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Summer Driving Tips for Commercial Truck Drivers

By Verizon Connect April 14, 2023

Spring is here, and summertime is just around the corner—and that means more vacations, more holidays, more road trips, and more people sharing the road with your commercial fleet. While summer may seem like the safest time to be on the road—at least weather-wise—the time period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is actually considered the "100 Deadliest Days on the Road"1 due to increased daily traffic. With sunnier skies and longer days on the horizon, fleet drivers have the chance to maximize their productivity—but that can’t come at the expense of driving safety.

From staying on top of tire pressure and vehicle fluid levels to avoiding distractions like cell phones, there are a number of ways your drivers can help stay safe during each busy summer trip. Fleet management technology can offer an array of features to help drivers have a safe journey.

To help keep everyone safe on the road this summer and beyond, including your fleet drivers, here are 3 safety tips you and your organization can follow. 

3 tips to increase summer driving safety and efficiency:

Tip 1: Leverage technology to boost safe driving

Creating and maintaining a culture of safety is key to promoting safe driving in all seasons. Fleet drivers who engage in aggressive and unsafe driving behaviors like speeding, not wearing a seat belt, being distracted, running red lights, weaving in and out of traffic, slamming on brakes or harshly accelerating, put themselves, your vehicles and others on the road at risk.

Fact check: For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.2

Investing in fleet management technology can help you determine where safety issues exist and where accident prevention measures and other safety standards can be improved, including:

  • Reduced speeding. Compare vehicle speeds against posted speed limits along vehicle routes, receive automatic speeding alerts, and track speeding incidents by driver and vehicle.
  • Curb harsh braking and acceleration. Identify when/where hard braking or acceleration events are occurring. Managers can also create customizable driver behavior reports and receive automatic alerts via text or email.
  • Track seat belt compliance. Seat belts are a proven safety measure, yet not all drivers use them. Use technology to remotely track and measure seat belt use, and get up-to-the-minute compliance reporting.

In addition, the data derived from fleet tracking technology can be used to coach drivers to improve their driving habits. The data can even be used to create a safe driving program to incentivize drivers to adhere to company-wide safety standards.

Download our free 7 secrets to a safe fleet eBook to learn more about how technology is making life easier for fleet managers and drivers using solutions that automate compliance, streamline maintenance and help create effective safety programs. 

Tip 2: Keep vehicles in peak driving condition

The better the condition of your fleet vehicles, the better chance your drivers stand of safely making it to their destination in the face of extremely hot temperatures and increased summer traffic. Implementing fleet management technology can help you keep tabs on vehicle health to better avoid unexpected breakdowns and vehicle malfunctions. Benefits include:

  • Improved maintenance. Aggregate diagnostic data to digitize vehicle service tracking, set proactive reminders for preventative maintenance activities and create comprehensive service reports to improve vehicle lifecycle management.
  • Reduced wear and tear. Reduce total miles driven, improve dispatching decisions, provide drivers with point-to-point driving directions, and use fleet utilization reports to monitor fleet mileage trends.
  • Better engine diagnostics. Know the state of all vehicle engines in near real time by tracking diagnostic data like battery voltage, coolant temperature, powertrain malfunctions, intake valve issues, oxygen sensor problems and more.

Fact check: Tuning a neglected vehicle or fixing one that failed an emissions test can increase fuel economy by an average of 4%, based on the repair type and quality.3

Tip 3: Identify ways to improve operational efficiency 

Part of keeping fleet vehicles safe is minimizing the time they’re on the road and making the most of travel time. This is also integral to ensuring that customer goods make it to their destination on time and unharmed.

Don't let your trucks sit idle and waste fuel in the hot summer months. Fleet management technology can help you get a handle on fuel usage, and streamline routing for efficient operations on the road. You can realize:

  • Improved fuel utilization. Fuel purchases are one of the biggest expenses for fleets. Use technology to reduce idle time and speeding, combat unauthorized vehicle usage, improve route efficiency and verify fuel expenditures.
  • Streamlined routing. Determine direct routes to destinations, improve response times with accurate turn-by-turn directions, and help avoid traffic backups or construction areas that could pose a danger to drivers and vehicles.

Fact check: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, idling a vehicle for just 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting the engine.4

When implemented correctly, GPS fleet tracking can help fleet managers boost the safety of their vehicles and drivers and can also help reduce the cost of operating a fleet.

Fleet management tools play a crucial role in helping drivers during the risk-filled conditions that come along with summer. With advanced technologies and features like near real-time monitoring, route optimization, and driver behavior analysis, telematics provides drivers with the necessary support to help prioritize their safety while on the road. With these tools at their disposal, drivers can feel more confident and prepared to navigate the challenges that come with driving during the summer months.

Want to see how Verizon Connect can help you manage your fleet during any season? Schedule a free online demo today.

1 https://www.fdot.gov/agencyresources/deadliestdays

2 https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding

3 https://afdc.energy.gov/conserve/vehicle_maintenance.html

4 Which is greener: Idle, or stop and restart? (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://afdc.energy.gov/files/u/publication/which is greener.pdf

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Fleet utilization, Safety, Vehicle Maintenance

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