Telematics are often given a pat on the back for being great at saving companies fuel, or improving a fleet manager’s efficiency, or simply making it easier for people to retrieve their car in thee unhappy event that it is stolen. However telematics also have a great history of making drivers that bit safer on the road by improving their driving habits. New research from Arriva Transport is now suggesting that that benefit extends to ambulance drivers, who have improved their safety record by as much as 92 per cent.
It’s understandable why ambulance drivers might be some of the more dangerous drivers out there. Every trip they make is an emergency. However that’s not something to encourage, as speeding, sharp braking and acceleration in the wrong circumstances, can cause accidents and that makes the entire system counter-intuitive. However once Arriva Transport Solutions fitted its ambulances for social care with telematics hardware, it was able to cut back on its drivers’ bad habits by almost 100 per cent.
Considering Arriva vehicles transport some 4,000 patients around the country every single day, that’s going to have a big impact on British roads. In Total, some 480 ambulances were fitted with the devices across Greater Manchester, the East and West Midlands counties and much of the South West.
As you might expect from such a telematics roll out however, there have been other benefits to Arriva’s fleet. It’s also had a big impact on fuel usage, by reminding drivers to switch off the engine when it’s not in use. While old vehicles used to be very inefficient to turn on and off, today the technology exists to make even larger vehicles like ambulances much more efficient. Therefore, leaving a car or van idling is just wasted fuel and adds to overall wear. Fortunately with telematics installed, Arriva was able to cut back on idling by a massive 70 per cent too.
Steve Law, head of Fleet and Estates, Arriva Transport Solutions said: “As a provider of patient transport services in the UK, Arriva Transport Solutions needs to make sure that the experience we offer our poorly and often elderly patients is a high quality one. Our drivers are highly skilled and undergo extensive training for their role but they are now more aware than ever of their driving behaviour and how this can positively, or negatively impact patient experience.”
On top of all that though, perhaps the most welcome improvement from the telematics system, is that patients are feeling the benefits. Without sharp braking or acceleration, passengers are much more comfortable and it is even helping them to recover faster by not causing any additional stresses on their bodies during transit.
The telematics system that Arriva went with in the end was Metronaut’s, which it is now expected to roll out too its other transport businesses, including coaches and buses.