As debate continues on the use of video in trucks and where the cameras ought to be, New England wholesale distributor Bozzuto's notably has chosen to add even more cameras to the SmartDrive product it's been using across its fleet — and the move comes at its drivers' request.
Bozzuto's drivers asked that the company incorporate additional blind-spot cameras to extend an existing SmartDrive deployment of cab- and road-facing camera views, according to the companies. With 35% of collisions being side and rear incidents, the enhanced visibility down the sides of the vehicle and trailer gives more insight into incidents and the situations drivers face every day, helping ensure maximum protection of drivers and fleet assets.
"Our drivers recognized early on that more cameras equal more protection. While I know many fleets are concerned about driver reaction to video, our drivers not only loved SmartDrive's program when we had cab- and road-facing cameras, they asked for more video when given the opportunity," noted Tom Halpin, transportation safety manager at Bozzuto's. "With the additional camera views, we have a broader perspective on the risks specific to our industry and the realities of urban operation. This information has proven to protect them, their careers and our company."
The additional perspective delivered by SmartDrive 360 has highlighted Bozzuto's drivers' defensive driving skills and ability to avoid collisions, the company says. In one instance, a passenger vehicle on a congested highway lost control of his vehicle and nearly collided with a Bozzuto's truck. The SmartDrive 360 video captured a perspective not possible without additional cameras, showing that the Bozzuto's driver swerved to evade the passenger vehicle, preventing a collision. This led to drivers' support of the program early on and was a key factor in their request for more cameras.
Based in Cheshire, CT, Bozzuto's has provided goods and services to independently owned retailers in New England for 70 years. With large tractor trailers operating in residential areas, on congested city streets and busy freeways, and with tight delivery parameters, the company's risk of incidents — especially side swipes and backing collisions — is high.
For these and other reasons, drivers at Bozzuto's are strong supporters of the SmartDrive video safety program and have seen the positive impact it can have on protecting them while they do their job, according to the companies. After participating in an early adopter program for SmartDrive 360 when it launched in 2014, Bozzuto's drivers quickly realized the value of the additional side-view cameras and urged management to deploy them across the entire fleet.
The addition of side cameras to supplement the cab- and road-facing cameras provides a broader perspective of what happens around and behind the vehicle when an incident occurs.