Fleet safety analytics generate actionable insights from enormous amounts of data, with the goal of creating a safer, more efficient fleet. But this sector of transportation management didn’t always exist—it grew out of the need for a deeper understanding of the root causes of trucking accidents. Here’s a look at how this type of technology evolved and became crucial to the transportation industry.
Fleet Safety in Its Infancy
Less than two decades ago, fleet safety programs functioned primarily by responding to accidents long after the fact. They asked and answered questions about accident triggers and severity and led to some efforts to remediate at-fault drivers. While the purpose of fleet safety programs was clear, the execution left something to be desired.
Broad efforts like fleet-wide safety classes failed to address the root causes of truck accidents. Unfortunately, a lack of data and analytics capabilities, along with a general absence of targeted training, held trucking companies back from addressing the root causes of often-costly accidents.
Motor Vehicle Reports
The primary source of data used by many fleet safety programs was the Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), along with accidents per one million miles. Not only did these reports not tell the whole story of an individual accident, but they also failed to provide a clear, timely picture of the real sources of trouble on the road—such as driver fatigue and route inefficiencies.
The speed with which this data could be reviewed also presented a roadblock to change. Driver MVR data was typically only pulled once a year, or sometimes only when a driver applied for a new job. By the time this data was compiled and reviewed quarterly or yearly, it was already stale.
How Fleet Safety Analytics Came to the Forefront
It became clear over the years that fleets had access to a wealth of data that could and should be put to good use. But that meant that data collection had to go beyond MVRs to proactively address poor driving behavior and other risk factors. While those reports are still useful today, technologies like in-vehicle telematics are now filling in the details and providing a more complete picture of fleet safety.
Capturing and analyzing the large amount of data that is available is no easy task, but it’s one that is well worth it. Fortunately, advanced fleet telematics and safety solutions can shoulder much of the burden to produce recorded and real-time driver feedback. And on the vehicle side, fleet maintenance management technologies can keep you updated on vehicle health across your fleet. Once you have all of that data, you can turn it into action and drive fleet safety improvements.
Improving Driver Behavior
Trimble has been developing safety solutions to fit fleets of any size for years. Our Safety Analytics dashboard collects driver data from your entire fleet, displaying it in one location and in an easy-to-understand format. This allows you to review key information related to driver behavior, such as speeding and Hours of Service.
This accessible data empowers safety managers and other key personnel to identify and correct at-risk drivers before accidents occur. In fact, studies show that analyzing driver behavior in this way can actually lower collisions by up to 30 percent.
Some of our newer fleet safety analytics and video advances include a driver fatigue assessment that shows the effects of fatigue on individual driver behavior and an AI-powered function that automatically flags behaviors requiring immediate attention.
Protecting Against Lawsuits
Harmful lawsuits against trucking companies are another reason for the growing importance of fleet safety technology. Video Intelligence solutions can create an objective record of a driving event, proving who was at fault and potentially saving a trucking company millions in legal fees and penalties. Our Onboard Event Recording™ feature automatically captures video based on company-controlled settings, allowing you to decide which driving behaviors to focus on.
The Future of Fleet Safety
With the help of advancing technology, fleet safety has come a long way over the years. But it still has plenty of room to grow. In the future, we expect to see even more powerful A.I. features, along with increasingly predictive technologies.
Predictive analytics has been a topic of much discussion throughout the transportation industry, and it has a direct bearing on fleet safety. We’re already seeing something of a shift from preventative maintenance to predictive maintenance. Just look at our predictive Fault Code Monitoring, which flags engine trouble before it becomes a true problem. As we continue to develop more advanced fleet safety solutions, we hope to see a corresponding decrease in trucking accidents around the world.
Learn More About Fleet Safety Analytics
Analyzing and improving fleet safety will continue to be a priority for trucking companies—that means that it’s a priority for us. At Trimble, we’re proud to offer fleet maintenance management and safety solutions that contribute to better driving behaviors, reduced risks on the road, and an overall safer freight hauling process. Reach out today to learn more about our solutions.