While the subject of road rage is often grist for comedians’ monologues, it’s no laughing matter if you’re on the receiving end of it. 

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once over a one-year period. The AAA estimates that over half of fatal crashes studied during a five-year period studied could be attributed to a driver’s aggressive behavior.

One report claims that road rage at this time of the year rises by 200 percent due to holiday-related stress.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as, “The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” There’s even a medical term for those who vent their fury upon other motorists, “intermittent explosive disorder,” and it’s estimated to affect as many as 16 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

A new study conducted by the insurance website The Zebra determined that, not surprisingly, the most common aggressive road rage behavior is honking a vehicle’s horn to express anger or frustration, with 59 percent of respondents admitting to the practice. Other prevalent hostile actions include changing lanes without signaling (45 percent), and yelling/cursing at another driver or pedestrian (42 percent). 

Tailgating was found to make motorists the angriest at 44 percent, followed by distracted driving (42 percent), getting cut off (33 percent), driving too slow (30 percent), and not using turn signals (28 percent).

Seven percent of motorists queried admit to having left their vehicles to confront another driver in the past year, with six percent saying they’ve gotten into a physical confrontation. Perhaps adding fuel to the proverbial fire, The Zebra found that 46 percent of motorists admit to keeping a weapon in their car for personal protection (a knife, pepper spray, a club, etc), with seven percent saying they pack a gun while driving.

While 14 states have passed laws against “aggressive driving,” only one, California, has a bona fide road rage bill on the books. The financial consequences of getting caught driving recklessly can be debilitating. In addition to paying fines and court costs, The Zebra found that motorists being cited for reckless driving will see their annual insurance premiums skyrocket by an average of 70 percent ($1,034), and as much as 390 percent ($4,220) in some states. 

Experts say the best way to respond when another driver seems to be venting his or her anger in your direction is not to react at all. If another driver cuts you off or is otherwise driving aggressively, slow down and give them room to pass. Do not respond with obscene gestures or equally hostile actions. If you inadvertently cut off another driver, try to apologize by making a suitable hand gesture.

If you feel you’re in danger because of another driver’s actions, use a cell phone to call police or drive to a police station if there’s one within proximity to get law enforcement involved. Never exit your vehicle to confront the other person if you’re at a traffic signal or are otherwise stopped.

Let’s make this a noteworthy holiday season for all the right reasons.

Sources: Forbes, The Zebra

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Alpharetta, GA. (Nov. 18, 2019) – LeasePlan USA, a global leader in fleet management and driver mobility services, today launched a unique new platform further evolving its telematics value proposition into a new frontier in fleet management. OneConnect is a new Connected Vehicle cloud platform that merges real-time raw data from vehicles on the road with proprietary LeasePlan fleet management data providing the best 360-degree view of overall fleet performance and driver behavior.

“OneConnect provides a window into never before-seen fleet insights,” said Felipe Smolka, executive vice president of transformation, who leads on strategy and innovation at LeasePlan USA. “The uniqueness of our new approach lands a fresh flavor on how to look at a fleet, as we now have the opportunity to marry all relevant data points into one single pane of glass.”

The platform aligns with existing LeasePlan innovations such as the MyLeasePlan mobile app, virtual assistant Elle and OneScore to help fleet managers take more control over driver behavior, route mapping, risk and most importantly – safety. Driver safety and efficiency mark the cornerstones of this exciting new product.

“The aim is to provide our clients with the tools they need to maintain a one-to-one connection with their drivers regardless of fleet size. OneConnect allows them to do this seamlessly and in a digital way”, said James Brand, product manager, LeasePlan. “We know risky behavior leads to higher TCO.”

Geotab, a global telematics leader, partnered with LeasePlan to provide access to high-quality data using Geotab’s open-platform API for the OneConnect platform. “Finding ways to improve road safety and efficiency has always been a top priority for Geotab,” stated Geotab CEO Neil Cawse. “Solutions such as LeasePlan’s OneConnect can enable better data-driven decision making to help businesses better manage their fleets through improved visibility into both their vehicles and drivers.”

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About LeasePlan

LeasePlan is one of the world’s leading Car-as-a-Service companies, with 1.9 million vehicles under management in over 30 countries. Our core business involves managing the entire vehicle life-cycle for our clients, taking care of everything from purchasing and maintenance to car re-marketing. With more than 50 years’ experience, we are a trusted partner for our corporate and mobility service clients. Our mission is to provide what’s next in sustainable mobility via an ‘Any car, Anytime, Anywhere’ service – so our customers can focus on what’s next for them. Find out more at www.leaseplan.com.

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Customer Service Week is a celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support our great customers on a daily basis. Customer service professionals play a vital role here at LeasePlan. They are the face of our company and the impressions they make have a lasting and long reaching effect. It is no wonder there is a full week set aside to acknowledge these outstanding professionals and their work!

