How to Improve Driver Behaviour and Reduce Costs
Many fleet vehicles are used as a utility and as such are considered a key asset in making the business productive. As with all business assets, it is important to ensure they are being used effectively and responsibly. The fleet operator has a legal commitment to ensure vehicles are being driven in accordance with the law and of course, there is the operator’s reputation to consider.
Importance of Managing Driver Behaviour
Driver Behaviour Management has become more important in recent times with the increases in fleet costs and the impact driving styles can have on these costs. Good drivers can save the fleet operation significant sums by reducing fuel consumption, service, maintenance and repair costs.
The effective management of ‘driver behaviour’ can also assist in reducing collisions, managing insurance claims, and supporting drivers against complaints. The ability to show insurance companies that a fleet organisation has an effective driver management programme can reduce insurance costs.
Steps to Improve Driver Behaviour
Ensure Daily Checks are carried out
It is a basic but effective measure to ensure all drivers carry out a simple basic check of their vehicle before they use it. Drivers are responsible for their vehicle’s condition and good practice shows that fleet organisations who carry out regular checks tend to have better driving behaviour.
Modern fleet management systems can help the daily check process by providing an app which guides the driver through the checking process and makes defect reporting easier.
Monitor driving styles and provide constructive feedback
Modern telematics systems can monitor driving styles and provide analysis on ways in which driver behaviour can be improved. This can be achieved by showing a driver their score at the end of each trip via a simple app and how they can improve on key elements such as harsh braking, acceleration, and cornering.
Encourage driving improvements by “gamifying” driver monitoring
One of our fleet clients has gamified their use of a driver behaviour module so drivers, using similar vehicles, can see their scores and how well they are doing. This has improved overall driver scores by over 18% in just 90 days.
Other fleets have offered prizes for improvements in driver scores, with one large fleet offering big prizes for the top five drivers. The cost is easily justified when compared to the savings in collision damage, fuel, and service costs.
Conduct trend analysis to ensure improvements are ongoing
After the initial improvements, it is important to ensure they are sustained and ideally improved.
Having an effective Fleet Management system which can monitor and report on trends is a useful tool to assist the continual improvement elements of driver behaviour. Some fleets incorporate the analysis into a drivers’ personal development plan which can also help in achieving sustainability by reducing unnecessary emissions.
Finally, insurance companies like evidence of ongoing driver style management and trend analysis which shows how improvements are being monitored and managed, which can reduce overall costs.