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GUEST BLOG: Incorporating smartphone-based telematics into fleet duty of care

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By Nick List, Customer Success Director, Europe, eDriving

Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 all UK companies have a legal obligation to ensure their employees do not suffer any unreasonable or foreseeable harm or loss in the workplace and, as such, fleet operators have a duty to not only ensure that company-owned vehicles are safe to drive but that any work-related risks for drivers are minimised.  

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states that: “Health and safety law applies to work activities on the road in the same way as it does to all other work activities and you should manage the risks to drivers as part of your health and safety arrangements”.

In its Driving at work: Managing work-related road safety document, the HSE defines that health and safety law applies to any employer with employees who drive, ride a motorcycle or bicycle at work, as well as self-employed people. It also applies to those using their own vehicle for a work-related journey. 

For an increasing number of fleet operators, telematics is becoming part of their risk management strategy and here Nick List, eDriving’s Customer Success Director, Europe, highlights some of the benefits of smartphone-based telematics in helping to manage driver risks and explains how this technology can help fleet operators fulfil their duty of care obligations, including among the grey fleet…

In terms of managing driver risk, what’s expected of the fleet operator? 

The HSE outlines three main requirements of managing road safety effectively: safe driver, safe vehicle and safe journey. Safe driver starts with ensuring drivers are competent and capable of doing their work in a way that is safe and also incorporates other requirements such as checking the validity of driving licences on recruitment and periodically, ensuring drivers are adequately trained, providing refresher training if needed, and ensuring drivers are aware of various risk factors, including fatigue. 

Safe vehicle means vehicles are fit for purpose, maintained in a safe and fit condition and also includes ergonomic considerations such as seating position and driving posture. Remember, this will extend to all vehicles being used for company business, not just those within the organisation’s fleet. 

Safe journey includes planning routes thoroughly, setting realistic work schedules with regular breaks, allowing drivers enough time to complete journeys safely and considering weather conditions when planning journeys. 

How can smartphone-based telematics be incorporated into driver risk management? 

A comprehensive driver risk management programme will be based around a solid safety culture that puts safety before anything else. This safety culture will have the support of senior leadership and will be reinforced at every opportunity. 

Smartphone-based telematics can enhance a safety culture by providing visibility to managers and drivers about actual on-road performance, enabling risk intervention to be targeted accordingly. Smartphone-based telematics programmes can help to reinforce an organisation’s safety messaging through gamification features that engage and encourage drivers, keep informal safety conversations going and, crucially, provide the actual training that drivers require based upon their own individual driving style.  

What are the advantages of smartphone-based telematics over traditional in-vehicle telematics? 

Telematics can identify harsh manoeuvres such as harsh acceleration, braking and cornering; as well as speeding by posted speed limit. And while traditional, in-vehicle “black box” style telematics cannot measure driver distraction, smartphone-based telematics can. This can include any type of phone use including calls, texts, internet use and even moving the phone to view a notification. For organisations that have a “no phone usage” policy, smartphone telematics can therefore be used as an effective audit tool. 

Because smartphone-based telematics uses smartphone technology, there is no end to the features available. eDriving’s programme, Mentor by eDrivingSM, not only measures driver risk and helps to remedy it via in-app training but it also incorporates additional features to help fleet operators manage their duty of care including First Notice of Loss (FNOL), which allows drivers to report an “event” (Collision, Incident, Crash or Licence Endorsement) from within the app. It also offers vehicle inspection reports, guiding drivers through their daily walk-around vehicle checks, with key fault alerts being automatically notified to the leasing company.

How can driver strengths/ weaknesses be identified? 

Smartphone-based telematics can help both drivers and managers see how a driver performs on each and every “at-work” journey. Going a little further, driver scoring provides an at-a-glance measure of how a driver’s performance changes over time; helping both drivers and managers to measure improvement and promptly identify areas for intervention. 

How can smartphone-based telematics help fleet operators to manage driver risk in the grey fleet? 

A unique feature of smartphone-based telematics is that it requires no installation and moves with the driver and their mobile phone. It therefore works in exactly the same way whether the driver is in a company-owned vehicle or a personal vehicle, facilitating a standard measure of driver risk across an organisation’s whole fleet, regardless of vehicle type, ownership or location. 

What action can managers take based on telematics insights/ driver scores? 

One of the mistakes commonly made by fleet operators is to provide driver training when someone begins employment and then pretty much leave the driver to it after that. Some organisations may go a little further and provide refresher training, but this is often only on an annual basis and not always risk-based for the driver. Without the need to encroach on a driver’s privacy in terms of where they are driving, smartphone-based telematics and driver scoring can give managers an almost real-time insight into a driver’s level of risk and helps managers see which drivers require additional training, and of what nature. 

