The annual accident rate for commercial fleets is around 20% and the average cost of a fleet accident is $70,000 — almost double the cost of the typical workplace injury. Fleet managers should know that a small group of people — specifically, high-risk drivers — cause the bulk of their collisions.

So it stands to reason that changing the negative driving behaviors of high-risk fleet drivers is a smart way to reduce accidents while keeping your drivers safer.

Advanced Driving Training Services, Inc. recommends that fleet owners and managers take the following steps:

Identify High-Risk Drivers

Fleet managers should check motor vehicle records and accidents histories of every driver in the fleet. This allows you to find a group of drivers who have a high number of moving violations and have been involved in numerous crashes.

Classify the Group

Next, classify the high-risk group into sub-groups. Level 1 would include drivers who have one to two infractions; level 2 would include drivers with three to four infractions; level 3 would include all drivers with more than four infractions.

Provide Training

The next step involves training all high-risk drivers in the appropriate manner. ADTS recommends that level 1 drivers receive online training in the specific area in which the driver has had problems. It might be speeding, following distance, or backing accidents, for example.

Level 2 drivers require a full day of driver skill enhancement, according to ADTS. This would ideally include classroom and behind-the-wheel training with a focus on responsibility, scanning techniques, crash prevention and skill building exercises.

Finally, level 3 drivers should receive one-to-one training during a normal business day, so that the driver remains on the road and productive. The goal is to create a positive atmosphere that emphasizes your company’s commitment to, and concern for, safety.

Involve Managers

ADTS stresses the importance of involving managers in solving the problem of high-risk drivers. Managers have direct contact with drivers and play a key role in reducing crash rates. In short, managers need to understand that they set the tone for drivers’ safety.

Keep the Message Alive

Keep safety visible and top-of-mind with your high-risk drivers and with all drivers. It’s critically important to reinforce the message by sending email reminders, safety memos, and discussing safety at company meetings.

Source: Automotive Fleet

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Some 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 — a 10-year high and a 28% increase over the 731 lost lives in 2012, according to a data analysis conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The data indicates a steady increase in red light running fatalities over approximately the last six years. 

For example, 2013 saw 739 people killed due to motorists who failed to halt at a red light. In 2014 it was 761 fatalities, followed by 831 in 2015, and 874 in 2016.

The fatality figures include road users of many kinds — red light running drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

The data shows that nearly half (46%) of people killed in red light running collisions were passengers of the red light runner or individuals in other vehicles. In addition, over 5% of those who lost their lives were pedestrians or cyclists.

Just over 35% of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.

Every day, more than two people are killed on the nation’s roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights, notes the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In fact, 28% of fatalities that happen at signalized intersections are due to a driver running a red light.

Yet research shows drivers are astutely aware of the dangers of red light running. For example, the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index found that 85% of drivers view red light running as very dangerous, however nearly one in three say they ran through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have safely stopped.

In addition, more than two in five drivers say it is unlikely police will stop them for blowing through a red light.

On the positive side, some deterrents are working. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that when properly implemented, red light cameras reduced the fatal red light running crash rate of large cities by 21% and the rate of all types of crashes at signalized intersections by 14%.

Source: Automotive Fleet

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Amazon’s plan to run on 100% renewable energy by 2030 will include 100,000 battery-electric delivery vans, which the e-commerce giant will purchase from Rivian Automotive Inc.

CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled plans to buy 100,000 electric vans from Rivian that will be custom-built for Prime deliveries. This deal follows a $700 million investment in Rivian by Amazon earlier this year. The first Rivian vehicles would arrive in 2021. 

“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue — we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” Bezos said. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon — which delivers more than 10 billion items a year — can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can. I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies, and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge. Large companies signing The Climate Pledge will send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in the products and services the signatories will need to meet their commitments.”

With this plan, Bezos said Amazon would reach 80% renewable energy use by 2024 and 100% by 2030, up from 40% today. 

The electric Rivian Prime vans will be assembled at a 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant, previously owned by Mitsubishi, in Normal, IL.

The Amazon order is a big contract for Rivian, which is aiming to launch its R1T plug-in pickup and R1S sport utility vehicle late next year. Those Rivian vehicles are projected to offer a range of more than 400 miles per charge, and have a base price between $68,000 and $72,500, the company said in February. The R1T pickup can tow 11,000 lbs., and go from zero to 60 mph in 3 about seconds, company officials said.

