Provided by Jim McKinlay, General Manager, APAC, Verizon Connect
Fatality Free Friday is taking place this week on the 25th of May. Whilst the target is to have one fatality free Friday, the ultimate goal is for longer term safer driving behaviour. The statistics make it clear that driver safety is an ongoing challenge for Australian road users with more than 1,250 road deaths in Australia in the 12 months leading up to April 2018. This is up 19 percent from the same period last year, and unfortunately, 588 fatalities in the last 12 months have been drivers.
However, the responsibility doesn’t sit solely with the driver. The Work Health and Safety Act makes it clear that businesses must proactively manage the safety of each driver, whether they’re on site or out on the road. Keeping track of how vehicles are being driven is crucial, but one of the most challenging things is encouraging drivers to maintain a high calibre of safe driving at all times.
With access to near real-time data, fleet managers can do their part to help reduce the number of fatalities on our road. Three things fleet managers can monitor for that can help promote safer driving are:
- Driver behaviour: In 2017 six states and territories logged zero deaths on Fatality Free Friday, however Queensland and Tasmania recorded two fatalities. These are promising statistics, but there’s room for improvement. Near real-time access to data on how individual drivers are maneuvering on the road enables fleet managers to take quick action and target repeat offenders to curb unsafe driving habits, before they lead to more serious incidents.
- Driver location: Driving involves a level of risk, whether a driver is travelling through a remote worksite or at the wheel of a heavy vehicle. It’s hard for fleet managers back at base to fully know what’s happening out in the field. With a vehicle tracking solution, a driver is able to alert the head office of their precise location and puts help on the way almost instantly in the event of an emergency.
- Vehicle maintenance: The vehicle needs to be in good condition and up-to-date on maintenance in order to help keep drivers safe and productive. Failing to carry out timely maintenance can result in vehicle breakdowns, putting the driver at increased risk of incident. A vehicle tracking system uses data on time, engine use and mileage, to provide scheduling alerts. This helps fleet managers stay on top of preventative maintenance and helps reduce the risk of vehicle faults.
One death on our roads, on any day of the year, is one too many. As Fatality Free Friday approaches, it’s time to promote a sharpened focus on safety which can lead to a longer term, positive impact on driver behaviour.