Bringing on young drivers: How telematics increases ROI

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 12:10
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Fleet managers attempt to balance training, learning and on-the-job experience with duty-of-care.

In his first article for FleetPoint, Phil Shirley looks at how fleets can manage risks while developing young talent using telematics

With the average age of truck and van drivers in the UK expected to decrease significantly in the next few years businesses are faced with the difficult challenge of managing risk while trying to develop human talent as quickly and safely as possible.

The growing trend of hiring inexperienced drivers and taking them on a crash course through everything they need to know to succeed is a natural reaction to the labour shortages in the sector as a whole, but it brings with it extra responsibility as fleet managers attempt to balance training, learning and on-the-job experience with duty-of-care.

Research shows that the combination of youth and inexperience puts younger drivers at high risk. Their inexperience means they have less ability to spot hazards, and their youth means they are particularly likely to take risks. In this way, crash risk not only reduces over time with experience but also is higher for drivers who start driving at a younger age

There is strong argument that what you spend on training now will ultimately pay off with greater revenues down the road, but the reality is learning takes time and there is no short cut to experience.

Although better driver training and investment in monitoring technology for young drivers can speed up the process of turning a raw recruit into an efficient and safe driver.

Telematics, for example, can be used to fast track development. This is possible because of the amount of driver behaviour data available.

Using a telematics device over a period of time enables a record to be built up of the time of day and distances the truck or van is usually driven, as well as whether the driver speeds and how aggressively they break and accelerate. Speed cameras are also a very effective way of persuading drivers not to speed.

Driver training programmes based on the information supplied from each tracking system enables businesses to identify individual driver characteristics, curb ‘bad habits’ and nurture and develop talent more effectively and more quickly, and in a more measured way, than traditional ‘on-the-job’ training.

This positive impact of telematics on driving style will be a major critical component of the fleet of the future, so if businesses do not get on board now, they are in danger of losing out to forward-thinking competitors that are already developing their knowledge and driver development infrastructure.

Constantly adapting to new technology and looking ahead is what any good business does to develop and thrive, and this will become increasingly important as the global workforce dynamic changes – by 2025 “Generation Y” (individuals aged 18 to 32 years) are expected to make up 75% of the global workforce.

The question for businesses is how do we appeal to this new generation? How do we how train them? And how do we retain them?

Phil Shirley is head of content, media, and public relations with Navman Wireless, a world leader in vehicle tracking solutions

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