Ensuring the safety of your vehicle operators and staff is of the utmost importance for fleet managers. Every year many avoidable injuries and deaths occur because of unsafe weather, road, and operating conditions. In this article, we’ll outline the top five ways that Internet of Things (IoT) technology can help increase the safety of your operations. By using a properly configured IoT fleet management system, equipment and vehicle operators are less likely to encounter dangerous road conditions, while at the same time operate more efficiently and effectively.
1. Road Weather Data
Harsh weather causing unsafe road conditions is the largest source of avoidable vehicle related injuries and deaths for fleet managers. It is also one of the most difficult to deal with. Although fleet managers analyze weather forecasts to determine when and how inclement weather will affect their operations, inaccurate weather forecasts and out-of-date road weather data are detrimental to operations. IoT systems address this issue through sensors placed on vehicles or at fixed points along roadways. These sensors can collect a myriad of critical weather data that is relayed in real-time to fleet managers. This gives fleet managers a full fleet view of hyper-local road weather data that they can use to determine if conditions are safe for their drivers, or if they need to divert their vehicle and equipment operators to avoid dangerous road conditions.
Traffic congestion and accidents are a second example of dangerous road conditions that can be avoided through an IoT fleet management system. IoT systems can determine, through your sensor network, how quickly or slowly traffic is moving. This not only allows fleet managers to easily divert vehicles or equipment around traffic congestion, but also keeps your drivers safer by keeping them on clear roadways with no obstructions. Accurately assessing and acting on current traffic data minimizes accidents for your vehicle drivers.
3. Unsafe Driving Patterns
If one of your drivers is operating their vehicle at an unsafe speed for current conditions, your IoT fleet management systems give you the data you need to quickly assess the issue and get in contact with your driver. Your staff may not have even realized they were operating their vehicle unsafely, but with real-time data from an IoT system you can address the issue before it turns into an accident.
4. Vehicle Health and Maintenance
An IoT fleet management system can also collect data from your vehicles that can be utilized to create more accurate and comprehensive maintenance schedules. Preventative maintenance that is missed can lead to dangerous conditions on the road when critical vehicle parts malfunction or fail. Additionally, IoT sensors can track and relay information on vehicle health, such as tire pressure. Once tire pressure hits a dangerous low point, a notification can be generated that gives fleet managers the ability to quickly get their staff off the road where they can fix the problem.
5. Proper Deployment of Resources
For transportation safety officials and road crews, using the data generated from IoT fleet management systems can aid in the proper deployment of resources to keep roads safe for all drivers, including their own crews. In areas with heavy snow, properly allocating resources to roadways early on in a storm can result in more efficient road clearing and safer road conditions. Additionally, IoT data can be used to ensure that road crews have the sufficient equipment and resources necessary to safely clear dangerous road conditions or obstructions. Fallen trees, flooded roads, and heavy snows can all be difficult to clear, and dangerous to deal with when other drivers are on the road. Proper deployment can alleviate some of this danger by ensuring road crews also have the heavy equipment and signal operators to safely operate.
The data provided by IoT fleet management systems can dramatically improve the safety of both fleet operators and other drivers on the roads. Whether it is through having up-to-date and accurate road weather data, insightful analysis into traffic patterns, or ensuring that road crews have the resources they need to safely complete a job, IoT data can help fleet managers increase the safety of their operations.