domestic partners, and children is also important. If you use an online training program in combination with an MVR program, targeted training modules can be automatically assigned to drivers when an infraction takes place.
Telematics technology obtains meaningful intelligence from your vehicles, which translates into opportunities to increase driver safety, compliance, and efficiency. Safety data includes monitoring driving behavior such as speeding, hard braking, or rapid acceleration. Compliance measures include monitoring safety belt usage and off-hours driving. Telematics can also improve journey management through route optimization and reduce fuel costs through idling monitoring.
Customized Driver Scorecard
A driver scorecard captures information from all aspects of driver behavior including accident claims, MVRs, violations, maintenance, fuel, telematics, and more to provide managers with a comprehensive view of driver performance. Management can assess how individual drivers, groups of drivers, or the entire fleet behave on the road. It also allows customized scoring based on your fleet needs and goals.