Duty of Care for Fleet Managers

Innovation is changing the entire transportation industry. Uber has disrupted the way we move in a city. Google and some OEMs are actively developing autonomous vehicles that will take us from one place to another without human interaction. Amazon has patented an algorithm that predicts which products are going to be requested, so delivery vans can carry them to their destination before the order is even placed. Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications and other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are being designed for the exchange of safety critical information in real time to avoid collisions.

Transportation is becoming faster, more efficient, safer, and easy to use. One day the roads will be accident-free. But unfortunately, that time has not yet arrived and nowadays companies using vehicles (which is virtually every company) need to protect their most valuable assets — their drivers.

The article below reviews legislation related to duty of care and outlines five specific ways that GoFleet and Geotab help managers keep drivers safe while also complying with the law.

Legislation Governing Drivers At Work

Companies with drivers on the road are conscious of the negative consequences of accidents and try to reduce the related risks. The improvement of driver behavior reduces injuries and saves lives, but also has an impact on company profitability by lowering insurance premiums, vehicle repairs, and tickets. Due to the serious impact of traffic fatalities worldwide, some countries are proactively approving laws to enforce companies to take the right measures. These measures typically limit windshield time, foster vehicle inspections, and enforce compliance with road signals.

In the U.S., Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and govern the working hours of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The FMCSA recently released the final rule on electronic logging devices (ELDs) in all commercial trucks, currently under revision by the White House.

In the European Union, Regulation (EC) 561/2006 provides rules for driving time, breaks and rest periods required for drivers of goods (vehicles with more than 3.5 tonnes) or passenger vehicles (more than 8 passenger seats) within the EU.

One of the countries with more advanced initiatives in this field is the UK. Companies with fleets have a duty of care which is regulated by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of 2007. Employers have a legal obligation towards their workers in minimizing risk. Companies must comply with duty of care obligations to make sure their drivers are safe on the roads; if a driver causes an accident that could have been avoided by certain enforced policies, the company could be prosecuted and subject to possibly unlimited fines.

Managing HOS or Duty of Care Obligations with GPS Fleet Management

There are multiple ways a company can address their duty of care obligations, including risk assessments, disciplinary measures and extra training for drivers. These measures can have a positive effect, but employers who want to bring safety to the highest quotes promote the use of the most-advanced telematics systems. We offer a unique solution designed with safety features at its core and proven results drastically reducing the number of accidents.

Traditional telematics solutions record location, patterns and routes, driving times, and provide a logging system to ensure timetables are met. This was also the starting point for Geotab when the company began 15 years ago in this industry. Continuous effort in innovation and R&D has enabled Geotab and GoFleet to take duty of care compliance to the next level.

Five Reasons to Use GoFleet and Geotab for Duty of Care Compliance:

  1. Mobile App for Monitoring Accurate Driving Times.
    It is not enough to simply measure and report drive times. A fleet management solution should be able to inform your drivers about their hours and alert them when they are about to break driving hours rules. The Geotab Drive app for iOS and Android tablets and phones help drivers take full control of their time and schedule their stops accordingly.

    Geotab Drive HOS App
    Figure 1. Geotab Drive Mobile App.

  • Advanced Driving Behavior Monitoring.
    The motor insurance industry has demonstrated that there are driving patterns that have a high impact on risk beyond overspeeding and mileage. We help to identify bad driving habits, so they can be directly addressed with the driver before they become a problem.

    a. Harsh acceleration/cornering/braking.
    This indicates a dangerous driving style and usually indicates that the driver is not keeping an appropriate distance away from the vehicle in front. We provide scientific values for triggering those events, taking into account if the vehicle is a car, truck, or van.

    b. Reversing at the beginning of the trip.
    Safety associations estimate that almost 25% of accidents can be blamed on poor reversing techniques.

    c. Seatbelt usage.
    The severity of an accident is much higher if drivers fail to wear seatbelts. Although a difficult undertaking, Geotab invests a lot in getting seat belt buckled information from a vast variety of makes to ensure this information is accurate.

  • In-Cab Verbal Coaching.
    Fleet managers can work with their drivers to improve driver behavior by discussing bad habits using the reports from the system. However, using verbal feedback to coach drivers while they’re on the road is even more powerful. The GO TALK accessory can relay predefined and customizable messages when drivers are performing poorly in any of the variables discussed above.
  • Vehicle Inspection, Maintenance, and Proactive Alerts on Engine Faults.
    The status of the vehicle parts, especially brakes, tires, and safety elements, is an important factor in driver safety and compliance. We offer a complete and flexible maintenance system including service reminders and proactive alerts of engine faults and maintenance issues like battery drain, oil level, engine warning light on, coolant temperature, and more.
  • Expandability.
    We now offer a wide variety of solutions from different partners allowing Fleet Managers to add even more safety features to our core solution. For example, the Mobileye collision avoidance system warns drivers of impending collisions, following too close, or unsafe lane changes with audible and visual alerts.

Keep your drivers safe and simplify compliance at the same time; our fleet management software platform has been designed to give full control to customers while keeping the user experience simple and intuitive.

Need more information? Contact one of our fleet consultants today: [email protected].

Original Blog From Geotab, By Ivan Lequerica, European Solutions Engineering Director