Managing a fleet and ensuring efficiency whilst also making sure your drivers are safe and behaving properly can be challenging. Telematics provide important information to fleet managers and allow drivers to provide updates or signal for help in emergencies, reducing risks to drivers and allowing managers to identify and tackle poor driver behaviour.

We have collaborated with Masternaut, a company which specialises in fleet management, to provide you with valuable information on how telematics can improve driver behaviour and safety.

How do Telematics Work?

Telematics is the technology used to track a vehicle’s location and status. This technology collects information from vehicles and relays it through satellites to headquarters.

Fleet managers use in-cab tracking systems to access data which has been transmitted via GPS on driver behaviour, vehicle location, vehicle status and other insights. This information is delivered to the fleet headquarters, allowing fleet managers to analyse it and ensure their fleet is efficient, for example, making sure goods are delivered on time.

How can Telematics Improve Driver Behaviour?

Telematics deliver important information to fleet managers on the ways in which drivers conduct themselves on the road. This means that fleet managers are able to know in real time if a driver is driving poorly. Some of the actions telematics monitor are braking harshly, speeding, idling and not meeting route deadlines. Telematics monitor these with technology such as ‘In-Cab Coaching’ devices which provide audio and visual feedback to the driver on their driving behaviour, and M210 OBD vehicle tracking devices which track speeding and vehicle location. The information on driver behaviour is also relayed to the driver, providing them with alerts if they are not driving well and encouraging them to improve. This allows fleet managers to identify trends and benchmarks of driver behaviour.

However, knowing about behavioural issues is not enough to tackle them. In order to fully utilise the information provided by telematics, fleet managers need to implement targeted training in order to ensure drivers improve. For example, if telematics provided information on a driver braking and accelerating harshly, then fleet managers could begin specialised training in good driving practices. Alongside this, rewards systems could be implemented, such as prizes for the most efficient drivers or those who drive their vehicles with the greatest care.

How can Telematics Improve Driver and Cargo Safety?

Similar to monitoring driver behaviour, monitoring safety involves telematics providing fleet managers with critical information on driving conditions, driver fatigue, maintenance, accidents should they occur and cargo transport conditions.

Weather conditions can be identified with telematics. These are conditions such as icy roads, strong winds and even traffic. This information allows fleet managers to update routes to avoid hazardous conditions, or even request the return of vehicles should conditions be deemed too dangerous for drivers.

Fatigue is one of the most dangerous conditions drivers can experience, this is because reaction times are impaired alongside the increased possibility of a driver falling asleep at the wheel and potentially causing an accident. As we have mentioned previously, telematics are able to monitor driver behaviour. Sometimes, poor behaviour occurs as a result of driver fatigue. Fatigue can be caused by not taking sufficient rest breaks and working for too long. It can not only affect driving, but it can also affect drivers’ long term health. Lack of sleep can lead to health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Telematics can help with fatigue as they can monitor and relay information on breaks and driving time, allowing fleet managers to communicate with drivers should they not take enough breaks or drive for too many hours. Telematics can also help by creating efficient work schedules which prioritise driver safety and limit the potential for fatigue.

Fleet managers can monitor the status of vehicles through telematics, allowing them to know when to provide maintenance. This means that drivers will always be driving well maintained vehicles, reducing the risk of breakdown or system failure and therefore increasing driver safety.

In the event of an accident, fleet managers are able to monitor the situation through telematics. This enables them to ensure driver safety. In-cabin SOS buttons also allow drivers to immediately signal for help, ensuring emergency vehicles can be deployed to deal with the situation effectively.

The condition in which cargo is transported is important to ensuring its safety. Temperature is one of the most important conditions to monitor, especially for refrigerated cargo. Cold chain cargo transport involves ensuring the products are stored, transported and delivered without removing refrigeration. Fleets which are responsible for cold chain transport need to be able to monitor the temperature of the cargo in order to ensure it is kept at the correct temperature. Thermometers inside the vehicles and telematics which communicate these temperatures allow fleet managers to ensure they are delivering cargo in optimal conditions.

Lastly, telematics allow fleet managers to track their vehicles’ locations, which enables them to track down a cargo vehicle should it go missing or be stolen. This enables fleet managers to ensure both the driver and the cargo are safe.

Telematics play a key role in fleet management. They enable technology to deliver important information to fleet managers. We hope this article has been useful in increasing your understanding of the ways in which telematics are able to ensure driver safety and promote good driver behaviour. However, if you have any questions about this topic or fleet management in general, the experts at Masternaut are your best call. You can find them following the link at the beginning of this article and even try a demo in this link.