The Big Brother Myth SOLVED!

Do your employees cringe at the idea of a GPS tracking device and In-Vehicle Cameras in their vehicle? The resistance to “big brother” can be a struggle for employers to overcome and employees may complain about being “spied on” or “a loss of trust.” Some drivers may even threaten to quit if a fleet tracking device or camera is put in the vehicle, but if they’re not doing anything wrong, why would they be so upset? Even though drivers are some of the harshest critics of GPS vehicle tracking technology, they actually have a lot to gain.

Increased Driver Safety

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Whether they choose to believe it or not, drivers who speed put themselves at a higher risk for accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says speeding is a factor in one-third of all motor vehicle
accidents. With Safety Track’s Speed Alerts and Camera DVR system, you’ll be able to see what’s going on inside and out of the vehicle, while also seeing speed alerts, idle time and much more. By eliminating the temptation to speed, your drivers will be far safer, while receiving less traffic tickets. You can even use the automated reports and video to argue inaccurate speeding fines and accidents.

Fight Wrongful Accident Liability

Even when your drivers are cautious and safe, accidents can still happen; we’re all human. If your employee gets into a wreck, the police may get an earful of the “he-said-she-said” game.  Individuals may want to sue your business, hoping to get some extra cash for “pain and suffering.” With an In-Vehicle Camera system, along with a fleet tracking solution, you’ll have concrete records and VIDEO what is happening in and around your vehicle, along with your driver’s speed, location, direction of travel and more. It can turn a knock-down-drag-out lawyer fight into an open-and-shut case, saving you TIME and MONEY. You’ll keep the points off your driver’s license and the lawyer’s fees off your books.

Driver Incentive Programs

Even with the data and video on their side, drivers may still resist a GPS Fleet Tracking System. However, a simple incentive program can change the minds of even the most stubborn employee to get on board. After installing Safety Track’s system, you’ll notice a decrease in fuel cost, insurance claims, and also repair costs, almost immediately. Taking a portion of that savings and offering it to your safest and most fuel-conscious employees as a gift card, free time off or cash bonus, can show your drivers that fleet tracking devices can work for them. With our Fleet Metrics dashboard application, you easily see who has the fewest Speed Alerts, lowest idle times and more. Print them off and post them in the office to create a friendly competition. You’ll soon have your drivers boasting about saving you money.

5 Tips on Winter Driving

Ice&Snow_logoAnyone who lives where it snows knows that winter driving it the worse type of driving there is! Bad weather accounts for roughly 1.5 million car accidents here in the U.S. per year. Out of those 1.5 million well over half if caused by winter and icy weather. Even with such high statistics, people still have an over bearing of confidence in themselves and their vehicles. Cockiness and a false sense of trust in their cars is one of the leading causes in winter accidents; just because the speed limit is 55mph does NOT mean that is the mandatory speed needed to be maintained during all conditions. To avoid being part of a winter statistic, here is some common winter driving mistakes that can easily be corrected to improve your snowy driving experience this season.

#5. 4WD & AWD DOES NOT mean you’re bullet proof.

The myth people have been saying for years is that if your vehicle is equipped with 4WD or has AWD you are excluded from cautious driving in the ice and snow, WRONG!  4WD only helps when stuck in high snow/ice in low speeds, but once on the road and past 15mph, every vehicle is the same. Another myth is that just because all four tires are receiving power, that you’ll have more traction and control. WRONG again! AWD & 4WD has no impact on handling once the car is driving. It doesn’t give “extra” traction for braking, or “extra” traction for steering.  The best thing to do for winter is allow enough travel time, DO NOT RUSH, and remember to have patience with others on the road.

 

#4. Be prepared for ANYTHING!

Winter is full of the unexpected, unexpected weather and unexpected road conditions and back-ups, so being prepared is a must! Before the weather gets too bad or you’re stuck in a rough situation, make sure you go over this simple check list to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared.

  • Check tire pressure and tread; consider snow tires if tread is bad
  • Check antifreeze and windshield fluid levels are filled
  • Check engine belts for wear-and-tear
  • Check battery; make sure you’re not cutting it close on the life of the battery
  • Check that both front and rear defrosts work properly
  • Make sure to have an ice scrapper in the vehicle
  • Keep a set of jumper cables in the trunk
  • Make sure to have a flash light (with extra batteries) on hand
  • Consider keeping a blanket/extra gloves/ winter boots in your vehicle

 

#3. Follow the leader…

With younger drivers on the road, or everyone being late for something, we live in a world where we are always rushing and moving to get to our next place in the fastest way possible. When the weather starts cooling down and the roads become slick, slow and steady always wins in the long run. Many don’t realize that your brakes have not changed because of the season, but your braking HABITS should; that also goes for tailgating as well. Allow at least enough space between you and the car in front of you to make safe braking and steering adjustments if necessary. When leaving your house, test steering and braking down a local road at a safe speed to get a “feel” for how your vehicle reacts to the road conditions.

