With technology continuing to evolve rapidly, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for ways to incorporate it into their operations to improve efficiency and productivity. In the world of fleet safety, there are many technological advances available that can help organizations reduce risk and keep their employees safe while on the road. Here are six ways technology can help improve fleet safety.
1. Fleet Tracking
GPS fleet tracking systems provide businesses with another way to monitor and protect their vehicles and cargo. Companies can use tracking with GPS cameras to monitor their fleet. These systems allow companies to track fleet vehicles and record what is happening around their trucks in real-time. The ability to record events as they happen increases safety for the driver and cargo by capturing information about incidents like crashes or street fights. This evidence can be helpful if an event occurs that results in an investigation or litigation. In addition, fleet tracking can help fleets save money on insurance premiums. By proving that they are taking safety seriously, fleets can often get discounts on their insurance rates.
2. Increase Cargo Protection
Some new trucks can sense when a door is open or closed, which can be especially helpful if drivers forget to shut their truck doors or if they forget to lock their cargo. New anti-theft systems can also help protect a company’s cargo from theft. These security systems have a connection to the truck through an electronic device that prevents the vehicle from starting unless a driver enters a PIN or touch sequence on a keypad or touchscreen. If the cargo is stolen, video evidence will be present, significantly increasing the chances of catching the perpetrators.
3. Real-Time Data Monitoring
When a vehicle is in an accident or suffers damage, cargo status can change. Real-time data monitoring can help companies get up-to-date information on their fleet’s condition and location. By tracking trucks during transit, businesses can ensure cargo has not shifted by seeing real-time changes in GPS signal strength, indicating that the trailer has become unbalanced. In an accident, updating fleet management software is also easier when real-time data is monitored and reported through a telematics system.
4. Improved Fuel Efficiency
Using technology to optimize driving routes and speeds can help your drivers save money on gas and reduce their carbon footprint. A few examples include:
- Some vehicles can determine when to switch gears, reducing the idle time that contributes to unnecessary fuel usage.
- Improved aerodynamics can reduce the amount of wind resistance a truck experiences in transit, resulting in better fuel efficiency.
- Vehicle speed sensors can collect information about how aggressively a vehicle is being driven, which helps companies determine whether or not they need to provide drivers with specific training.
- A growing number of apps allow drivers to find the cheapest gas in their area. Using these apps lets drivers find the best deals at nearby stations.
5. Electronic Logs
As of December 18, 2013, most commercial drivers in the United States were required to keep an electronic log of their hours behind the wheel. The Electronic Logging Device Rule mandates that companies track driving time by logging hours electronically with a system designed specifically for this purpose. By electronically logging hours and distance, companies can ensure their drivers obey federal regulations, including the 11-hour daily driving limit. Electronic logs also help companies track and document compliance with local laws, such as hour limits in specific states or counties. Electronic logs can also help fleets save money on compliance costs. When drivers keep paper logs, complying with the law can be difficult and expensive. With electronic logs, however, this is not a problem. Fleets can install software that will automatically track driver hours and mileage. Electronic logs are also more accurate than paper logs, which means that fleets can avoid fines for inaccurate records.
6. Improved Safety
Fleet safety can be improved by reducing driver fatigue, which is an issue for many commercial vehicles on the road today. New technologies are being developed that can reduce driver fatigue and increase safety for the public. For example, some trucking companies use head-up displays (HUDs) to inform drivers about upcoming curves and speed limits. This technology reduces the amount of time a driver takes their eyes off the road, which can help prevent accidents. HUDs can also reduce driver distraction by eliminating looking at other gauges or controls. With better safety, the driver is less likely to get into a crash, which benefits all drivers on the road.
There are many ways to improve fleet safety, from using cameras to monitor driving behavior to using satellite navigation systems to reduce the risk of accidents. By using technology, businesses can ensure that their employees are as safe as possible while on the road. They can also provide companies with better information about their vehicles and cargo during transit. By collecting data sent in real-time through telematics systems, fleets can continue to meet customer expectations while avoiding potentially dangerous situations.