Telematics is to commercial risk management what Facebook was to the general public ten years ago.  Telematics takes all that we love from technology and applies it to the most fundamental business operations management functions.  Telematics has been used in commercial vehicles for decades without the development of the term.  I remember riding a Greyhound on my way to visit a friend when I was in college.  The bus could not exceed a certain speed because it had a “speed governor.”   

Today, vehicle telematics systems can provide fleet managers with valuable data to help improve operational efficiencies and fleet safety.  With the use of GPS, the data can help with vehicle location, better communication with drivers on the road, navigational support, route, and workflow optimization, and fuel and customer service benefits. 

We have clients that combine the GPS and telematics with their employee’s payroll app from the smartphone or the vehicle-installed tablet.  An employee’s “clock in” time and location are captured to ensure the employee is actually on their route.  These devices can also capture data about driving behaviors, such as speeding, braking, abrupt lane changes, and idling.  Using this data as part of an ongoing safe driving feedback and coaching program can help reduce the potential for accidents and help keep your drivers, customers and the public safe. 

Also, this data has been valuable in post-claims processing resulting in our clients’ dismissal from fault.

Employee/ Driver engagement is imperative for the telematics to work. 

  • Explain the operational data collected by your telematics system and its importance to verifying the employee’s safe driving in the event of a claim. 
  • Explain the data collected by your telematics system and its role in helping to reinforce driving safety and help train other drivers
  • Discuss your safe driving feedback program. Let drivers know that:
    • The program is designed to acknowledge safe driving as well as identify opportunities for safe driving improvement. It is a positive session to reinforce and encourage safe driving behaviors.
    • You will be providing and seeking feedback, and explain how often.
    • The feedback session is a two-way street. There may be circumstances that are not explained by the data alone. For instance, hard braking may not necessarily be an indication of speeding. Instead, it may be an action by your driver to avoid a potential accident when another driver suddenly cut in front of them.
    • Driving behavior data also may offer evidence that your driver was in fact, driving safely.
  • Review your safe driving policies, rules of the road and safe driving expectations. Your feedback and coaching session can be an opportunity to review your company’s safe driving policies, rules of the road and safe driving expectations.