Keeping a fleet up and running involves an enormous number of tasks and probably the most important is steering your vehicles clear of collisions (pardon the pun). It’s a job that many fleets seem to have a problem with – according to a recent article in Automotive Fleet magazine, a staggering 20% of fleet vehicles per annum are involved in a collision.
And these collisions are expensive, the US Department of Labor studied their financial impact and found that a collision with no injuries costs a fleet an average of $16,500, rising to $74,000 in case of injury and over $500,000 in case of fatality.
Of course the first step in avoiding collisions is making sure your drivers are behaving safely and responsibly, but how do you do that?
Actually, fleet managers do have several options for monitoring drivers, such as:
Cameras – Both dash cams and in-vehicle cameras can help you monitor such behavior as drivers using cell phones or other distractions, following other vehicles too closely etc. but retrieving the data is cumbersome. To fully check on a driver traveling a 12-hour route requires going through 12 hour of tape. On the other hand, cameras have the decided benefit of being able to determine fault in case of an accident.
Telematics – In addition to monitoring location and routes, many telematics systems can be used to identify behaviors such as sudden braking or accelerating and speeding. Telematics can also identify where these behaviors take place perhaps pointing to problematic areas that should be avoided. Additionally, telematics cane be used to make sure drivers are sticking to their routes. The disadvantage to telematics is that they don’t provide immediate feedback which is problematic – by not correcting or warning drivers on the spot fleet managers are missing an opportunity to avoid collisions before they happen.
Collision Avoidance Systems – Collision avoidance systems, such as Mobileye’s, offer several ways to protect drivers. Headway monitoring warns drivers when they are too close to the vehicle ahead of them. Forward collision warning and pedestrian and cyclist collision warnings issue alerts when there is a potential danger ahead. Lane departure warnings help prevent drivers from losing focus and drifting into a different lane. The speed limit indicator lets drivers know when they are going too fast.
These warnings give the driver immediate feedback, allowing them to correct mistakes on the spot as opposed to waiting and seeing if their supervisor will “catch them.” And there is strong evidence that this immediate feedback helps drivers train themselves to drive more safely. And when these drivers actually see and feel the system is protecting them it may well help them accept the new technology – one fleet manager spoke of employees crediting the forward collision warning in alerting them in time to prevent a rear-end collision.
The drawback to collision avoidance systems is that they need to piggyback on a telematics system in order for fleet managers to fully access the relevant data, but there is a significant argument to be made that the return on investment for buying and integrating both systems can be significant.
Contact Mobileye for more information on making collision avoidance work for your fleet.