A still from a video captured by the SmartDrive event recorder depicts a collision that ended up exonerating a Pottle's Transportation driver.

Video-based safety: Measuring the value of a managed services program

Jan. 19, 2018
For companies considering a video-based safety solution, a clear understanding of the potential issues associated with not having a managed service is essential

With more than 500,000 vehicles equipped with a video-based safety solution, it’s clear this technology is becoming the new norm for many fleets. From for-hire and private trucking to transit agencies and government fleets, video is helping protect drivers and businesses nationwide—and globally.  

But video alone doesn’t make our roads or drivers safer. Once a company decides to invest in video, it may be faced with the dilemma of how to analyze the enormous amount of video collected. Few businesses have the capacity to take this on effectively and efficiently with internal resources, let alone implement a standardized, repeatable process that drivers view as fair and consistent. However, in order to realize the tangible benefits of video it is imperative that fleets gain the insights that come only from analysis of what is captured. Without this, fleet managers can easily be overwhelmed and frustrated, and drivers view as one more tool that is used unfairly against them. As a result, desired safety results are elusive, making it likely fleets will miss the true value that a video-based program brings.

Today’s most advanced video-based safety and analytics solutions are offered as a fully managed service, alleviating the burden on fleet managers and delivering a program drivers can trust. Not only does this save time and money, but it also enables these businesses to compete in today’s data-driven world.

For companies considering a video-based safety solution, a clear understanding of the potential issues associated with not having a managed service is essential.

Video alone won’t cut it.

When fleets are deciding whether a video-based safety program is necessary, video isn’t the only component to consider. It’s imperative that managers have access to actionable intelligence to support the driver coaching necessary to effect the behavior changes that reduce risk.

Only with a managed service can fleets ensure the right information—along with recommended coaching scripts and workflows—is delivered to the right person at the right time. This ensures consistency across all drivers and locations, company-wide. Management can allocate resources to safety measures most likely to make a positive impact, rather than spending hours reviewing video.

Make time to coach.

The importance of having an expert analyze the video is crucial to implementing an effective driver coaching program. Outside experts are able to provide unbiased analysis, ensuring each driver is measured similarly and consistently. Easily consumed, actionable data and analytics are foundational to a successful coaching program, which, in turn, is widely considered an imperative for best-in-class fleets.  With easy-to-use tools, companies can ensure continual improvement among their drivers and increase bottom-line results.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

The scoring and prioritization used by experts in video analysis are critical to the success of a video-based safety program. Without this, it’s virtually impossible for managers to differentiate between a driver who is actually improving and one who is just getting lucky. Managers and coaches tasked with reviewing massive volumes of raw driver data may not know or have the bandwidth to assess what’s important, when to intervene and how to reduce risk.  

With a managed service, fleet managers can access a real time stream of intelligence—analyzed data—that accurately measures a driver’s exposure to risk. With information on the triggering event, observed behaviors, risk exposure metrics based on predictive algorithms and correlations to prior collision data, a more complete picture is painted. All of this incoming information can provide accurate and timely measurements of drivers’ risk, enabling coaches to intervene and focus on the drivers most likely to have a collision or be involved in other incidents.

A state-of-the-art video-based safety program includes management reports and key performance indicators (KPIs) that help optimize the program on an on-going basis while highlighting areas of strength and opportunity. Reports not only focus on driving and coaching performance, but identify trends and support recognition programs.

The final element of the end-to-end program is a robust testing process to ensure all equipment is stable and provides reliable information. Drivers can’t always tell when their system isn’t working so equipment health checks are vital to capturing any triggered videos.

Look beyond the bottom line.

Expert, consistent and non-biased review is essential to every video-based program. But trying to resource this internally can rack up costs and burden employees, and deepen issues with driver acceptance. By tapping a third party to review and score triggered videos, companies will get 24/7 coverage in case there is an incident during off hours, scalability as your fleet grows and fair, consistent reviews for every driver across your fleet.

If your company is considering a video-based safety solution, the focus should always be the safety of your drivers and the return on that safety investment. Look for a partner that can share video safety best practices, on-board your drivers, modify the program to your goals and priorities, and grow with you. This investment should not only give you cameras, videos and data, but deliver measurable results that pay off financially and from a safety perspective.

About the Author

Matt Brunelle | Vice President, Customer Success

Matt Brunelle is the vice president of customer success at SmartDrive Systems.

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