Fleet safety is a paramount concern for every successful fleet operation, whether it's already a top priority or a continuous improvement goal.
The commercial vehicle industry faces numerous challenges in enhancing safety practices, and today's fleets are turning to data-driven decision-making to address these issues.
In the webinar "Data-Driven Decision Making: Enhancing Fleet Safety and Mitigating Risks," industry leaders shared their insights and expertise on fostering a safer fleet through innovative approaches.
Moderated Work Truck's Executive Editor, Lauren Fletcher, the webinar featured experts, including:
- Matthew Betz, fleet safety expert, DTE Energy.
- Dr. Allison Betz, VP of Product Development and Senior Consultant, ABA Technologies.
- Robert Auer, fleet manager, UPS.
- Jeff Elsa, senior director of Indirect Sales, GPS Trackit.
Building a Safety Culture for Drivers
The webinar started with the importance of building a safety culture from the ground up.
Matthew Betz highlighted the need for a basic safety program, noting that assuming drivers or technicians understand safety procedures without proper coaching and training puts fleets at great risk.
Matthew Betz stated, "We must coach, teach, and partner with our drivers. We can't just assume everyone understands a common practice or procedure."
The panel also delved into the significance of leveraging data for safety improvements.
Lauren Fletcher said, “The clarity in fleet professionals' desire for safer fleets and the challenges in knowing where to start.”
The experts agreed that data-driven insights are crucial for identifying risky behaviors, preventing accidents, and continuously improving safety practices.
Real-World Benefits of Fleet Technology
Drawing from GPS Trackit's experience, Jeff Elsa shared the real-world benefits of implementing video telematics solutions.
The discussion revolved around how video evidence can aid in claims processing, reduce crash-related costs, and, most importantly, prevent accidents through continuous coaching and feedback.
Elsa highlighted the importance of proactive safety measures and the role of technology in achieving them.
Dr. Allison Betz, bringing her background in behavioral science to the conversation, shed light on the behavioral aspects of driver safety.
She discussed the challenges of driver choices and the psychological factors influencing those choices.
“There are a lot of different behaviors that a driver can engage in, we have safe behaviors as well as some of the unsafe behaviors. Unsafe behaviors increase the likelihood of an incident. So, speeding and distracted driving are huge ones. We can use technology now to measure and to see what's happening on an ongoing basis,” Dr. Betz said.
Dr. Betz emphasized the need for positive reinforcement, acknowledging safe behaviors, and creating a culture that promotes and rewards safety.
Common Challenges Fleets Face
The panel addressed common challenges fleets face, including driver adherence and the perception of intrusive monitoring.
Jeff Elsa emphasized the need to dispel the "Big Brother" stigma and discussed solutions like pre-warning systems to coach drivers before violations occur.
The combination of technological advancements, behavioral science, and a commitment to enforcement emerges as a powerful strategy for creating and maintaining safer fleets.
Fleet managers are encouraged to leverage data-driven solutions, engage their drivers, and prioritize safety to navigate the challenges and achieve success in the commercial vehicle industry.