Getting Drowsy While Driving

Drowsy Driving Statistics

According to one post, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)  says “Drowsy driving kills – but is preventable.” They attribute 697 deaths in 2019 to drowsy driving related crashes. In another article, Jesse Blatt, NHTSA Senior Research Psychologist estimated that getting drowsy while driving, specifically fatigue and sleep deprivation, contributes to as many as 100,000 reported collisions annually in the US, resulting in as many as 1500 deaths.

Considering the sedentary lifestyle, and long hours spent driving, much of it at night, commercial truck drivers are at extremely high risk for falling asleep while driving. According to FMCSA, studies indicate that 28% of commercial truckers may actually suffer from undiagnosed mild to severe sleep disorders that affect their quality of sleep.

Lighter Duty Vehicles

For service truck and delivery drivers, it is nearly impossible to track as work hours and driving time are not tightly regulated as they are for over the road truckers. But when deadlines are looming and workers put in overtime hours, work related fatigue can also contribute to getting drowsy while driving.

Even vacationers driving long distances that they are not used to can fall victim to drowsy driving. In the case of leisure travelers and long weekend road trips, alcohol may also become a contributing factor. Bottom line, we all share the same roads and inherent risks.

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Danger Signs of Drowsy Driving

According to the Sleep Foundation, these are the signs to be aware of. If you notice them, you should look for the next available opportunity to stop and rest. If you notice them in a vehicle you are driving near, put some space between that vehicle and yours.

  • Frequent yawning
  • Feelings of dozing off
  • Tired eyes, droopy eyes, or an increase in blinking
  • Drifting into other lanes or hitting “rumble strips” on the road
  • Inability to remember the last few miles
  • Missing a road sign or exit
  • Following other cars too closely
  • Difficulty maintaining proper speed

Liability Issues

There is a wealth of information to be found on the law firm websites that specialize in collision litigation. It is not surprising that trucking companies are concerned about potential nuclear verdicts when you see the number of law firms engaging in this specialty. One such firms states on their site, “fatigued truck drivers account for approximately 750 deaths and 20,000 injuries every year according to the FMCSA”. What we learn from their content is that if you are involved in a collision and suspected of drowsy driving, that is just the beginning. The deeper your pockets, the deeper they will dig.

Drivers taking prescription meds for legitimate conditions may not be aware of the side effects of those drugs. Any drugs that have side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness should be avoided entirely to prevent getting drowsy while driving. Drivers under pressure to pick up the next load or deliver on time may be tempted to skip a break or a vehicle inspection to save a few precious minutes. If this comes to light in a subsequent litigation, both the employer and the driver will be held accountable.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep to Prevent Drowsy Driving

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nothing is better than a good night’s rest to prevent getting drowsy while driving. There are a variety of sources available to truckers (as well as the rest of us) for the sole purpose of getting better, more comfortable sleep for improved health and wellness. We found lots of great suggestions for drivers on MySlumberyard.com as well as other health and wellness sites.

Here are the top 10 suggestions we found.

  1. Getting good, restful sleep is critical! Create a great sleep environment in your sleeper cab. This includes a good comfortable mattress, mattress topper and pillow appropriate to your size and weight. Be sure to have a way to block light if you have a window in your sleeper cab. Have blankets or comforters in weights appropriate to the climate/season you are driving in.
  2. Park as far from buildings, street/parking lot lights, and other vehicles as possible for a quieter sleeping spot. Use white noise or ear plugs when needed. Avoid parking next to reefer trucks and live animal loads.
  3. Treat yourself to a motel with a real bed every now and then.
  4. Have a sleep routine. As much as possible stick to that routine so your body develops a rhythm for when it’s time to drive and when it is time to rest. Keep in mind, experts say midnight to 6:00 AM is the drowsiest time of day for most people.
  5. If possible, bring a travel companion. Good company and conversation help to keep you alert.
  6. If you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, or often feel sleepy during the day, see your doctor for evaluation of potential sleep disorders.
  7. Learn where the best Truck Stops and Rest Areas are along your route and plan your drive time so you can stop at them.
  8. Eat nutritious meals and avoid excessive eating or drinking before going to sleep.
  9. Avoid stressful phone calls before going to sleep.
  10. We all need to wind down after a busy day. Consider a meditation routine, leisurely walk, yoga, or listening to relaxing music before going to bed.

