Vehicle van security and van fleet compliance specialist, HH Drive Right, is helping crack down on van theft and the uninsurable losses sustained when van drivers leave their keys in the ignition, as well as helping insurers keep other van fleet losses in check.
HH Drive Right has acted on what it says are the bad habits of 80% of delivery drivers who, in seeking speedier delivery times, leave engines running or keys in unlocked vehicles, unaware or how thieves are tracking vans on delivery routes. Its GM 2020 solution first emits a buzzer alert, if keys are left in the ignition. If no action is taken it remotely immobilises the van within 10 seconds of the driver’s exit. Unless a thief has the speed of Usain Bolt, they are unlike to steal the van within that time frame.
The vehicle remains immobilised and auto-locked (if compatible) until the fleet manager is assured the driver has made an error of judgement and needs to access their vehicle again. If so, the vehicle can be remotely remobilised, within 60 seconds, via multiple platforms.
“We have demonstrated that our system can dramatically improve a van fleet’s anti-theft strategies, by making drivers think twice before leaving the keys in the ignition,” says HH Drive Right’s managing direct, Rebecca Hall.
“In initial trials, one fleet, in week one, saw 16 of its 20 vans immobilised, generating a total of 186 immobilisations. By week 7, this had dropped to 20 immobilisations across the entire fleet, none of which were triggered by existing drivers, only by new ones. In just six weeks, driver behaviours and vehicle security had both been considerably enhanced.”
As not all van thefts are carried out by individuals unknown to the driver, the HH Drive Right GM 2020’s dashboard, allows fleet managers to view an audit trail of the driver’s actions, assessing things such as whether doors were left open, the locking/unlocking of the vehicle suspicious or handbrakes left off.
With plentiful data to drill into, this sophisticated software-driven tool both prevents thefts and enhances the driving habits of van drivers, assessing whether extra training is needed for skills such as braking, cornering, speed management or harsh acceleration. It also pinpoints where vans are parked up, or on the road, again assisting security. It will even highlight how much CO2 is generated.
The product has launched as van theft is surging. There was a 100% increase in van theft in some counties in 2021 and vans – the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314 CDI and Ford Transit 350 – comprised 2020’s top three stolen vehicles.
Recovering a stolen van is also unlikely. The percentage recovered has been falling. Of the 1169 Mercedes-Benz Springer 313 CDIs stolen in 2020, only 247 were recovered – 21%. In 2019, it was 24%. Of the Mercedes 314 CDIs stolen, only 13% were recovered in 2020, as opposed to 17% in 2019.
VAN RECOVERY IS UNLIKELY
Current percentages, following the reopening of borders after Covid, are likely to be lower still. Thieves can easily ship vans or their component parts, following stripping down, out of the country and to buyers for whom they have stolen to order. Many operate workshops geared up to stripping down vans in a few hours. The chances of recovery are slim.
“We are spearheading the fight against vehicle theft caused by lax driver behaviour,” says Rebecca Hall. “Keys-left-in-van thefts are thefts that need not happen and yet there is so much pressure to carry out fast deliveries, so much apathy and so many ingrained bad habits, they do. Our system stops this, by allowing the driver to responsibly lock the van but, if they do not, locking it in a 10-second time frame that will prevent its theft.
“Furthermore, we have a suite of other features built into the system that help keep other reasons for a claim down. For the price it costs, installing it is a no-brainer and we hope insurers will start to encourage fleets to incorporate the GM 2020 into their risk management strategies.”
Pricing starts at £10.25 per vehicle per month, plus a fitting fee. With no evasive cuts required for installation, there is no threat to warranties with this device.
To find out more, head to www.hhdriveright.com or call 01937 830144.