It was a usual afternoon in Himachal Pradesh. Around 45 students of a public school were going back home. The normal afternoon turned into a tragic one, when the bus that was ferrying the students back home met with an accident. The bus plummeted into a 328 feet deep gorge and close to thirty people, including children, died. Locals rushed to the accident spot and helped the victims and shifted them to the hospitals even before the rescue teams arrived.
A magisterial probe was ordered and preliminary enquiries suggested that the accident occurred as the driver lost control over the bus which veered off the road and fell into the deep gorge.
According to a report, an average of 12 people die in road accidents every day in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This numbers increases by leaps and bounds on a national scale, 408 deaths per day, 17 deaths in an hour. A survey conducted by Social Welfare Council of India, an NGO, revealed that 80% of road accidents involving heavy vehicles in hills, result from over speeding and negligence of drivers, 5% from technical failure and remaining 15% from ill-maintained roads — all avoidable causes.
As the survey report suggests, there is an alarming need for us to prevent such incidents. The ever-evolving technology must be harnessed. Fleet management solutions are the way to go about it. If the school buses are equipped with school bus monitoring solutions most of the accidents caused due to the negligent driving can be averted.
One of the many features of a fleet management solution is driver behavior analysis. It is imperative to understand that finally, drivers form the core of any transport and logistics company.
To bring about any change, the coordination and cooperation of drivers are extremely important. This is exactly where driver behavior comes into the picture. With the help of driver behavior analysis, each driver can be assigned a safety-based score.
This score is calculated based on instances of harsh acceleration, braking, cornering and over speeding. Just to give an example, this score can then be used for auto allocation/sorting of drivers. A driver with a safety score of 90 would be much more reliable than a driver with a safety score of 40.
Going into the future, with the advancement of technology in the field of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning it may even be possible to predict accidents. While this may sound a little far-fetched at the moment, driver behavior is something which is already present in the market.
Another excellent feature of the school bus monitoring solution is Geo-fencing. This attribute of the solution will equip to set up a virtual boundary and get notified when the vehicle enters or exits it. Once this “virtual fence” is created the administrator can set up triggers that send a text message, email alert, or app notification when a mobile device enters (or exits) the specified area. The geo-fence can be applied to specific routes also. It is sad that even after the presence of such extremely essential school bus management systems, we are losing so many lives on a daily basis. It is high time that each and every school adopts these solutions to ensure the safety of their staff and children. Let us all take a necessary step in this direction.