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Fleetistics and Government Agency Fleet Management

Beyond GPS: 5 Ways Telematics Improves A Government Fleet

When it comes to fleet management, GPS tracking is the first and sometimes only thing many people within government agencies think can be provided. However, more can be provided and at great depth – such as telematics, fuel economy, driver coaching and more.

More Than GPS Tracking

This is optimized and reliable data that can be utilized to improve safety, savings, service and effectiveness. It provides fleet managers the knowledge and the right technology to protect their drivers and employees by making data-driven decisions.

Manage Fleet Utilization for Best Investment

First off, a fleet manager must prepare to implement a GPS Tracking and Telematics system and testing one to find the right fit for an agency can feel overwhelming. However, there are options to protect an investment in vehicles and assets, whether those be a new fleet of electric cars or even heavy-duty construction equipment.

Fleetistics offers a pilot program: a short-term test to confirm what has been presented to small fleets or fleets with fewer needs. But there is also our SEP, or Solution Evaluation Process, and is attractive and beneficial for large fleets with complex GPS Tracking and Telematics requirements.

Either one of these evaluation processes, can easily provide fleet managers and government agencies the necessary information and data to make the right managerial decisions that will provide more return on their fleet investment.

Testing Large Fleet

Promoting Safer Driving Behavior With Coaching

When it comes to fleet management in a government agency, driver safety will be of the utmost importance. That, of course, translates to the safety of those on the same roadways as the drivers.

It is important to be able to access data that will allow fleet managers to coach drivers to improve driving behaviors, such as avoiding reckless operation or excessive speed. Fleetistics can provide your agency with digital Driver Safety Scorecards, which focus on three primary elements of unsafe driving: aggressive driving, seat belt usage and speeding.

Tracking Large Fleet YT

This data can then be utilized to coach better driving behaviors from drivers in your fleet. That way your agency can avoid more far-reaching financial and psychological effects on employees, their co-workers, family, and supervisors, as well as the community at large. It is far more practical to coach a driver to exhibit safe driving habits than it is to go through the process of recruiting, hiring and training new drivers with no track record. Understanding how to introduce GPS tracking to drivers will improve the overall result.

 

Reduce Fuel and Maintenance Spending

With any operational government agency fleet, fuel and maintenance is a significant expenditure. It factors into the total cost of ownership, rolling cost per mile, unplanned downtime and the overall fleet budget.

With an integrated fleet fuel management system, government agencies can monitor fuel usage and gain useful data to make more economical decisions. While there are many factors that determine this data – idling in traffic, excessive speeding and harsh braking, and even weather that affects use of the internal heating and cooling systems – fleet managers will at least have data to proactively make adjustments to reduce fuel expenditures.

Additionally, government agencies can program advanced engine diagnostic alerts. These can be based on hours, calendar days, or miles driven. At Fleetistics, our Enterprise Class Fleet Maintenance Software, reduces unscheduled downtime for vehicles and assets, that way your government fleet can stay optimized for the best usage at all times.

Optimize Disaster Preparedness and Response

Fleet managers are now using GPS Tracking and Telematics systems to be more proactive in preparing for natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding. Government agencies can take advantage of having a reliable, integrated system to be an invaluable tool for disaster preparedness and response. From vehicle and equipment locations to current fuel levels, a tracking and telematics system will provide the tools necessary to prep for the before, during and aftermath of a disaster.

