Tracking systems offer an important and underused lifeline to improving driver safety, says vehicle tracking provider RAM Tracking, as it highlights the value of driver training.
Research shows that last year 195,723 casualties occurred on the UKs roads, with one in four involving a business driver, and of the three million company cars currently in use, statistics show roughly one third will be involved in a crash annually. It is not only the responsibility of individual drivers to make appropriate choices whilst on the roads, but also of fleet managers to enforce good driver behaviour and put training in place to ensure employees have the skills to drive as safely as possible.
Telematics systems allow monitoring of the location, movement, status and behaviour of a single vehicle or fleet of vehicles, providing valuable insight to driver behaviour. This helps identify any potential problems, which can then be addressed through training. The skills developed in training equip drivers to improve the way they handle their vehicles, with fleet managers often finding collision and incident rates reduced and fuel savings of up to 15 per cent.
Chris McClellan, CEO of RAM Tracking explains: "Many providers will design bespoke fleet-wide training courses focussing on specific problem areas found as a result of using vehicle tracking, with a wide variety of training available to suit specific company needs. This training can be implemented in-house, online or at external training centres, meaning less impact on the working day and ensuring drivers are up to speed on company motoring policies and understand the consequences of speeding or mobile phone use when driving."
Amongst RAM customers who have used tracking to identify and tackle poor driver behaviour, is Lloyd Begley, Director at Cargo Motor Factors Ltd, who has already saved £300 per month on fuel costs: "The best feature of the RAM system has to be the ability to see when how long a vehicle has been idling, the lads no longer leave the vans ticking over during drop-offs, this alone has enabled us to reduce our fuel consumption by 15 per cent."
Chris McClellan continues: "Driver safety should be the top priority for fleet managers and training is one of the most important elements in ensuring this. Improving driver behaviour not only reduces the risk of accidents on the roads, it can also significantly reduce fuel costs.
"The responsibility of implementing driver training is in the hands of fleet managers and tracking identifies problems that need to be fixed. Everyone can get into bad habits, but it is important that company drivers don't become another casualty statistic."
 Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2012 Annual Report
 RSRR 51 Safety Culture and work-related road accidents
 Energy Saving Trust – safe and smart driver training