How harsh braking and acceleration impacts your fleet

Bad driving behaviors are affecting your fleet's health and wealth. Read on to learn more.

Have you calculated the true cost of distracted driving?

WHAT IS HARSH DRIVING?

Harsh driving can be broadly described as any sudden change in the direction or velocity of a vehicle or truck moving at a steady rate and is often noted as sudden changes in g-forces that can be monitored by an accelerometer. Sudden braking, rapid increases in speed, and cornering at too high a speed, can all count as harsh driving and indicate unsafe and aggressive driving habits. Depending on how it is being used, an accelerometer has different levels of sensitivity, suited to its application, whether in a smartphone or inside a motor vehicle. The electrical current it generates is used to trigger a report that can be interpreted by telematics software, as well as instant real-time alerts. Harsh driving increases the risk of accident or injury to fleet drivers, fleet vehicles, and others sharing the road.

WHAT IS HARSH BRAKING?

Harsh braking occurs when a driver uses more force than necessary to stop a vehicle. This action can indicate distracted or aggressive driving which leads to increased tire wear, a variety of maintenance issues, and sometimes, costly insurance claims. Fleet vehicles fitted with telematics hardware can detect a reduction in speed greater than 6.5 MPH per second and trigger a harsh braking alert. Harsh braking is a common result of drivers not maintaining a safe following distance, increasing their risk of rear-end collisions. It can also happen when a driver is distracted and not driving mindfully or defensively when another vehicle, person or object appears on the road ahead unexpectedly.

Effects of harsh braking

  • Causes brakes to overheat
  • Glazes brake pads, making them less effective
  • Reduces the lifespan of the braking system
  • Triggers the anti-lock braking system unnecessarily
  • Puts undue stress on the braking system, increasing the wear and tear on vital components
  • Increases vehicle maintenance costs
  • Can necessitate vehicle downtime
  • Contributes to fuel spend and wastage
  • Affects your bottom line

WHAT IS HARSH ACCELERATION?

Harsh acceleration occurs when a driver uses more power than necessary to pull off from a dead stop. This action can indicate distracted or aggressive driving which leads to increased tire wear, a variety of maintenance issues, and sometimes, costly insurance claims. Fleet vehicles fitted with telematics hardware can detect an increase in speed greater than 8.5 MPH per second and trigger a harsh acceleration alert. Harsh acceleration is a common result of drivers not paying attention to the pace of traffic and needing to speed away from a stop line. It can also be because a driver is so distracted that he doesn’t notice that he’s on a collision path with another vehicle, person, or object, necessitating aggressive action to prevent a serious accident or injury.

Effects of harsh acceleration

  • Harsh acceleration often makes harsh braking a necessity
  • Harsh accelerations burn more fuel which is bad for the environment
  • Risk of injury to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians
  • Risk of damage to other vehicles, public property, or valuable loads
  • Increases vehicle maintenance costs
  • Can necessitate vehicle downtime
  • Contributes to fuel spend and wastage
  • Affects your bottom line

THE TRUE COST OF DISTRACTED DRIVING

According to www.drivesafeonline.org, the average starting cost for operators when a fleet driver has an accident is $74,000. This amount can jump to $500,000 if the crash causes a fatality. Vehicle accidents cost employers $60 billion each year in legal and medical expenses, property damage, and lost employee productivity. The cost of the damage to your business’s reputation cannot be quantified here but will be significant.

Any business that runs a fleet must prioritize driver training and ongoing safety evaluations. Fleet managers are tasked with auditing driver performance and keeping themselves appraised of costly and risky behaviors. With so many factors contributing to atypical driving events, including human error, equipment failure, and inclement weather, fleet managers are hugely aided in their task by the implementation of fleet telematics technology. App-based and OEM telematics solutions do the heavy lifting for you by keeping tabs on all aspects of fleet operations and sending an instant, real-time alert to drivers engaged in distracting behaviors or aggressive driving. Fleet managers can now easily keep track of drivers engaged in harsh braking and/or acceleration, and provide them with targeted training, greatly improving a business’s bottom line.

MiX Telematics understands the importance of reducing accidents within your fleet. Learn how our custom fleet management solutions can improve the safety of your fleet while providing a variety of other efficiency, compliance, and sustainability benefits. Contact us for a personalized quote, today!

 

A fully-implemented and supported MiX Telematics solution is guaranteed to improve driver safety and reduce accident rates while also lowering risk, liability and cost.

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