Communications to Municipal Services in the Community

Beyond that, government agencies can be more visible, transparent and reliable by providing its community with real-time, up-to-the-minute locations and information about its fleets and services. By also using a citizen help network, such as Pubsafe, citizens can easily see location and/or response times during emergencies, power outages or critical weather events. Fleet management solutions allow managers to display the location data for an entire fleet in popular third-party outage management applications, and display problem locations on their internal tracking maps.

The bottom line is that an integrated telematics system that includes GPS tracking is so much more than dots on a map or vehicle tracking, especially for a government agency.

With access to critical information such as fuel usage and driver behavior data like speeding and idling, agencies can quickly identify cost-saving opportunities, drive-behavior-coaching modifications and implement proactive-maintenance plans. In the end, it helps your government agency become the invaluable service to the taxpayers expect it to be.

Vehicle driving in storm

To learn more about getting your government agency fleet started with a telematics system, contact Fleetistics today!

Beyond GPS: 5 Ways Telematics Improves A Government Fleet

When it comes to fleet management, GPS tracking is the first and sometimes only thing many people within government agencies think can be provided. However, more can be provided and at great depth – such as telematics, fuel economy, driver coaching and more.

More Than GPS Tracking

This is optimized and reliable data that can be utilized to improve safety, savings, service and effectiveness. It provides fleet managers the knowledge and the right technology to protect their drivers and employees by making data-driven decisions.

Manage Fleet Utilization for Best Investment

First off, a fleet manager must prepare to implement a GPS Tracking and Telematics system and testing one to find the right fit for an agency can feel overwhelming. However, there are options to protect an investment in vehicles and assets, whether those be a new fleet of electric cars or even heavy-duty construction equipment.

Fleetistics offers a pilot program: a short-term test to confirm what has been presented to small fleets or fleets with fewer needs. But there is also our SEP, or Solution Evaluation Process, and is attractive and beneficial for large fleets with complex GPS Tracking and Telematics requirements.

Either one of these evaluation processes, can easily provide fleet managers and government agencies the necessary information and data to make the right managerial decisions that will provide more return on their fleet investment.

Request a Consultation (USA Only)

9 + 6 =

Testing Large Fleet

Promoting Safer Driving Behavior With Coaching

When it comes to fleet management in a government agency, driver safety will be of the utmost importance. That, of course, translates to the safety of those on the same roadways as the drivers.

It is important to be able to access data that will allow fleet managers to coach drivers to improve driving behaviors, such as avoiding reckless operation or excessive speed. Fleetistics can provide your agency with digital Driver Safety Scorecards, which focus on three primary elements of unsafe driving: aggressive driving, seat belt usage and speeding.

Tracking Large Fleet YT

This data can then be utilized to coach better driving behaviors from drivers in your fleet. That way your agency can avoid more far-reaching financial and psychological effects on employees, their co-workers, family, and supervisors, as well as the community at large. It is far more practical to coach a driver to exhibit safe driving habits than it is to go through the process of recruiting, hiring and training new drivers with no track record. Understanding how to introduce GPS tracking to drivers will improve the overall result.

Reduce Fuel and Maintenance Spending

With any operational government agency fleet, fuel and maintenance is a significant expenditure. It factors into the total cost of ownership, rolling cost per mile, unplanned downtime and the overall fleet budget.

With an integrated fleet fuel management system, government agencies can monitor fuel usage and gain useful data to make more economical decisions. While there are many factors that determine this data – idling in traffic, excessive speeding and harsh braking, and even weather that affects use of the internal heating and cooling systems – fleet managers will at least have data to proactively make adjustments to reduce fuel expenditures.

Additionally, government agencies can program advanced engine diagnostic alerts. These can be based on hours, calendar days, or miles driven. At Fleetistics, our Enterprise Class Fleet Maintenance Software, reduces unscheduled downtime for vehicles and assets, that way your government fleet can stay optimized for the best usage at all times.

