Back It Up
Do your reps, service personnel or delivery drivers use company vehicles? If so, these new products could help them drive more safely and help you manage your vehicles better.
Monitor driver and vehicle performance with the CarChip from Davis Instruments, which plugs in to the OBDII connector port near a vehicle's steering wheel. The CarChip records data such as mileage as well as driver performance issues such as tailgating.
Pop the CarChip out and plug it in to your PC to check your data. The system includes the chip, software, an AC adapter and a download cable, and costs $139 (for a version that records 75 hours of data) or $179 (for the 300-hour version). For more on tracking your fleet, read our "Wireless" column.
Prevent accidents with Signal Mirrors from Muth Mirror Systems. Replacing a vehicle's sideview mirrors, the mirrors use a red arrow that flashes when a turn is signaled, giving other drivers extra warning. Designed for any vehicle, they're useful for minivans and trucks. Prices range from $149 to $169.
One of the best backup-alert systems combines an audible warning system with a halogen light. Sounding an alarm and sending out a beam of bright light when you shift into reverse, Back-Up Alert replaces one of your vehicle's back-up lightbulbs and has audio built into its circuitry ($24.95).
Editor and consultant Jill Amadio has been reporting on the automotive industry for 24 years.