Here are just a few members of our incredible team:

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The location of the Global Fleet Conference alternates on an annual basis between Europe and the U.S., and this year we were fortunate enough to attend in warm, sunny Miami. Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise to step out of the airport into a very humid ninety-degree atmosphere and then experience hard intermittent rain showers at the same time! Luckily enough for us, the weather held back, the umbrellas were closed back up, and the conference was uninterrupted by any adverse conditions.

The Hilton Miami Downtown did an excellent job organizing and hosting the event. Thanks also to the great team at Bobit Media and of course, LeasePlan's very own event manager, the inimitable Kayla Bailes, whom I'm sure most who attended pestered at some point over the course of the week with executive and logistical questions.

Over 350 attendees made the trip, some from as far away as Australia. As a relative newcomer to both LeasePlan and the fleet sector, it was great to see so many industry giants coming together to share years of expertise and valuable insights. The wealth of experience and depth of knowledge was evident throughout the entire schedule.


Digitization – strengthening the buyer's market

Whilst I could only attend a limited number of presentations, seminars and discussions, it was clear to me that the fleet industry was almost entirely aligned on the issues and trends that they'll face together over the next decade or so.

Everyone referenced the transformation that the industry is experiencing, and the importance of digitization supporting that transformation. There were individual sessions on more focused topics of course, such as: safety, electric vehicles, connected vehicles, and telematics, but all returned to the core issues of data, development, and digitization.

Transformation and digitization aren't new buzzwords though, and neither are they groundbreaking trends for the industry. The differentiator now is the speed at which these technologies are being adopted, and the corresponding demand from end-users for these technologies. "Consumer centricity" was mentioned plenty over the course of the week, and I think it's an important point to make that we've now seen a shift away from product centricity and moved toward more tactical business-driven models. Customers now more than ever have serious buying control because of the data that is afforded to them and indeed expected from us as providers of these services.

"We're in the era of the customer journey, and it's very much about envisaging the digital opportunity through the customer journey lens." Matt Dyer, CEO LeasePlan USA

Businesses are beginning to understand that they need to distinguish themselves and compete on the customer journey by providing the ultimate customer experience.


Difficult choices – the consultative approach is still appreciated

Another key takeaway was the difficulty that some businesses are having in identifying the most important digital strategies to focus on. The speed and spread of this stuff is sometimes bewildering, and I can see how easy it could be to get lost in a vast sea of buzzwords. Should we be investing long-term in autonomous vehicle technology for our fleet? Maybe telematics? Or will the EV revolution predominate all of these other issues as environmental sustainability becomes more and more significant? No one had an answer, and I don't think there is an answer. There is no singular approach or winning strategy. But that's where fleet management companies come in ­­­‑‑ to provide guidance, advice and continual support.

It was made clear at the conference that the consultative approach is still appreciated, as the global fleet community continues to rely on support from us, making sure that they get the best use from their data and digital, and making sure that they are adopting the right technologies at the right time, for the right customers.

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The fleet manager's role will evolve

All of these digital disruptions and developments are enabling new products, services and business models, including new approaches to financing and insurance services. These advances are reshaping the future of fleet management and consecutively reshaping the role of the fleet manager. We heard ad infinitum how the role will be heavily influenced by technology, data, and critically, analytics. Therefore, in order to be successful in this new future, fleet managers will need to be the early adopters, the technological guides, the walking-talking FAQ sheets for their clients. The technology will enable them to do these things, but they must also embrace this new direction and understand that the customer will come to not only want data transparency and analysis, but expect it. Fleet managers may even be more accurately defined as fleet controllers, with a keen eye not only for automotive and fleet, but for IT systems and infrastructure.


Welcoming Matt Dyer to the stage

The topic of sustainable mobility is generally dominated by discussions around electric vehicles, charging points, new green initiatives for cities, ride-sharing, etc. However, there's an alternative definition that is perhaps more important for fleet management companies, and of course, the fleet manager. Sustainable mobility in this context refers to keeping your fleet healthy, relevant, and proactively managed at both a global and national level, and topically, how managing the data around your fleet can help you do this. This was the basis for Matt Dyer's presentation on Thursday and I must say, I think it landed very well with the audience and provided some probing points for them to discuss. I'd also say that visually, the presentation was the best I'd seen on screen all week, but then again, I would say that I made it.


Until next time!

 

About the author

Ollie Lindrup is a digital content strategist at LeasePlan USA, a global leader in #fleetmanagement services. He is responsible for developing and executing an integrated marketing and communications program, promoting awareness of LeasePlan USA and increasing engagement with the brand online and in the media. And if you’re reading this, he must be doing something right.

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