The Future of How’s My Driving?
First established in 1995, How’s My Driving? was officially the first road safety risk scheme of its kind. Since then, its profile has continued to rise, taking with it, the importance of road safety and reinforcing it wherever applied. But what does the future look like for this type of scheme, and could it benefit your own fleet or business?
Let’s find out some more information on what it’s all about…
What is How’s My Driving? – Defined
How’s My Driving? helps drivers of commercial vehicles become more aware of their driving style by requesting road users to call a freephone number to deliver feedback on that particular driver and their road behavior. The hotline number is displayed on a large and visible sticker that is immediately noticeable to anyone driving behind – chances are, you’ll have seen them before. The number is usually accompanied by a simple question, “How’s My Driving?”.
How’s My Driving? is used by a broad range of companies. These range from delivery and service fleets to contractors and long-haul truck fleets (and everything in between). Drivers in these situations aren’t usually classed as permanent employees (except truckers) and are often more focused on the job rather than the trip. It is this point alone that makes them a good candidate for the monitoring of chaotic driving behavior. And there’s no restriction as to what vehicle the stickers can be seen on; they range from small 5-door cars to vans, trucks and big rigs.
So, How Does it Work?
Regardless of fleet size, drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they are operating safely while on the road. In a nutshell, these simple yet effective stickers that you’ll no doubt see on many vehicles daily can help road users to meet their obligation of driving safely.
When people call that number, they are put through to a safety hotline known as a driver monitoring program. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of vehicle crashes, and any other data that comes from the reports is a bonus. The feedback is logged and then passed to the relevant bodies, and then feedback to the individual driver of that particular vehicle.
While it’s great to think that those with the stickers on their vehicles are predominantly driving well because they ‘just do’, it’s likely that their performance has been enhanced because they are aware that this feedback option is so visibly attached to their vehicle, and therefore, associated with them.
Does the Scheme Give A Return to The Fleet Manager?
The short answer is yes! Consider that Fleet vehicle accidents are among the most expensive injury claims for business. The average cost of a loss related to fleet vehicle accidents is approximately $70,000, which is almost twice the cost of the average workplace injury. So what happens when a How’ My Driving program is introduced?
Fireman’s Fund Insurance conducted a three-and-a-half-year study of 30,000 vehicles spread across 200 fleets. The study pool included small fleets, large fleets such as Western Exterminator (900 vehicles), and fleets of tractor-trailers. The study did conclude that how’s my driving delivers benefits.
The study found that fleets using a safety hotline program saw an average across-the-board reduction in crashes of 22 percent.
OK – So What is the Future?
This simple method of providing feedback on fleets is effective because of the presence of the highly visible yellow and black stickers, but there are drawbacks:
How Does the Vehicle Sign Change?
The sign stays but now includes 3 other ways the road user can give feedback:
Does How’s My Driving Have a Future with the Popularity of Telematics?
Essentially, telematics is a highly intelligent computer that is located within a vehicle and logs and reports almost every detail. The gathered information includes everything from speeding, idling, monitoring of fuel use, and low tire pressure to name but a few. This vital information can save maintenance costs by monitoring vehicles better, and in return, improving fuel efficiency by learning more about people’s driving habits. So does it play nicely with How’s My Driving?
Yes – because Opiniator reports on what Telematics cannot:
- Bad parking
- Near misses
- Poor driver conduct
- Driver sleeping
- Driving threat
How’s My Driving does work. But it needs an update to accommodate telematics, the drivers’ communication preferences and the areas that Telematics cannot cover.