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Driver safety is crucial for any business with vehicles in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatalities in the workplace – more than fires, explosions, trips, falls and equipment combined.

Unsafe driving can lead to crashes that not only risk the lives of employees and other motorists; it can end up costing companies billions of dollars. According to OSHA, motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage and lost productivity. And if company vehicles have the brand name stamped on the side, poor driver behavior can lead to a damaged reputation and lost business. To help fleet managers and business owners protect their employees and business, they should consider GPS fleet tracking technology solutions.

Using a GPS fleet tracking solution, construction business owners and fleet managers can monitor and reduce aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, harsh braking, rapid acceleration and sudden cornering. Automated reports and alerts provide the data needed to hold drivers accountable and provide the necessary coaching and training to improve driver behavior and reduce risk. Being able to monitor this activity also can lead to potential savings on insurance costs.

In addition to aggressive driving, distracted driving is a major concern among field service businesses. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated one in four car crashes involves cell phone use. To ensure employees are keeping their eyes on the road and not their cell phones, businesses can utilize a distracted driving solution offered by certain fleet tracking providers. This solution prevents drivers from talking, texting, emailing and surfing the web while a vehicle is in motion.

Because employees may be traveling to new jobsites regularly, it’s important that they have a safe and effective way to follow directions. GPS fleet tracking technology allows drivers to follow voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions, so they don’t have to take their eyes off the road to look at routes. If drivers get lost, dispatchers can quickly re-route drivers on the fly, providing all parties with peace of mind.

Preventive maintenance is also crucial in order to prevent accidents and keep vehicles running smoothly. According to the Department of Transportation, more than 10 percent of at-fault truck crashes can be attributed specifically to vehicle issues. To help ensure maintenance is occurring consistently and on schedule, fleet managers can utilize fleet tracking features such as automated maintenance schedules, logs and reports. This allows fleet managers to receive notification when it’s time for upkeep and repairs and easily keep track of services performed.

Driver education and training can help to strengthen driving skills and improve behavior, so it’s important that fleet managers and business owners implement some type of training program. Online driver education can be a valuable resource for construction businesses, as it allows employees to take courses at their own convenience. Fleet managers can choose courses that cover a wide range of topics, such as aggressive driving, distracted driving and proactive defensive driving, helping to meet each driver’s individual needs. There are certain fleet tracking providers that offer driver education programs, allowing fleet managers to utilize one solution for all of their safety needs.

Solutions such as GPS fleet tracking technology provide a variety of safety features helping to improve overall fleet safety. Many businesses that utilize this technology have seen major improvements in driver behavior and consider it to be a crucial business tool. Taking a proactive approach to safety can help reduce accidents, protect employees and keep operations running at its full potential.

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