Financial terms of Amazon’s van deal were not released. 

“Bold steps by big companies will make a huge difference in the development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy,” said Christiana Figueres, the United Nations’ former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism. “With this step, Amazon also helps many other companies to accelerate their own decarbonization. If Amazon can set ambitious goals like this and make significant changes at their scale, we think many more companies should be able to do the same and will accept the challenge.”

Amazon Employees for Climate Change has been pressuring Amazon this year to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and detail how it’s preparing to deal with business disruptions caused by climate change. Inside Amazon’s annual meeting in May, an employee speaking on behalf of the group asked for the opportunity to share her concerns with Bezos directly but was denied. Shareholders later voted down their proposal for Amazon to disclose a comprehensive climate change plan. 

The employee group on Thursday called Amazon’s pledge “a huge win.” 

“We’re thrilled at what workers [have] been able to achieve in less than a year,” the group said in a statement. “But we know it’s not enough.”

Amazon has already launched 15 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate over 1,300 MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 3.8 million MWh of clean energy annually — enough to power 368,000 U.S. homes. Amazon has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe that generate 98 MW of renewable capacity and deliver 130,000 MWh of clean energy annually.

Source: Fleet Owner

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As Hurricane Dorian begins crawling up the East coast, automakers are doing their part to help. GM announced today that they will offer free OnStar Crisis Assist services to all owners of properly equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles who live in the impacted regions. The connected car platform can help those fleeing disasters with real-time directions, free calls, routing to shelter, food and water, providing an in-vehicle WiFi hot spot, booking hotel rooms and more.

If you own a GM vehicle that is a 2006 model or newer, it’s likely it has OnStar hardware installed. Car owners who no longer pay for OnStar can still access the service for free during the hurricane. Advisors will be available to assist 24/7.

GM isn’t the only automaker providing natural disaster support. Tesla is helping those impacted by Hurricane Dorian by offering free Supercharging, enabling Powerwall’s “storm watch” feature and enabling more range on some vehicles. Electrek noted that owners of a Powerwall — Tesla’s lithium ion battery — who were in Dorian’s path noticed that storm watch mode had been activated. The special emergency mode automatically charges the Powerwall at full capacity so it can provide backup power.

The Category 3 hurricane is expected to get close to Florida’s east coast by Tuesday evening and last through Wednesday. And local government and emergency services appear to be taking it seriously. “Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm to ever threaten the state of Florida on the east coast,” said Jared Moskowitz, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. “No matter what path this storm takes, our state will be impacted.”

Source: engadget, OnStar

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Welcome to the August Product Rundown! Here you’ll find the latest updates and tech improvements we’ve been working on right here at LeasePlan. If you’d like to know more about any of the products or services you see here, feel free to reach out to your account manager to get started today.

‘Get in front of it’ using our Recall Management tool

How many recalls are hiding in your fleet? Here at LeasePlan USA, we were able to uncover 23 total – not bad, but definitely not permanent. Our drivers are already working on getting their recalls repaired.

Because of the sophisticated reporting, not only can our drivers see that their vehicles have open recalls – they can see the exact details, including affected parts and whether the recall classifies as a stop sale/do not drive. This information is vital to ensuring the safety of our fleet, and we are so excited to bring more fleets onboard.

Reach out to your account manager to find out how you can get started with Recall Management today.

TollGuard brings a new level of protection

Toll violations and penalties can add up. Just consider the costs: for a $1 toll, if your toll account is underfunded for any reason, you could end up paying up to $75 in fees. To mitigate against these types of unnecessary expenses, LeasePlan is putting a new program in place, establishing a backup toll account for all LeasePlan-owned vehicles. The new program, TollGuard, will be officially live on October 1. Find out what this means for you.

With Telematics, you don’t know what you don’t know

Join us for a quick afternoon chat about how to uncover key details you may currently be unaware of when it comes to your fleet. With telematics data, we’ve found the saying to be true: you don’t know what you don’t know. So, grab a cup of coffee and come hear about three companies that peeled back the data to see what was really going on in their fleet – and took action.

Will we see you on Tuesday, September 10? Register for the webinar today!

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