 

#2. Slamming on the brakes

Icy roads and snowy streets can make anyone want to be a hermit during the winter season, but just because the roads might look bad, doesn’t mean it has to end in disaster.  It’s easy to panic when you feel your vehicle spill on a patch of ice but the right braking techniques can help any situation. Instead of panicking, stay calm and hold the wheel firmly, ease off the gas and let the car slow down. DO NOT OVER CORRECT the wheel, that will just lead to more trouble. Hard force on the brakes removes all traction from the tires, in turn taking away your control of the vehicle. Another concern most people will encounter during the winter is sliding while turning, where most accidents occur. With a few helpful hints you can turn with ease. When turning in snow always remember:

  • When approaching the corner, start to slow down (brake)
  • Once you start to turn the wheel, let the momentum of your vehicle take you through the corner.
  • Once three quarters of the way through the turn, start to accelerate.

 

#1. Under estimating Mother Nature’s power

Many people believe, no matter what season it is, that speed limits are the minimum of what all people on the road should be driving. During winter, the highway doesn’t always mean travel at least 70mph. Speed limit signs are just suggested max speed for optimal driving conditions. You should drive at a comfortable and safe speed that allows enough distance for stopping. It usually takes anywhere from 4-10 times longer to stop in snow and ice then it would on normal pavement. Also remember that even if there isn’t snow on the roads, the freezing temperatures can cause ice patches, black ice, to form on the roads, so always be cautious and aware while driving this season. Winter is the season for patience and safe driving habits.

Top 10 Winter DOs and DON”Ts

snowman_ransomWinter is rapidly approaching us, you might have even felt Jack Frost nipping at your nose already. During the winter season, car accidents increase dramatically with people not taking small precautionary steps before they hit the road. Whether you and your family are driving down the road or across the state this season, make sure to keep in mind these simple and easy tips and tricks to make your holiday season safe and enjoyable for everybody. With how bad winters can get for all of us, here are some DOs and DON’Ts on how to be prepared for this winters unexpected weather, while also making it a safer driving season.

10. DO allow a few minutes to brush and scrape your vehicle. Clearing windows is crucial for visibility. Removing snow or ice from the top of your car will spare cars behind you from encountering an unexpected snow assault, impairing visibility or even cracking a windshield.

DON’T forget to clean snow and ice off your headlights and taillights as well.

9. DO use winterized windshield wiper fluid to make sure your wiper sprayer doesn’t freeze over or crack, preventing you from washing away dirt and salt.

DON’T try to melt ice from your windshield by pouring hot water on it. Using hot water can crack the windshield.

8. DO wash your car regularly to remove salt and dirt from the roadways.

DON’T let road grime prematurely age the body of your vehicle by neglecting to bathe it.

7. DO maintain at least half a tank of gas to prevent fuel line freeze up.

DON’T forget to check that all fluids are at proper levels and ensure all tires, including the spare, have the required pressure and tread.

6. DO prepare your car for an emergency. Essential items to keep in the trunk are a blanket to stay warm, proper attire (boots, jacket, hat and gloves) in case you have to be outside for an extended period of time, a shovel, winter-driving-guide-photo-247797-s-429x262flashlight with fresh batteries and snacks. Keep your cell phone charged to call help if necessary.

DON’T forget the kitty litter or sand, which can be used to provide added traction if your car becomes stuck in the snow.

5. DO remain aware of what’s around you on the road, including checking your blind spots and keeping an eye out for pedestrians or lost reindeer from Santa’s sleigh.

DON’T follow too closely. The general rule is the vehicle ahead should pass a road marker two seconds before you. In slippery conditions, it is recommended to double the amount of space between you and the vehicle in front.

4. DO apply even pressure when braking in slick conditions if your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes. Keep in mind anti-lock brakes do not shorten stopping distance, but they do help you maintain control.

DON’T become overconfident in snowy and slippery road conditions. Always test road conditions with cautious driving when the surface area is wet or icy, particularly on bridges and overpasses.

3. DO turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide when driving on snowy or icy roads until you gain control.

DON’T apply power or change directions suddenly on snow or ice.

2. DO stay calm if you find yourself stuck in the snow or broken down on the side of the road in adverse conditions.

DON’T leave your car unless available shelter is close by. If you need to run the engine to stay warm, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow so the interior stays clear of harmful carbon monoxide.

1. DO make sure you are awake and alert behind the wheel. If necessary, take a break and grab a coffee.

DON’T lose track of how many eggnog’s you consumed at the holiday party. The most important holiday safe driving tip of all is to refrain from drinking and driving under all circumstances. If you think you will drink, arrange for alternate transportation ahead of time.