- January to April is riskiest time on the roads, December is safest time to drive
- Nearly half of risky events relate to harsh braking
- Drivers continue to reduce risk levels year-on-year
According to GreenRoad data, new GreenRoad drivers show even more substantial and immediate improvement. In 2012, new GreenRoad drivers improved their Safety Scores nearly 50% within six months. Immediately after the GreenRoad in-vehicle feedback service is turned on, the new GreenRoad driver Safety Score average is 17. After six months, the average score improves to 9, a 47% improvement.
GreenRoad data is based on the GreenRoad Safety Score which is automatically calculated through the use of sophisticated in-vehicle and smartphone-based technology that captures and tabulates risky or fuel inefficient driving events; the lower the Safety Score, the safer the driver. Driving is measured across five major categories: braking, acceleration, corner handling, lane handling and speeding.
“This aggregate fleet driver performance data gives us valuable insights into fleet behavior across the U.S.,” said Karen White, senior vice president of customer solutions for GreenRoad. “This year our customers began using our new smartphone apps giving them even better access to their data and easier visibility into the specifics of their driving behavior. We believe access to data is a powerful behavior change agent and we are beginning to see this in the 2012 benchmark data.”
In the U.S., no single driving event dominates the Safety Score; instead corner handling (29%), harsh braking (26%) and speeding (26%) are the most common risky or inefficient events. Acceleration and lane handling follow, each at 10%. This sharply contrasts with the 2011 data when speeding was by far the most dominate risky event type at 40% of the total.
“We believe the use of our smartphone apps have helped drivers become more aware of their risky speeding behavior and we are seeing those drivers modify their behavior, thus resulting in an evening out of the Safety Score mix for 2012,” commented White.
The 2012 data shows that U.S. fleet drivers are performing well throughout the year; there is no notable Safety Score variation on a month-to-month basis. However, Safety Scores do show variation by time-of-day with scores as low as 2 in the early morning hours and climbing to a 9 during peak rush hour periods.
“This day-part range is exceptional,” said White, “any score lower than 20 is considered safe, ‘green’ driving.”
As GreenRoad and customers share best practices and refine their driver change management programmes, new GreenRoad drivers show even more substantial improvements than those in previous years. In 2012, new GreenRoad drivers improved their Safety Scores by between 23% and 50% within six months.
GreenRoad 2012 data shows that in the UK, harsh braking is by far the most common risky event. Forty-eight percent (48%) of the recorded risky events relate to harsh braking, followed by corner handling at 36%. Harsh braking also increased from 2011, possibly due to major events that impacted traffic such as the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.
“With GreenRoad, fleet managers can look for specific patterns and geographic locations related to high probability of harsh braking or poor corner handling. Showing the data patterns to drivers increases their awareness, and is more likely to result in a positive behavioural change,” commented Mark Hampson, GreenRoad driver performance change management expert.
The UK average monthly Safety Score shows that the highest scores are recorded early in the year, from January through April. From April on, driver performance shows a steady improvement ending with December being the safest month of the year.
In the UK, Safety Scores tend to be consistent throughout the typical workday with one exception: the average Safety Score jumps dramatically at 23:00 and then drops to very low, safe levels.
“It appears drivers may be rushing home at the end of their late shifts. The rise in score could also be due to driving when vehicles are shunted in the depot as the operation closes for the night,” commented Hampson.
UK data shows that, on average, buses tend to have the highest Safety Score at an average of 24, followed by trucks with gross weight of less than 7.5 tonnes at 23, trucks with gross weight of more than 7.5 tonnes at 18, and cars at 14. These variances by vehicle type are most likely due to where the vehicles are operating as opposed to the specific vehicle type. For instance, buses and lightweight trucks and vans are more often driven in urban environments with heavy traffic and multiple stops and starts.