If you have implemented what you believe to be a fleet risk program designed to reduce claim frequency but it isn’t working, then it could be you’re not getting to the heart of the matter. The following four aspects of your program may need attention.
It is now accepted that driving behaviour, as assessed by some Telematics systems, is a vital tool in predicting who may represent a future risk for a fleet.
Having said that, there are of course, limitations to the benefits of these systems, such as who was at the wheel, is the data accurate, how often is the data reviewed, is the system picking up the right events for the right reasons and what should be done about it.
As telematics suppliers focus on their system capabilities and portal, fleets are generally left thereafter, to their own devices. In most cases, fleets haven’t the time to monitor the data on a daily basis, they’re not sure what represents an actionable event and it’s often not clear what would be the best action to take if poor driving behaviour is in evidence.
As a result, opportunities are missed, the directors become liable for not taking action that should have been taken (if disaster strikes) and the value of the investment in the technology is degraded.
There’s a tendency for fleets to believe that to invest in telematics is all that is necessary to become compliant and to reduce claims, but, as with much technology, it simply poses further questions. In truth, it can only tell us what has happened as opposed to why and to answer that, we need to analyse the data, take some decisions and intervene with the driver.
Consolidation of relevant data
The lack of a consolidated view of all relevant driving data (that offers a ‘real’ perspective of a driver’s risk profile) creates the possibility that the ideal remedy for that driver will be missed.
This lack of perspective can be caused by one or several factors such as: a lack of internal systems, departmental segregation, lack of a broad-spectrum risk program, lack of time, lack of risk knowledge.
However, the good news is that these issues can all be solved at relatively low cost by choosing a fleet risk provider that can demonstrate the capability to consolidate in all respects.
This is rapidly becoming an art form. Historically, the only tool in the armoury was driver training based on filling skill gaps. Over time, regrettably, this has become a one-size-fits-all solution. However, more creative solutions are fortunately now available, as driven by the need for fleets to use resources more effectively.
Traditionally, remedial action is agreed after reviewing licence check results, claims, online assessments and telematics data feeds. However, the default position is generally to put the driver into a skills-based driver training session without considering more creative remedies that may be better suited to deal with behaviour at the wheel.
Of course, remedial action is not just directed towards drivers. There are many new alternatives to the original equipment fitted to vehicles that can increase safety and increase driver attention. However, it would not be reasonable to expect every fleet in the land to keep fully abreast of all the alternatives.
In fact, most fleets will be unaware that the scope of potential remedies that are now available to them is much broader than before. The new focus on reducing fleet risk (as driven by legislation) has precipitated new thinking in the supply market. Already there are many online alternatives that reinforce the safety message and remind drivers to be compliant.
A further point to remember is that few fleets actually ask the driver what they think would be the best way to increase driving safety, especially when they are faced with evidence of their poor driving history (from claims, telematics, online assessments, etc.) The results of such a discussion (depending on who conducts the interview) can be the most direct and constructive route to choosing the most effective remedial action.
If we accept that a discussion needs to take place with high risk drivers, the next question is who would be best-placed to hold that delicate discussion with the driver and how do we arrive at an outcome that would be best for both employee and employer.
It’s a delicate matter because the driver needs firstly to accept the data as a fact and secondly, to accept that something needs to change. If that can be achieved, then we can move on to exploring what, in fact, needs to change and how.
So, should this be a discussion with the MD, with HR, with the line manager, with the fleet manager, with the outsourced risk provider? The answer will often depend on the size and structure of the organisation.
Achieving a balance between assessing fleet risk and actually doing something constructive about it is very important from many viewpoints so if you recognise any of the issues raised in this article then please take a look at www.rvmassist.co.uk or give us a call on 0113 224 8800.
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