Driver training can then be tailored specifically to address a driver’s specific development needs, and this can be delivered in numerous ways. One method we use at eDriving – via our Mentor programme – is to deliver interactive micro-training modules directly to the smartphone app, based on the behaviours identified. So, for example, if a driver’s braking is identified as an issue, the driver will receive a short in-app video training module to encourage smoother braking.

Managers have complete visibility of training assignments and completions; and drivers that continue to under-perform are identified to the manager for further support and intervention, which might include in-car training or professional coaching. 

eDriving named Top Ten Risk Management Solution Provider

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eDriving, a registered supplier for November’s Fleet Services Management Summit, has been named one of the Top Ten Risk Management Solution Providers of 2019 by Insurance CIO Outlook magazine. 

The prestigious list comprises organisations that provide risk management technologies and solutions to help insurance providers mitigate risk. 

eDriving’s inclusion in the list is thanks to its ability to help insurance providers not just measure and price their risk (UBI) but take it to the next level, and help them and their clients reduce risk via Risk Managed Insurance (RMI). 

“We’ve spent more than 20 years refining our patented approach with some of the world’s largest fleets and insurance partners. This approach allows us to transform these complex data sets into actionable information for both insurance providers and their customers,” said Ed Dubens, CEO/ Founder of eDriving. “Using a combination of leading indicators obtained from telematics as well as traditional data sources such as licence checks, and collision data, we create a holistic view of driver risk.”

eDriving’s RMI offering uses sophisticated techniques to identify the scope of the risk and deploys state-of-the-art risk mitigation tools to reduce collisions, incidents, injuries and near misses, an approach that can dramatically improve the performance at both customer and portfolio levels. 

The eDriving RMI multi-faceted Loss Control programme is comprised of the following:

  • Customer loss analysis using Munich Re’s LossDetect® tool
  • Customer risk assessment using eDriving’s online scored assessment
  • Recommendation deployment and monitoring based on LossDetect® and risk assessment results
  • Complete reporting to Underwriters of LossDetect® and risk assessment results
  • Mentor by eDrivingSM– A comprehensive driver risk management programme that helps organisations to reduce collisions, injuries, and licence endorsements, resulting in bottom line improvements for customers and insurers, alike. The programme includes eDriving’s patented five-stage, closed-loop approach to driver risk management and adds Mentor’s smartphone technology that captures individual driver risk behaviour, a FICO® Safe Driving Score validated to predict likelihood of crashes/incidents, gamification, and in-app micro-training to reduce driver risk levels. Learn more about Mentor here.

As well as making the Top Ten Risk Management Solution Provider list, eDriving is featured as Insurance CIO Outlook’s cover story.

View article here.

Changing driver behaviour through telematics: First step, safety culture

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By Nick List, Customer Success Director, Europe at eDriving

Telematics solutions are fast becoming commonplace among fleets. No longer valued only for their “track and trace” capabilities, telematics solutions are now able to provide a vast array of behavioural insights to help fleet managers improve driver safety and wellbeing. 

Fleet managers have the ability to see real-time driver safety performance and promptly identify trends, both positive and negative. However, for behaviour-based telematics to measurably impact on work-related road risk, it’s important for an organisation to already have a solid safety culture in place. 

A commitment to safety

Organisations that introduce telematics as their “driver safety solution” without first having a solid safety culture are less likely to experience a long-term reduction in collisions and incidents. By a solid safety culture, I mean having in place policies, procedures, risk assessments, training, and most importantly, effective two-way communication between the driver and their immediate manager; all in the wider context of an organisation-wide commitment to safety, including senior leadership.

Without policies that detail what is reasonably expected of drivers in terms of their behaviour – in relation to speeding, distraction, braking, cornering, for example – how do drivers know that they need to improve? And, even with telematics data, how do drivers know what behaviours they are aiming for? 

Don’t underestimate the role that line managers play in your safety culture or the influence they have on your organisation’s safety operational balance (i.e. maintaining the same level of importance for safety as for operations). As well as providing ongoing training to drivers, it’s equally important to train managers so that they too fully understand the influence they have in helping keep drivers safe as well as recognising how best to engage with drivers. 

Interpreting telematics data

The output from telematics can be overwhelming. That’s another reason why a solid safety culture is so important. If you know what your organisation is aiming toward, you can use telematics data to guide drivers towards your safety goals. Most telematics providers will issue manager reports that give insights into driving behaviours such as speed versus posted speed limit, braking, acceleration and cornering. At eDriving, our smartphone telematics programme, Mentor by eDrivingSM, also provides feedback on phone manipulation, whether that be a phone call (handheld or hands-free), text, accessing social media or even just moving the phone to view a notification. 

