Learning Zone

Evidence-based risk profiling: An important step to improve accident management

By Sarah Wilkinson
23 January 2021

Fleets can improve management of accidents and driver safety by making better, evidence-led projections about fleet risks.

fleet accident

While automotive safety technology is advancing and there is an increased focus on driver safety training and awareness, the number of vehicles involved in accidents on U.S. roads continues to rise.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 7% year-over-year increase in fatal crashes on U.S. roads among all vehicle types while the amount of people injured in crashes increased about 4.5%.

Figures also showed that fatalities in crashes involving large trucks rose 4% (totaling 4,067 ) and injuries in crashes involving large trucks increased 4.5%.

“There is a stark juxtaposition whereby driver and vehicle safety is being increasingly prioritized but accident rates continue to rise. The trend shows that while the industry recognizes the need to reduce risk, not enough is being done to actively identify why incidents are occurring and take adequate preventive actions.”

Joe Morgan, vice president, North American Sales, Chevin

One strong opportunity for operations to help improve accident management lies in evidence-based risk profiling: Indeed, many organizations are already sitting on vast amounts of fleet-related data that, if harnessed and assessed effectively, could support improved management decisions.

Data-led risk profiling – including continuous measurement, action and re-measurement of both vehicle and driver risk – can offer great value in helping reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring. It can also help manage the aftermath and keep costs down when incidents do take place.

For example, our own market-leading fleet accident management software, FleetWave, can be used to create advanced driver risk profiles by providing real-time visibility into driver accident histories and fines, licenses, driver training and maintenance records, and integrating telematics data related to driver behavior. The software can also record information about different vehicles, such as details of services, inspections, usage, utilization and routing. Risk analysis for different drivers and vehicles can also provide value by helping reduce costs (such as cheaper fleet insurance premiums).

When accidents do occur, FleetWave can easily identify appropriate replacement fleet vehicles and assign repair work to internal shops or external service providers. The software can also store data relating to accidents, including driver, vehicle, date, time and location details, information on damage, including photos required for insurance claims, and repair quotes.

Morgan says:

“Accidents cost fleets millions of dollars annually. They can cause injuries and fatalities, and can do great harm to a company’s reputation. Data-led risk profiling can be extremely beneficial for helping control accidents and manage incidents at all stages.”

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