Why Your Telematics Program Needs Driver Monitoring

When utilizing and implementing telematics, there are a variety of pitfalls to consider in both commercial and personal vehicles, leaving your company and driver population open to immense risk. These include:

Driving to appease telematics

What if your driver is only taking positive action behind the wheel in an effort to appease the technology? Telematics records what a driver is doing in the car while the telematics device is on. With that being said, drivers may make decisions necessary in avoiding on-the-job vehicle incidents that aren’t part of their normal off-the-clock driving behavior, strictly to appease their telematics system. These drivers could also feel the need to act in more unsafe ways in the moment in an attempt to avoid having their driving register as faulty or dangerous.

Jamming GPS signals

Additionally, telematics may not always be reliable. From a technological standpoint, GPS signals associated with telematics systems can easily be jammed by devices aimed at causing disruption in signal broadcasts. The only way to prevent this from occurring is by buying a telematics system that will detect and report signal jamming – only adding to the costliness and investment in telematics systems. Understanding too that oftentimes, physical technology is almost immediately outdated, you run the expense of continuing to update to the latest and greatest telematics system.

Connecting telematics to desirable behaviors

A lot of information on driver behavior can be gathered through state and federal law enforcement databases, in-vehicle telematics, camera systems and a plethora of data-driven safety technology. All of these driver data sources can speak to behavior, including excessive speed, distraction, fatigue, aggressive driving and more. The challenge is to correlate those negative behaviors to an undesirable outcome – in this instance, a crash. Consider too trying to link these data points to your safety policy at hand as well. Connecting the dots manually requires an extreme administrative burden.

What telematics can’t tell you

What telematics doesn’t provide from a data perspective is insight into violations received when someone is driving that vehicle. With driver monitoring, you gain the visibility lacking with just using telematics, proactively ensuring you have the best drivers on the road and comprehensive driver data flowing, both on and off the clock.

What aren’t you seeing though? Telematics doesn’t tell you if a driver should be behind the wheel of a vehicle based off of your safety policy. You only know what is reported through on the road behavior – and as you can see, there are a myriad of ways to circumvent the scrutiny of a telematics program.

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