Holistic driver behaviour

At Smartrak we're often asked the question: "how can I better manage my driver's behaviour and not have Worksafe knocking on my door if something goes wrong?" We are finding more and more the answer to this is to analyse each specific speed event and send data through to the person's manager or to the individual themselves. It is hoped by many managers that by highlighting the behaviour and creating a trail of information health and safety obligations will be covered if there is an incident that gets investigated.

Only tracking and managing speed events, is a narrow view of driver behaviour. It doesn't focus on the actual behaviours of drivers, the causes, symptoms or overall capabilities of the driver when using a work vehicle.

Instead, companies should be looking at trends and analysing drivers overtime to proactively address and manage their health and safety obligations.


Travelling more than 15% over the speed limit is not a good look and deserves some sort of feedback to the driver. But if that is their only speeding event over a long history of good driving, is it actually better than a recidivist who continually travels at 7-10% over the speed limit. This driver may not reach a predetermined speed threshold but they are potentially creating other issues for the company long-term through increased tyre wear, poor public perception of the company, increased likelihood for speeding tickets, and more vehicle maintenance costs.

Quality of Driving

There are also drivers who never speed but are a hazard on the road due to their poor driving ability. Constant heavy breaking, acceleration and hard cornering should create as much of a concern for the fleet and health and safety managers as speeding.

Look at Driver Behaviour Holistically

It is much more informative to look at driving behaviours over time. By extracting driver behaviour information from Smartrak's reporting suite a fleet manager can set up trend analysis for drivers over time. Someone that continually scores in the bottom of the continuum should then be targeted for driver education. Someone with a blip here and there would not normally show up continually at the bottom of the list. In those instances, there may be some sort of information flow to them, but at a lower touch point than a continual offender.

Look Beyond Data - Training, Education and Development

Also important is to use more than just data from a GPS system for driver behaviour improvement and training. Telematics gives you a view of how people are driving at a given point in time, however, there should be ongoing training around the safe operation of a vehicle and driver training. This can take many forms, however, some examples include; video tutorials when a new vehicle type enters the fleet, driver safety days, off-road driving training and vehicle-based tip sheets. As technology in vehicles evolves (lane departure warnings, autonomous braking etc.) training is becoming even more important. Implementing a holistic view of driver behaviour improvements, you should see improved driving behaviour by all staff.

Take stock, think big, and look beyond the numbers

By looking at driver behaviour from a more holistic perspective, if a regulator does then come to call your organisation will have a history of information showing trends over time. You will be supplementing the information from Smartrak with your own driver education programmes and showing that over time you have been improving the performance of your drivers, leading to a safer fleet overall and a safer workplace. Don't settle for a data only based approach but make sure that any initiative is holistic and encompasses a range of solution.

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