Telematics is reducing accidents among business fleets

12.00 | 26 February 2016 | | 4 comments

The use of telematics is reducing the number of accidents involving people who are driving as part of their job, according to research by RAC Business.

More than half (52%) of the 500 UK businesses surveyed said black box technology has reduced the number of collisions, while 58% reported a reduction in speeding incidents and fines.

43% of firms questioned said the use of telematics supported their Duty of Care policies, while 11% said insurance premiums had decreased as a result of installing telematics.

The RAC says around 38% of businesses in the UK use telematics among their vehicle fleets.The area with the greatest use of the technology is London (45%).

The study, which included businesses across all sectors, also suggests that 55% of firms saw a reduction in wear and tear, while 48% said there was a reduction in downtime for their vehicles.

Nick Walker, RAC telematics managing director, says the results of the research confirm a significant shift in the use of telematics in business away from a ‘Big Brother’ tracking function, to being much more concerned with vehicle health, driver information and keeping staff safe.

He said: “The potential for telematics in terms of looking after a fleet of vehicles is enormous as there is so much information that can be extracted and used by the business owner or fleet manager.

“The idea that businesses are using telematics just to track their staff is really quite outdated now, they are much more interested in information about how the vehicle is performing and getting alerts about parts that need replacing, or vehicles that need servicing.

“Telematics is a key aspect of Duty of Care policies now, helping to promote safer driving so there are fewer speeding fines or accidents, which all contributes to less downtime and therefore a much more efficient business.

“Investment in a fleet and the ongoing running costs are significant for any business, and with the kind of information now available through telematics you can ensure those valuable business assets are being properly maintained wherever they are in the country, that is extremely valuable insight for any business owner.”


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    Out of interest, what is the conclusive link between the reduction in collisions and the black box technology, as reported in the second para? Is it a presumed link, or is there some provable cause and effect? If it were a claimed link between say speed cameras and collision reduction, some might say it was a statistical blip and not conclusive so I’d be interested to know more because if the effect is that dramatic, it shouldn’t be ignored as a major step forward.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Honor – That’s certainly possible in some cases. One driver here used telematics to prove his innocence – no cloning involved:

    A motorist has escaped a charge of speeding by using telematics data. The case is believed to be the first of its kind and could open the floodgates for hundreds of thousands of motorists.

    Neil Herron was alleged to be driving his vehicle at 40 mph in a 30mph limit on 13th January 2014 at 12.15pm. His vehicle’s speed was captured by an LTI 20:20 Ultralyte 1000 Speed Measuring Device operated by a mobile patrol. However, Herron was trialling a driver safety telematic device at the time, and the data produced by the device indicated that the vehicle speed was way below the 30mph speed limit.

    Herron therefore decided to challenge the police evidence in court. 19 months later, the Sunderland Magistrates Court found in his favour after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence.

    As accurate, affordable GPS technology is now being used by more and more motorists it is only a matter of time before more and more cases of this type come before the courts.

    Paul Biggs, Staffordshire
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    The telematics evidence may have been used to prove the vehicle location thus showing that a cloned vehicle was responsible for the speeding offence.

    Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB
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    This is interesting too, from the RAC Business October 2015: A third of fleets use telematics to contest speeding fines and insurance claims: “Nearly a fifth (18%) of the 500 businesses surveyed have used telematics data to prove that a driver wasn’t at fault for an insurance claim, and a further 17% have used the data to successfully appeal against a speeding fine.” I find it very worrying that so many drivers are being falsely accused of speeding and yet without telematics or a tachograph there is no defence.

    Paul Biggs, Staffordshire
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