How Does Harsh Driving Impact Vehicle Health?

Many events could occur behind the wheel that may endanger your driver’s safety and the well-being of others on the road. While drunk, distracted, and fatigued driving continue to get a lot of attention as safety issues, other activities may not get as much attention when it comes to driving safety.

Harsh driving is one factor that can have an immediate impact on both safety and costs. While these actions are more widespread than most safety managers understand, they endanger the safety of other vehicles on the road, increasing the likelihood of accidents resulting in injury or death.

In this blog, we will discuss harsh driving, various events that come under harsh driving, and their impact on your fleet’s bottom line.

What is Considered Harsh Driving?

Harsh driving is broadly defined as any rapid change in the direction or speed of a vehicle or truck going at a steady rate and is frequently detected as sudden changes in g-forces that an accelerometer can monitor. Sudden increases in speed, abrupt braking, and very fast corners can all be considered harsh driving and reflect risky and aggressive driving practices.

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What are the Various Types of Harsh Driving Events? 

There are various driving practices that can be characterized as harsh driving events:

  1. Harsh Acceleration

Harsh acceleration happens when a driver utilises more power than is required to accelerate from a complete stop. Harsh acceleration is a common effect of drivers failing to pay attention to traffic flow and having to rush away from a stop line. 

It could also be because a motorist is so distracted that he does not realise that he is on a collision course with another car, person, or object, forcing quick action to avoid a major accident or harm.

  1. Harsh Braking

When a driver applies more force than required to stop a vehicle, this is referred to as harsh braking. This behaviour may suggest distracted or aggressive driving, which can result in higher tyre wear, a variety of maintenance difficulties, and, in some instances, costly insurance claims. 

Harsh braking is a common effect of drivers failing to maintain a safe distance, which increases their chance of a rear-end collision.

  1. Harsh Cornering

Harsh cornering happens when a driver accelerates through a turn or bend. This action puts more force on the vehicle, putting top-heavy vehicles at risk of flipping. Harsh cornering is frequently indicated in telematics by strong lateral acceleration or quick changes in data recorded by the device’s accelerometer.

  1. Distracted Driving

The act of driving while participating in other activities that divert the driver’s eyes off the road is known as distracted driving. Distractions have been demonstrated to endanger the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and individuals in other vehicles.

  1. Posted Speed Violation

Road traffic speed limits establish the legal maximum speed at which cars may travel on a certain stretch of road. Speed limit violations endanger both the driver and the vehicle and are classified as harsh driving events.

  1. Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving happens when a motorist is too tired or sleepy to be alert, making the driver less conscious of their surroundings and increasing the risk of a vehicle collision.

  1. Tail Gating

Tailgating is the practice of driving behind another vehicle while not giving enough space to stop without colliding if the vehicle in front suddenly stops.

  1. STOP Sign Violation

A stop sign violation is a legal offence committed while driving a vehicle that primarily consists of driving past a stop sign or similar traffic signal without properly stopping.

  1. Lane Drifting

Lane drifting may appear innocuous, yet it can result in deadly vehicle accidents. This is due to the fact that drivers in the opposite lane are not anticipating any other vehicles to join their lane without adequate indications and clearance. When a driver unexpectedly enters your lane, you have little to no response time, which can lead to disastrous accidents.

Significant Risks of Harsh Driving On

Harsh driving events can wreak havoc on your fleet. Read more to find out the effects of harsh driving:

Fuel Consumption

  • Harsh braking will drastically raise your vehicle’s fuel consumption and diminish your fuel mileage. 
  • Harsh braking is when you immediately jam your foot on the brake every time you brake, even if there is no emergency on the road. 
  • When you hit the brakes hard, your vehicle’s transmission will have to downshift to the lowest gears, either automatically or manually, in order to restore lost momentum. Lower gears necessitate higher engine revolutions, which necessitate more fuel. 
  • When you have to speed to regain lost momentum, your fuel consumption rises.

Tyre Performance

  • Acceleration, braking, and cornering can all cause uneven resistance on your wheels, causing them to wear out faster. 
  • Aside from making sure your tyres are properly inflated, you may help optimise tyre performance by breaking these undesirable habits.
  • The harder your tyres have to fight to keep you on the road, the faster you take a corner. 
  • This unneeded effort wears away at the tread on your tyre, and you may observe rounding on the tyre’s shoulders when you look at it straight on. 

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Rapid acceleration/deceleration reduces the life span of the vehicle, resulting in considerable increases in maintenance and fuel expenditures
  • Harsh braking will also harm your tyres and prematurely wear out your brakes and suspension. 
  • Frequent hard braking raises the possibility of colliding with the vehicle in front or behind you.

How To Detect Harsh Driving Behaviour?

For detecting harsh driving, three sorts of data can be used

  1. Acceleration of a vehicle

An accelerometer was used to collect data in three directions: forward/backwards, up/down, and left/right.

  1.  Vehicle speed on the road

Obtainable from up to two sources:

  • GPS module information
  • Data from the diagnostic data bus of the vehicle (if available)
  1. Engine speed of the vehicle

Obtainable via a vehicle’s diagnostic data (if available). Using this information, it is possible to tell whether a vehicle is:

  • Over-Speeding 
  • Harsh braking
  • Harsh acceleration
  • Harsh cornering
  • Over-revving

LocoNav’s Solution For Preventing & Monitoring Harsh Driving 

LocoNav’s Fleet Management and Telematics solutions provide various features to monitor harsh driving events and subsequently prevent them:

  1. Driver Scorecard

A driver scorecard is a method of assessing your drivers’ performance based on measurable driving parameters. A driver scorecard aids in the calculation of strategic risk scores based on key signs such as speeding, hard braking, over-acceleration, and unauthorised vehicle use.

LocoNav Driver Scorecards let you discover trouble locations as well as the drivers who may be contributing to them. Fleet owners can distribute monthly scorecard reports to drivers, allowing them to self-assess and seek to improve their driving behaviours. A driver scorecard also allows you to define progress goals while keeping baseline metrics in mind, as well as give driver training to high-risk drivers.

  1. Vehicle Scorecard

When you acquire a new vehicle, you research its performance metrics extensively. This gives you a fair idea of how the vehicle is supposed to perform. Using a vehicle scorecard, you can evaluate vehicle health and engine diagnostics.

In case your driver is engaging in harsh driving, the LocoNav Vehicle Scorecard will reflect that. Your vehicle might show more wear and tear than justified in a certain amount of time. This allows you to both monitor and take action to prevent harsh driving.

  1. Fuel Consumption Data

As discussed earlier, harsh driving events have a major impact on fuel consumption. Using LocoNav’s fuel consumption reports and analytics, a fleet manager can analyse anomalies and identify harsh driving events. 

  1. Video Telematics Reports

As a fleet manager, you desire a compiled report of your drivers’ aggressive driving or violations of traffic laws. These instances, also known as events, can provide detailed insight into driving behaviour and may even help you better coach your drivers. LocoNav Event Reports are a collection of a vehicle’s hard driving incidents. This report records and compiles several forms of hazardous driving events.

LocoNav’s ADAS improves vehicle and road safety by utilising a secure human-machine interaction. ADAS use automated technology, including sensors and cameras, to detect and respond to surrounding impediments or driver errors. Depending on the features installed in the vehicle, ADAS can enable varying levels of autonomous driving.

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