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One of the main benefits of technology for fleets is that it allows transport companies the chance to stay ahead of trouble. The ability to practice proactive vs. reactive fleet safety solutions requires fleets to take action in areas such as real-time driver coaching, safety training programs and engine maintenance.
Not all companies take advantage of this benefit. It shows in data on accidents, which increased in 2020. It also shows up in budget reports that include high costs for engine repairs. Fleets can change these numbers by using technology to take a proactive approach.
Even in an age of high tech the old adage remains true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The Benefits of Proactive vs. Reactive Safety Solutions
Telematics solutions solve one of the biggest problems for fleet managers. They take guesswork out of the job and provide a chance to identify and solve problems ahead of time. Using proactive rather than reactive fleet safety solutions helps fleets in several big ways.
Improved safety. The ability to use data to identify and address a driver’s bad habits makes both the driver and the general public safer on the road.
Lowered costs. In almost every phase of life, it’s less expensive to stay in front of problems rather than react when they happen. For a fleet, savings can come by lowering the risk of paying the costs associated with collisions or the cost of extension repairs on damaged engines that were not properly maintained.
Better efficiency. A fleet manager with access to more accurate information is better able to streamline operations, lowering costs and improving service to clients.
Some of the areas where proactive fleet safety solutions can make the biggest impact include the following.
More Focused Training
Fleets that use technology to provide better driver training take a big step toward reducing collisions. Having technology such as backup cameras does not ensure that drivers will follow best practices. Through video and in-person training, fleets can better train drivers how to react to specific situations. And through data gathered from connected devices on vehicles, fleets can identify a driver’s main issues and design training that best addresses them.
Better Real-Time Coaching
While driver training is critical, in-cab systems that coach drivers in real-time play a key role in taking a proactive approach. The goal is to help the driver operate safer. Systems can monitor a variety of factors and let drivers know through an alert if they veer out of an acceptable range. This includes speeding, abrupt braking, traveling too close to other vehicles and taking turns too fast. Some systems that use in-cab cameras also warn drivers when they engage in unsafe actions such as smoking, eating or talking on their cell phone while driving.
Connected systems provide a key source of saved costs and improved safety by monitoring engine performance. The system sends an alert to fleet managers and drivers if an issue is detected, allowing them to fix a minor problem before it becomes a major one. Software systems can keep track of a vehicle’s maintenance schedule. They also ensure that drivers notice and act on any warnings from the vehicle, such as a “check engine” light. There’s no perfect solution that will shield fleets from collisions or vehicle repair costs. But using proactive vs. reactive fleet safety solutions is a step in the right direction. Fleets get the benefit of investing in a better way to do business, rather than suffering the costs of ignoring problems until they snowball into major issues.