Posted on: September 20, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Fleet management relies on automated vehicle tracking and diagnostics by global positioning satellite (GPS) and radio or cellular triangulation technology.

Mechanical diagnostics like advanced fleet management systems connected with onboard computers, log and transmit data like distance, speed, fuel consumption, and driver behavior.

Fleet managers should adopt road risk assessment, prevention, maintenance and management strategies, in order to;
[ ] manage costs like insurance premiums, fuel, repairs
[ ] choose vehicles best suited to their business
[ ] updated driver training
[ ] reduce administration work
[ ] reduce incident probability
[ ] reduce driver fatigue

Logistics quality approach

European research on fleet management, logistics and occupational road safety, by Monash University, reveal different approaches in different countries.

In Sweden, a major approach to road fleet safety is quality management of logistics, including public and private business. Logistics quality assurance aims to ensure that people and goods ‘arrive at the right place, at the right time and in the right way’, without serious risk, injury or damage to goods, society or environment.

Risk awareness and alcohol programmes

In France, there has been a program to increase involvement of private companies in road safety. Agreements have been drawn up between government, insurance companies, a national occupational health fund, and volunteer organisations.

French road safety programs focus on motivating operators to undertake road safety programs by increasing their knowledge of the cost of road incidents and crashes, and decreasing workers compensation and vehicle insurance premiums. Some French programs have concentrated on drunk driving because of its large role in occupational and private road crashes in France.

Drivers agree on solutions

In Germany the Traffic Safety Council has promoted establishment of voluntary safety circles in which professional drivers meet to discuss critical points and devise solutions under leadership of an experienced moderator.

Germany’s TSC also runs a one-day training course in ‘Safe, Economical and Environmentally Friendly Driving’.

Multi programme approach

In the United Kingdom, driver training programs, incentive schemes, penalties, accident reviews, driver monitoring systems and driver feedback procedures were stepped up. It is unclear whether these measures have had an effect.

Fleet management R&D

Fleet operators invest large amounts in research and development. Onboard computers provide most fleet managers with detailed reports on behavior of drivers and vehicles. These reports are used to modify driver behavior and can also be used in accident prevention, accident analysis and reconstruction.

The most important technologies used in road safety are Tachograph type data recorders of driving time, road speed, distance travelled, engine load, as well as an Accident Data Recorder, developed to provide details on causes of accidents.

Berlin Police fleet case study

Fitting all 62 patrol cars of a Berlin police head office in 1996 with Accident Data Recorders reduced the number of accidents due to driver error by 20%, and by 36% on emergency trips. Fleet costs were reduced by 25%. Berlin police then equipped all their 400 patrol cars with Accident Data Recorders.

Baden-Württemberg bus fleet case study

In a pilot run at Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport with 123 Accident Data Recorders installed in busses, the number of accidents decreased by 17% on average.

Samovar fleet case study

In Great Britain, Netherlands and Belgium, nine vehicle fleets with a total of 341 vehicles were fitted with data recording equipment in a research program by Safety Assessment Monitoring on Vehicles with Automatic Recording (SAMOVAR) for the European Union in the framework of Drive Project V 2007.

Together with a control panel involved in similar tests, a total of 850 vehicles participated over 12 months. The accident rate had decreased by 28% due to use of vehicle data recorders.

In Africa, most accidents involve driver error or lawlessness. Fleet management technology can contribute to changing behavior of many drivers. Some drivers resent being ‘watched’ by data recorders, but most recorders exclude cabin cameras.

* Source; Dr Gerhard Lehmann and Tony Reynolds; Contribution of onboard recording systems to road safety and accident analysis.

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