It’s important that the data supplied by your telematics provider is useful and relevant to your organisation, and that you are supported in acting on this data. eDriving’s Mentor programme does this automatically, prescribing micro training modules within the smartphone app, tailored to the driving behaviours that have been identified; including distraction, speeding, scanning, braking etc. In addition, Mentor’s manager dashboard can automatically identify the 10% of drivers most at-risk in any given month and assign Manager-Driver OnetoOnes®to discuss and develop action plans for improvement. 

Effective regular communication

Communication with drivers is fundamental… Consider this: a driver has telematics installed and regularly triggers warnings about their driving behaviour, If their manager does nothing about these warnings it won’t take long for a driver to realise that they can simply ignore them. Without analysis and discussion, risky driving behaviour will never be changed. 

Again, that brings us back to the importance of a solid safety culture. Drivers need to be aware of the interventions that will occur should they fail to meet the organisation’s safe driving requirements. And don’t forget to address how good driving behaviours will be rewarded as that’s equally important. 

Formal communication (as in the case of Manager-Driver OnetoOnes) will ideally be supported by regular informal communication, whether that be in the form of face-to-face chats, driver emails, newsletters, team discussions or posters. Feedback, feedback and more feedback goes a long way to maintaining a strong safety culture over time. 

Transparency for drivers

One of the biggest concerns drivers have about telematics is their privacy. But, a solid safety culture addresses privacy concerns at the outset. And, the subsequent introduction of telematics will only serve to reinforce your mission of ensuring drivers make it home safely every day, rather than triggering concerns. If your whole organisation is aware of your commitment to safety, drivers are more likely to view telematics in a positive light. Enabling them to see how they’re performing and areas in which they can improve will further boost their engagement. 

eDriving’s Mentor programme has full transparency for drivers and acts like a fitness coach in that it prescribes drivers with their own personal validated driving score that is recalculated after every trip and accompanied by feedback related to specific driving behaviours including acceleration, braking, cornering, distraction and speeding. Drivers can immediately see areas in which they could do better and can even join colleagues in competing for the best scores using the gamification feature, “Circles”. 

To summarise, if you’re considering a new telematics programme, or assessing the effectiveness of an existing one, first look to your safety culture. Could it be strengthened? If so, it’s worth investing your time in creating a solid foundation before focusing your efforts on telematics solutions. Yes, behaviour-based telematics can be a valuable tool for reducing collision and claim rates, but only when deployed into a company culture that truly puts safety first. 

Nick List is eDriving’s Customer Success Director for Europe. 

About eDriving

eDriving helps organisations to reduce collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership through a patented closed-loop driver behaviour-based safety programme that reduces collisions by up to 67%. The risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest and safest fleets, eDriving has served over one million drivers in 45 languages and 96 countries over its 23 years in the industry and has been recognised through 70+ client and partner awards.

eDriving will be exhibiting at Safety & Health Expo in London from 18-20 June and presenting a panel discussion on Using a Closed-Loop Approach to Measure, Manage & Reduce Driver Risk at 2:00-2:30 p.m. on 19 June in the Operational Excellence Theatre. More information.

Visit www.edriving.com.

Mentor by eDriving identifies and helps improve fleet driver behaviour

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eDriving’s fleet management software helps to reduce collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership through a patented closed-loop driver behaviour-based safety programme.

Having worked with fleets for almost 25 years, eDrivingSM has identified the key components required to achieve a crash-free culture®– and they comprise a closed-loop approach to driver safety that has helped eDriving’s clients successfully reduce collisions by up to 67%.

The company’s patented programme, Mentor by eDrivingSM, provides behavioural insights and actionable intelligence to help organisations build a holistic view of driver risk within a company-wide crash-free culture. 

The Mentor platform integrates data from telematics, collisions, incidents, and licence checks to provide a complete 360-degree view of driver risk. It also provides managers with tools to reduce risk and sustain driver behaviour improvements over time. The result is reduced collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership. And, most importantly, the assurance that drivers return home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day. 

Broad appeal across industries and vehicle-types

At the heart of the MentorSMprogram is an innovative telematics-based app that uses smartphone sensors to collect and analyse driver behaviours most predictive of risk including acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding, and uniquely, distraction. 

As a result of eDriving’s partnership with predictive analytics and data science pioneer, FICO®, drivers are awarded an individual score that enables both drivers and managers to see positive and negative trends in performance. Poised to become the industry standard for safe driving, the FICO® Safe Driving Score has been validated to predict the likelihood of a driver being involved in a crash or incident.  