Optimize Disaster Preparedness and Response

Fleet managers are now using GPS Tracking and Telematics systems to be more proactive in preparing for natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding. Government agencies can take advantage of having a reliable, integrated system to be an invaluable tool for disaster preparedness and response. From vehicle and equipment locations to current fuel levels, a tracking and telematics system will provide the tools necessary to prep for the before, during and aftermath of a disaster.

Communications to Municipal Services in the Community

Beyond that, government agencies can be more visible, transparent and reliable by providing its community with real-time, up-to-the-minute locations and information about its fleets and services. By also using a citizen help network, such as Pubsafe, citizens can easily see location and/or response times during emergencies, power outages or critical weather events. Fleet management solutions allow managers to display the location data for an entire fleet in popular third-party outage management applications, and display problem locations on their internal tracking maps.

The bottom line is that an integrated telematics system that includes GPS tracking is so much more than dots on a map or vehicle tracking, especially for a government agency.

With access to critical information such as fuel usage and driver behavior data like speeding and idling, agencies can quickly identify cost-saving opportunities, drive-behavior-coaching modifications and implement proactive-maintenance plans. In the end, it helps your government agency become the invaluable service to the taxpayers expect it to be.

Vehicle driving in storm

To learn more about getting your government agency fleet started with a telematics system, contact Fleetistics today!

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Curbing Fuel Fraud with Fleet Fuel Cards

Fleet Cards for Small Fleets Address Fuel Fraud

Many fleet operators have noticed rising incidence of fuel fraud as gasoline and diesel prices continue to rise.  Top on the list is making personal purchases with a company issued credit card.  Several ways this is commonly done are to dispense more fuel than the vehicle’s tank holds by using another container or another vehicle (often called slippage), purchasing unauthorized goods or services, and sharing a fuel card with unauthorized users in exchange for cash. Some employers have discovered employees fraudulently using merchant loyalty programs for their personal benefit.  Add to that the real risk of encountering a pump with a skimmer, and the potential for a major financial loss is compounded.

Fleetistics WEX Fuel Card

One way to combat fuel fraud is to use a fleet fuel card program that is integrated with your GPS tracking and telematics.  As you look at fuel cards for small fleets, be aware that the Fleetistics WEX fuel card integration is available as a standard offering to our Geotab customers using our WEX fuel card. It pulls data from both systems to more easily detect anomalies.

You can easily confirm the vehicle was located at the fueling location at the time the fuel was dispensed. You can monitor the gallons dispensed against the fuel tank size.  Even better, you can control what kinds of purchases the card can be used for, limit the amount of fuel that can be purchased in a week, and even what grade of fuel can be purchased.  Another benefit of using the Fleetistics WEX Fleet Fuel Card is access to your WEX account right from the MyFleetistics telematics user portal for access to basic and convenient fuel analytics. If you want to schedule reports and administer the account, the standard WEX account remains available.

Fleet Fuel Card Reports & Analytics

In MyFleetistics Analytics we provide a variety of ways to review your Fleetistics WEX Fleet Fuel card data, and even if you use another provider for your GPS tracking, there is still potential for integration with your GPS tracking data. In this view we display total fuel purchased for the timeframe, and vehicles or groups you select. Diesel and gas are color coded for easy reference.

Fleet Fuel Card Analytics
The fuel summary report breaks down dollars spent for fuel and non-fuel purchases, total gallons and averages per transaction.

Fleet Fuel Fuel Card Spend Summary
The fuel by merchant report can be sorted by any column to get to the specific information you need.

Fleet Fuel Card sort by merchant
The trending report gives insight into changes in your fuel usage over time. All MyFleetistics fuel reports can be exported to excel files to be combined with or compared to other performance indicators you may be tracking.

Fuel trend report

Fleetistics WEX fleet Fuel card

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Is an Electric Vehicle Fleet Smart?

