Using Telematics to Provide Clarity Around Driving Behavior Allows for More Precise Cost Management

A common complaint among fleet managers is that their drivers are exhibiting increasingly poor, careless or reckless conduct when it comes to company vehicles. These kinds of behaviors have been shown to lead to an increase in operating costs and risk to not only the driver, but the other vehicles on the road. Aggressive driving also burns more fuel – the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that it can lower fuel economy by as much as 30% at highway speeds and up to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. It also increased the routine wear and tear on a vehicle which drives up maintenance costs.

Improvements in telematics have helped companies get a handle on poor driving and its impact. In a recent article in Fleet Financials,

Blair Schober, U.S. fleet, EHS, and telecommunications manager for Red Hawk Fire & Security explained that fleet managers can create more visibility on this issue by using telematics. “Visibility creates awareness from which managers may act. Actions range from coaching employees verbally, write-ups, suspensions and firings.” With ARI’s real-time telematics data integration and comprehensive Driver Excellence® safety program, Red Hawk increased the visibility into their own fleet and saved over $1 million by identifying and correcting at-risk driver behavior.

Clarity into driver behavior can also be seen through the use of driver scorecards. The tools use data from telematics devices to create a driver assessment and one simple score in a format that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Scores are created by pulling data from a variety of sources that include fuel history, MVR reports, accident claims, violations and other telematics data. This allows managers to compare drivers to one another fairly and take action quickly. Scorecards also give managers a sense of empowerment to improve the efficiency and safety of their drivers, while also improving their bottom line.

ARI assisted Red Hawk in reducing the amount of accidents and liability costs in their fleet with this proactive approach. In one year, Red Hawk saw a 68% drop in the number of accidents in addition to the approximately $1 million dollars in savings with regard to liability costs. The company accomplished this with a two-pronged approach, requiring drivers to complete six mandatory safety modules while also identifying drivers with poor driving behaviors so they could proactively take steps before an incident occurred. When a driver would show signs of aggressive driving or speeding, their fleet administrator was notified and the driver was then assigned specific training designed to address the poor behavior and reinforce safe driving methods. By partnering with ARI, Red Hawk went from 74 accidents with $349,500 in claims to only 30 accidents and $131,381 in claims.

Using the advanced data telematics provides, companies are not only improving their bottom line, they are also preventing additional risk from things that can stem from a vehicle accident, such as litigation, crash expenses, compensation claims and a negative brand image. By implementing a strong fleet policy paired with advanced technologies, an organization can create long-term success. Red Hawk was able to identify the 20% of drivers that were creating 80% of their costs and were able to save over $218,119 in claims. This also echoes the importance of your safety message throughout the organization as a whole.

The goal is to see a positive change in the drivers within a fleet, to lower the amount of accidents caused by improper driving behaviors and to identify problems before they occur. This is a significant task because it also reflects greatly on the total cost of ownership when it is finally time to remarket the vehicle. With today’s technology, it is possible to do that and more. Red Hawk saved millions of dollars by taking a step back, looking at the telematics data and implementing a proactive strategy.

Click here to download the Red Hawk case study, and click here to read the Fleet Financials article.