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Helping customers make the most of their telematics

  • Posted by Heather Tucker | 2 min read

The telematics in your customers’ trucks are providing them with a wealth of data about their fleet and drivers. You can help them use that information to improve driver performance, their bottom line and driver retention.

Driver coaching
To build a well-rounded and strong safety culture, it’s important for your customers to have the following programs in place prior to starting a coaching program:

  • A formal written safety policy that clearly outlines expectations
  • A progressive disciplinary program that includes documented verbal and written warnings
  • A safety incentive program to reward and encourage collision- and risk-free performance

Open communication
Before implementing a program, customers must let employees know about the program. Publish the program standards of performance so that everyone will understand what is expected of them and how the program will be managed. It is critical for drivers to realize how they will benefit from the program.

Focus on speeding
It is widely believed that speeding is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes, and research indicates that vehicle speed is directly correlated to increased severity of crashes. Speeding increases the risk of a crash in the following ways:

  • Longer reaction distance
  • Longer braking distance
  • Longer steering distance
  • Higher impact severity
  • Reduced seat belt/air bag effectiveness, leading to increased injury potential
  • Rollover/loss-of-control potential

Research shows:

  • drivers who drive fast on highways have more “hard stops” and “hard turns” than their counterparts
  • drivers who have these speeding events aren’t driving longer distances than others

These “high event count” drivers don’t speed to do their work; they speed because they don’t really understand the risks they are taking.

Regularly monitor the data
When a customer is starting a program, they should begin by identifying and coaching the drivers who stand out the most. Once this group has been able to make positive steps, the customer can move on to the next group.

Driver training and coaching works best when your customer

  • Truly has the driver’s health and safety in mind
  • Is consistent with their approach
  • Documents the guidance provided

Good drivers do not need to worry about the data being collected, because it will confirm their good performance.

Reward good performance
Encourage your customers to recognize drivers who are regularly demonstrating safe performance. This gives them satisfaction in knowing that their safe habits are noticed by management, and it enforces to all drivers that the company is monitoring everyone’s performance.


Heather is a writer for Progressive Commercial Lines. She enjoys the research behind writing and translating it into everyday language. She also loves a great pie.