Flipping the Electric Switch

Thanks to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international, non-profit organization that helps companies and cities disclose their environmental impact, many government agencies in cities nationwide are switching to an electric vehicle fleet. These agencies have made it one of their top priorities to convert to a 100-percent electric fleet in a certain time frame.

Electric Vehicle

Many cities, such as Tampa, have adopted an initiative to switch to an electric vehicle fleet in the hopes to become the leaders of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing their carbon footprints.

It is important to Understand the Value Electric Vehicles, especially compared to ICE, or Internal Combustion Engine, vehicles, if and when your agency moves forward to convert your electric vehicle fleet.

It is also up to these government agencies to obtain a fleet analysis. That way the agency can oversee management of the electric vehicle fleet.

An Assessment Suited For You

An EV Suitability Assessment, is an accurate, data-driven and, most importantly, personalized EV recommendation tool that takes the guesswork out of electrifying your fleet.

Instead of guessing, an EVSA will suggest vehicles to be replaced by range-capable EVs, estimate the cost of savings and give a layout the reduction of emissions. The EVSA does this by using telematics data from existing fleet vehicles, identifies vehicles with a range-capable EV replacement and then determines vehicles that are cost effective to replace with range-capable EVs.

Electric-powered Questions

Most likely, there will be questions already posed when switching to an electric fleet, such as:

Performance requirements

  • Will an EV meet my drivers’ range requirements?
  • Will the battery still perform in extreme-weather conditions?

Vehicle selection

  • Which model of vehicle is best for each vehicle class I have?

Return on investment

  • What will the impact of EVs be on my fleet’s operational budget?

Environmental impact

  • How much will my fleet’s carbon emissions be reduced?

Ultimately, many of these questions can be answered with an EV Suitability Assessment.

This simple tool and analysis can save time and money for your agency and is highly recommended before moving forward with a conversion to an all-electric vehicle fleet. Our EV Expert, Kim Thoman, can help you obtain a

Contact Fleetistics today for your personalized EV Suitability Assessment today!

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Expert Fleet Management with Creative Vehicle Naming

Achieving Expert Fleet Management is the Goal

Expert fleet management is achievable, even in smaller companies where the fleet manager has a variety of other responsibilities. With that in mind, we put a lot of effort into training clients to get the most out of their telematics systems. A few tips and tricks can go a long way toward improving fleet management. Every now and then we see something that tells us they really got it! Today was one of those days.

What To Do When Devices Stop Reporting

The “bones” of your fleet management system are in the device or vehicle list. Fleetistics provides the Device Status Table to monitor reporting devices and easily submit a support case to efficiently resolve any issues. Often, when a vehicle is sold or undergoing a lengthy repair, the customer will remove it from the database. Customers should make a Group for vehicles/devices out of service so they can ensure they are plugged back in and returned to service. If a vehicle is to be sold, traded, or scrapped, the GPS tracker should be moved to another vehicle. Utilizing unique and telling device names and a date is a trick a customer recently used to stay on top of administrative changes taking place.

We always coach clients to keep their spares and unused devices listed in the database, and to name them in a way that tells them what they need to know. Here is a perfect example! Creative naming puts a ton of valuable information in front of the Administrator for Database #1 without ever leaving the vehicle/device list. That contributes to expert fleet management. In contrast, the Administrator for Database # 2 can see there are 3 devices not reporting but is not documenting the “why?” that results in action being taken.

Expert Fleet Management with Creative Vehicle Naming

Just imagine the many ways creative vehicle naming can be used to foster expert fleet management. In this short list of vehicles for Database #1, the Administrator is reminded to order parts needed, call the insurance agent, make sure certain vehicles are not used, assign projects to the mechanic based on most needed vehicles to return to service… all while maintaining a complete list of active devices in the database.

Let’s face it, we all have way too much to keep up with. The Administrator for Database #1 has come up with a simple telematics system “hack” that fosters expert fleet management in his organization. Something as simple as descriptive naming of vehicles is saving that organization valuable time and resources.

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