Skip to main content

Using Data to Prioritize Your Fleet’s Safety Issues

Using Data to Prioritize Your Fleet’s Safety Issues

It’s company policy for your drivers to wear seat belts, but not wearing a seat belt has never led to a collision, right?

Well, indirectly, it actually has. Lytx data shows that drivers cited for seat belt violations are 3.4 times more likely to get into a collision than the average driver.  Our data also shows that drivers who have traffic violations are 4 times more likely to get into a collision.

We asked Bryon Cook, Vice President of Operations and Analytics for Lytx, why.

“There’s a correlative relationship between not wearing a seat belt and traffic violations to the likelihood of collisions, and that surfaced from looking for patterns in the data we analyze every day,” said Cook. In fact, Lytx has more than 50 billion miles of reviewed driving data to help fleets reveal driving behaviors that affect safety and efficiency of their fleets.

Data, Cook said, can help prioritize a fleet’s safety issues and find low-hanging fruit that, once addressed, can have a large and positive impact. But first, he said, that data needs to be turned into something actionable.

“Data needs to be translated into knowledge…this means using data to identify attributes or groups relevant to the problem a fleet’s trying to solve. If it’s collisions, then data should be used to identify all the attributes of the collision group: time of day, location, likelihood of road congestion, rate of speed, and most importantly, driving behaviors,” said Cook. “Then identify correlative properties – what do these groups have in common? When you identify these correlative groups, you can build insights that power effective coaching programs to directly address driving behavior.”

This methodology also revealed that truck drivers with one collision were 1½ times more likely to have at least one incident of not looking far enough ahead.

“Address the behavior of not looking far enough ahead, and help your lower your risk -- it’s that simple,” said Cook.

Using data to prioritize safety issues and behaviors can also help fleet managers tackle broader issues. For example, if it’s clear that your fleet has a cell phone problem leading to distracted driving and near-misses or collisions, then a broader fleet-wide safety effort may be needed to augment the individual coaching.

But how does a fleet manager get started?

Well, first, leveraging video can give you a high level of certainty about the extent to which those behaviors exist. If you’re experiencing collisions, you need to uncover the root causes before they can be addressed.

“Fleet managers should start with the end in mind – and be clear about the problem they’re trying to solve. Are they trying to predict the future, like identifying drivers in their fleet most likely to have a collision? Or do they want to measure performance by looking backward and using data to diagnose problems?” said Cook.

Either way, teaming up with a strong analytics provider that can leverage their knowledge base and help pinpoint risk in your fleet is key. Your telematics program may be delivering a lot of data, but that may simply lead to data overload.  On the other hand, targeted video telematics program can help you efficiently identify those factors that will have the biggest influence on your fleet’s safety.