January 2010, Business Fleet - Cover Story
Using Safety Technology to Combat Distracted Driving
An online fleet monitoring and reporting portal is available, as well as trend analyses on both driver and vehicle performance. An RFID reader allows for separate data for drivers sharing a vehicle.
During implementation and the early stages of using the Tiwi technology, the system collects data about the driver's behavior before turning on the mentoring system.
The Results: "In virtually every case, the minute we turn on the mentoring, driving behavior changes, and it changes dramatically," says Todd Follmer, CEO of the West Valley City, Utah-based company (www.inthinc.com).
Company records show a 73 percent improvement in safety belt usage, 86 percent reduction in speeding violations, and 89 percent reduction in aggressive driving after 90 days of use.
Better driving behavior leads to an increase in fuel economy, and some insurance companies will give a 10 percent discount for installation, Follmer adds.
The Cost: Installation is as simple as plugging the system into the diagnostic board on the vehicle. Inthinc maintains and updates the software automatically. Rates depend on the type of plan chosen. A three-year subscription, which comes with the hardware, costs $299.99.
High-Tech "How's My Driving" Program Targets and Trains Unsafe Drivers
In addition to its Smart Risk system that identifies high-risk drivers, Driver’s Alert gives users access to a Web-based training program for prevention or reinforcement of safety measures.
What it Does: The Smart Risk system from Driver's Alert uses an updated version of a "How's my driving?" call-in program to identify and coach high-risk drivers.
How it Works: While in-car technology can be helpful in ensuring safe driving, outside sources and preventative training can be used as well. Driver's Alert (www.driversalert.com) started in 1989 with the familiar 'How is my driving?' bumper stickers, but since then has evolved into handling driver observation reports, training and data management.
The Driver's Alert Smart Risk system identifies high-risk drivers through its on-the-road call-ins and offers this information to the fleet manager, who can then make decisions to remedy driver behavior. Call center safety specialists follow a script to determine if the driver is distracted by asking questions of the caller regarding behavior, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or not wearing a safety belt.
To remedy dangerous driving, drivers are able to listen to an actual recording of the motorist's call. Driver's Alert immediately sends out an applicable online driver safety training course.
The 23-minute distracted driver training video can be accessed online. The video discusses the prevalence of distracted driving and the three major types of other distractions, then suggests ways to avoid these distractions and strategies to remain focused on driving.
The Results: Paul Milazzo, chief operating officer of Driver's Alert says that through years of data collection Driver's Alert is able to predict which drivers will have accidents. For example, in some clients' companies with certain vehicles, drivers with four or five negative calls have had an accident.
Driver's Alert guarantees a 25 percent reduction in at-fault crashes, although Milazzo says some companies see results of up to 67 percent.
The Cost: The service costs $2 per vehicle per month on average, with access to training modules included. Training modules are available at any time, for new hires or to reinforce continual safe driving.