Further InSight (Blog)

The Best Tools for Monitoring and Preventing Aggressive Driving

Aggressive, unsafe, and wasteful driving behavior by workers operating company vehicles can be extremely costly to mobile-based businesses. These costs range from expensive vehicle repairs and maintenance to soaring insurance premiums – and even to lawsuits stemming from careless and reckless driver behavior.

InSight Mobile Data Sales Manager Lex Abbott discusses the costs and risks associated with aggressive driving—and what fleet managers can do about it.

The Most Wasteful Driving Behaviors

There are two specific driving behaviors that are especially costly for mobile-based businesses:

  • Aggressive accelerating, braking, and cornering
  • Excessive idling

These behaviors are extremely fuel-inefficient. With today’s gas prices, this cost is a major concern for many mobile-based businesses.

But wasted fuel isn’t the only way these driver behaviors cost mobile-based businesses money. Aggressive driving, including cornering, braking, and accelerating, can also lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your fleet of vehicles, which results in expensive vehicle repairs and maintenance well before they might otherwise have been necessary.

These risky driving behaviors are also potentially dangerous, and can lead to injuries (even fatalities) and higher insurance rates for your business. In a worst-case scenario, you might even be unable to obtain insurance from traditional carriers and be forced to buy very expensive coverage from high-risk insurers.

Remember that your company is legally liable for your mobile employees’ actions whenever they are driving your vehicles—not only when they are performing their jobs, but also after hours. Any damage or injuries they cause are your company’s responsibility. You could be sued if an employee’s dangerous driving leads to an accident.

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Spotting and Addressing the Problem

In order to curb aggressive and wasteful driving behaviors, you first have to be aware of them. The best way to gain that awareness is to implement a mobile resource management solution with driver behavior monitoring capability.

These solutions offer a high of level visibility into driver behavior by providing comprehensive data and allowing you to monitor driver behavior in real time. You can then easily identify aggressive and wasteful driving practices and address them with drivers proactively, rather than waiting for more serious problems to develop or accidents to occur.

Some solutions offer in-cabin, real-time alerts to drivers when they corner, brake, or accelerate too hard. With this increased accountability, many drivers will naturally self-correct, thereby reducing waste and risk. Vehicle maintenance data can also be integrated with driver monitoring to pinpoint which drivers may be putting excessive wear and tear on vehicles and contributing to unnecessary repair and maintenance expenses.

A mobile workforce management solution should also provide custom reports that enable you to drill down into the driving behavior of individual drivers and rate them according to their performance. Many mobile-based companies rank drivers according to the number and severity of their unsafe driving occurrences, and then compare scores among drivers to identify the best drivers and worst offenders. This practice allows them to set a threshold for acceptable driving behavior, and creates an incentive to improve.

Driver, Instead of Vehicle, Identification

It’s important to realize that some mobile resource management solutions only monitor the activity of your vehicles. If multiple drivers share the same vehicles, these systems do not distinguish between multiple drivers’ behavior and performance.

You should choose a mobile resource management solution with driver identification capability that can capture data as a driver switches vehicles, rather than tracking only vehicle data. A driver ID system will utilize either a key fob or door monitoring to allow your drivers to log in and out of vehicles.

When you evaluate possible mobile workforce management solutions for your company, be sure to ask whether they include driver identification and tracking. Implementing this type of solution is the best way to spot wasteful and dangerous driving behaviors such as aggressive cornering, braking and accelerating, and excessive idling—and address them with your drivers before more serious problems develop.