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How to Cut Your Biggest Vehicle Costs with Driver Safety

Jon AlvaradoJon Alvarado

Every fleet wants to avoid collisions and mitigate risk, but driver safety means so much more. It’s an absolutely critical – and frequently overlooked – core business competency, one that has enormous impacts on both profits and overall fleet productivity.

So, how does driver safety affect fleets’ bottom lines?

The Correlation between Driver Behavior and Ongoing Vehicle Costs

When it comes to the concerns fleet managers and owners have around their drivers’ behaviors, the issue is more than just one of collisions.

The same risky, dangerous driving behaviors that increase the likelihood of collisions also increase costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Below is a snapshot of the running costs that determine the total cost of ownership (TCO) of fleet vehicles.

51% of Ongoing Costs are influenced by Driver Behavior

Fuel, insurance, repair and maintenance costs are all influenced by negative driver behaviors such as excessive speeding, aggressive acceleration, hard braking and risky phone use.

Armed with over 150 billion miles of driver data, Zendrive has identified some of the most significant bottom-line impacts for fleets.

Let’s breakdown the areas where your drivers’ behaviors are costing your fleet serious money.

Fuel

As the largest variable cost, it’s no surprise that fuel cost and consumption is on the mind of fleet managers and owners. Because price fluctuation makes the cost of fuel increasingly difficult to control, managers and owners will look to telematics to maintain fuel-efficient driving behaviors.

In the figure below, idling, vehicle maintenance, acceleration, and use of air conditioning are factors that drivers have the most control over and have the highest impact on fuel usage.

Readi Response, a commercial truck accident response company discovered that fleets can create a 10% reduction in fuel costs with just 10% of drivers who improve their behavior using telematics solutions like Zendrive’s Driver Coaching Platform1.

Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is an often-overlooked area where riskier driving styles directly increase fleet costs.

Behaviors like harsh acceleration and braking, hard cornering, and excessive speeding put unnecessary stress on key parts of your vehicles. Costly parts and frequent repairs like brake pads, brake rotors, ball joints, suspension control arms, and wheel bearings are all key components that degrade faster as a direct result of certain driver behaviors.

Of course, risky drivers mean more collisions, and safer drivers mean fewer collisions. The bottom 25% of riskiest drivers account for more than half of all commercial and fleet collisions.

Over the course of the 250-day study, fleets using the Zendrive Dashboard for driver coaching reduced the likelihood of a collision for these riskiest drivers by 49%!

Insurance

Perhaps the largest single expense for fleets is commercial insurance. The commercial auto insurance industry has lost money every year since 2011, and as a result, insurance companies are tightening their purse strings and making it increasingly expensive to insure fleets.

In fact, about a quarter of your fleet is made up of the riskiest type of driver, and they account for half of all collisions2. Zendrive estimates that for fleets with approximately 3,500 vehicles, that equates to an extra $874,000 to $2 million in Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance costs each year.

On average, big city transportation fleets with more than 10,000 drivers have accrued up to a 25% savings on their insurance premiums using the Zendrive Dashboard.

Improving Behavior through Driver Safety Can Significantly Affect Ongoing Fleet Vehicle Costs

Whether it’s fuel, maintenance, or insurance, fleet managers and owners looking to quickly and significantly reduce their operating costs should take a closer look at their drivers’ behaviors and consider whether driver coaching could offer a favorable return on investment.


Sources

1 Readi Response study from https://readiresponse.com

2 Preventing Collisions and Reducing Fleet Costs While Using the Zendrive Dashboard from https://www.zendrive.com/datastudy/losscontrol/

 

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Jon is the Content Marketing Manager at Zendrive. He distills driver data into insights and stories that educate and excite.

Jon is the Content Marketing Manager at Zendrive. He distills driver data into insights and stories that educate and excite.