While annual MVR checks have long been the accepted best practice to monitor drivers, continuous MVR monitoring offers fleet managers an accurate, up-to-date window on the fleet’s risk profile, helping to cut costs and minimize liability.

Unwillingness to change is definitely a key factor when it comes to taking risks and trying new things. But, just as often, the lack of information is also a factor.

This isn’t surprising. There are tons of moving parts in every fleet operation to keep track of and manage. For example, I’ve been to many different garages and bays and have been amazed at how much gets done in these busy, equipment-filled workspaces. At the same time, however, I can’t help but wonder how much more could get done if the right technology and procedures were in place to make daily tasks even more efficient and lessen the workload all around.

So why perform a once-a-year, manual motor vehicle record (MVR) check for drivers when you could have ongoing, accurate automated notifications on the people who operate those expensive pieces of equipment that you are responsible for overseeing?

What happens if one of your drivers (who had passed the MVR check with flying colors) gets a not-so-minor moving violation the day after the annual MVR check? No one in their right mind would purposely draw attention to any incidents that could jeopardize their job. So then a whole year could go by without ever addressing the actions or behaviors that led that driver to that incident. That’s a whole year without any course correction. And a whole year full of additional opportunities for that driver to make the same mistake or worse, and put who knows how many lives at risk. Not to mention how much damage could be done to company’s bottom line and reputation.

Comparing Costs

According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), the average cost of a car crash where no injuries are involved is more than $5,800. A non-fatal injury crash is more than $64,000, and in the worst-case scenario involving a fatality, that could cost a company more than $671,000. And that’s just one crash. Count the total number of vehicles in your fleet and the possibility of every one of those being a potential hazard. That’s a lot of money on the line.

So then what’s the solution? The ability to constantly track your fleet drivers and their driving patterns. Being able to pull aside those “risky drivers” who may need more coaching and guidance than others — or maybe even, in some cases, should be kept from behind the wheel altogether— as soon as they start to pose some risk instead of a year later with an annual MVR check. In other words, a continuous monitoring system that would not only help minimize, but potentially even prevent these avoidable accidents.

Think it’s out of your fleet budget? The average cost of continuous monitoring is $15 per year per driver. So if you had a fleet of 1,000 vehicles, it would cost $15,000 a year to cover the cost of monitoring them on a continual basis. That’s less than what three “bent-metal” crashes would cost, and, more important, help lessen the possibility of serious and costly liability.

Do Your Homework

When it comes down to it, you have to take a step back and look at your current operations. Have there been accidents that could have been prevented had you been more aware of a driver’s behavior? Have there been drivers who have been in crashes more than once in a 12-month period? How soon after the crashes were you aware that they had happened?

The job of a fleet manager often involves putting out fires every day. Again, there’s a lot to keep track of. At the end of the day, the assets that you manage are your top priority. And anyone or anything that puts those assets and your control over those assets at risk should be handled immediately and appropriately. There’s no reason to wait a year to discover those people or things that pose hazards to your fleet.

Make your life and your valuable staff’s lives a little simpler. Just ask one of your peers who have started using continuous monitoring programs about what it’s done for them, their drivers, and the company’s bottom line. There are a number of testimonials from fleets just like yours.

The State of Driver Monitoring