Mentor’s gamification features, such as Circles(personal groups for sharing scores), promote engagement and friendly competition among drivers, while its unique closed-loop training makes it the only safe driving programme that goes beyond scoring to focus on improving performance. Short, engaging training modules are automatically prescribed in-app for users to view any time, any place, employing a customised continuous improvement model for lasting risk reduction. 

Because Mentor requires no hardware installation, it has broad appeal across types of drivers, vehicles (motorcycles/two-wheelers, cars, trucks, and vans), applications (service, sales, and delivery fleets of all sizes), and location (currently available in 14 languages with both right-hand drive and left-hand drive training modules).

For more information email: fleet@edriving.com or visit: www.edriving.com

GUEST BLOG: Effectively managing driver risk by making safety part of every day

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By Andy Cuerden, Managing Director, Europe, eDriving

What do you do if a customer calls your company employee while they are driving?

An eDriving client recently shared a story about a customer calling their customer services department from a mobile phone while driving.

The customer services representative politely informed the customer: “I’m sorry, it is against our company policy to talk to customers when they are driving. Please call back when you’re not driving.” 

For eDriving, a risk management company with over 23 years of experience of working with fleets on a global scale, this story is an excellent real-world example of a safety culture successfully becoming part of an organisation’s DNA. Especially when you consider that, with a non-driving role, a customer services rep would not typically be part of a company’s road safety programme or subject to their mobile phone while driving/ distracted driving policies.

It clearly demonstrates that safe driving is top of the company’s agenda, across the whole organisation. And, despite the customer not being too impressed, the employee was fully supported by her line manager and leadership. 

The reason for sharing this story is to demonstrate that, while risk management might officially be the responsibility of your company’s health and safety, risk or fleet management departments; safety is in fact everyone’s responsibility. And that includes leadership. Regardless of job title, everyone wants to make it home safely at the end of every day and everyone therefore has a shared responsibility for your organisation’s safety mission. 

At eDriving we talk about working towards a crash-free culture®. That’s a culture in which risk  reduction efforts are at the forefront of your organisation’s activities and one that does not accept crashes as an inevitable part of driving for work. 

Making safety part of every day

Safety should be part of daily discussions, activities and meetings. It should also form part of performance reviews, annual conferences, etc. Any opportunity to bring safety to the table should be taken, so that it’s never seen as a “campaign”, or “tick-box” exercise. It must become a way of life. 

Driver policies, risk assessment and routine training should be standard, but these should be supplemented and supported by ongoing safety messaging that maintains or guides safer driving behaviours and quickly addresses risky behaviours before they become habits. In the digital age it’s relatively straightforward to communicate your safety goals, missions and objectives regularly. Think of different ways to engage employees; from email signatures to prizes for best performance, it all helps to keep the focus firmly fixed on driver safety. 

Start at the top

If creating a crash-free culture was easy, everyone would be doing it. It does take effort, but it’s worth it. Securing leadership backing is crucial for the messaging and commitment to work its way down – and across – your organisation’s hierarchy. 

Make sure all managers are on board and engaged, and give them the tools they need to communicate with their teams. Involve your customers and employees’ families wherever possible, who might include authorised drivers of company vehicles. Set goals, targets and produce analytics to measure progress. In-house attitude surveys will keep you on track, as well as informal discussions wherever possible.

It goes without saying that dialling into conference calls, sales or product development meetings while driving needs to become a thing of the past for ALL employees – yes you might experience pushback on this but if it’s company policy it’s important for everyone, at all levels, to live and breathe it.

And, interestingly, many of our clients report an increase in productivity, wellbeing, creativity and profitability when they prohibit the use of mobile phones while driving. 

Make use of actionable intelligence

While telematics data alone will not change driver behaviour, telematics data can provide helpful insights into how your crash-free culture and wider risk management programme is performing.

Acceleration, braking, cornering, speed vs. speed limit of the road, and distraction events data, combined with your drivers’ crash and licence endorsement history can help you to identify your most “at-risk” drivers for further support and coaching.

Similarly, this combination of data helps you to review the progress of your risk management programme and ensure that driver safety remains where it should be on your list of company priorities: right at the top, every day. 

About eDriving
eDriving helps organisations to reduce collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership through a patented closed-loop driver behaviour-based safety programme that reduces collisions by up to 67% and provides ROI of 20-40%. 

Mentor by eDriving’s comprehensive systemprovides behavioural insights and actionable intelligence to help organisations build a total view of driver risk within a company-wide crash-free culture to ensure that all drivers return home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day. 

eDriving is the risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest and safest fleets, having served over 1 million drivers in 45 languages and 96 countries over its 23 years in the industry. eDriving’s programme has been recognised through 70+ client and partner awards around the world.