Australian fleet managers area facing a number of challenges in 2018 as revealed in a nationwide survey released by leading global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions MiX Telematics, with 26 per cent of respondents highlighting they do not have confidence that their drivers are safe behind the wheel.
The survey* of more than 200 fleet managers across Australia identified that one in three (33 per cent) respondents noted fatigue as the biggest challenge to ensuring driver safety on the road. It is estimated that 20-30 percent of all fatal crashes are due to fatigue, which often stems from sleep deprivation, medications or driving alternate shift hours. Fatigue not only affects a driver’s performance and judgement but also causes slower reaction times.
More than half (51 per cent) of respondents placed high importance on reducing crashes amongst their drivers. In fact, 37 per cent were not concerned with saving money, instead rating driver safety (46 per cent) and creating a culture of driver safety (31 per cent) as top compliance priority.
“Truck drivers are working harder than ever under financial pressures with many pushing themselves to the limits to meet tight deadlines and increasing workloads, with catastrophic outcomes,” says Lara Churton-Hughes, Head of Sales & Marketing for Australasia at MiX Telematics. “We’ve already seen an 86 percent increase in truck related deaths in NSW which sends a strong message to fleet managers to ensure they have policies and procedures in place to manage this issue.”
“The research indicates more needs to be done to protect drivers and other road users from the growing threat that fatigue poses. Advances in telematics technology solutions now make it possible to identify and monitor drivers who are tired and distracted and has been proven to significantly reduce fatigue related incidents by approximately 90 per cent and improve the efficiency of a fleet,” she said.
Eyes on the driver
In an effort to keep safety a top priority, fleet managers are utilising a variety of technologies to monitor driver behaviour and respond accordingly.
MiX Telematics offers a range of in-cab camera solutions to detect the signs of fatigue and distraction as well as poor driver behaviour. Events are then recorded by the vehicle’s on-board computer and can be viewed as a custom event in MiX’s online information and tracking platform.
“If you’re being watched, you’re going to behave differently. When a split second can be the difference between life and death, 46 per cent of respondents rely on telematics to get their drivers home safe and help them stay alert and focussed, trip after trip,” Churton-Hughes said.