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Rolling safely: In-cab video hitting the mark

July 14, 2009
Fleets using in-cab video recorder s connected to Internet-based management systems are finding they can significantly improve the effectiveness of their safety programs – reducing the risk of vehicle crashes while improving driver behavior and skill behind the wheel

Fleets using in-cab video recorder s connected to Internet-based management systems are finding they can significantly improve the effectiveness of their safety programs – reducing the risk of vehicle crashes while improving driver behavior and skill behind the wheel.

Loomis Armored recently wrapped up a six-month study that involved over 2,800 of its drivers and 1,000 of its vehicles equipped with the SmartDrive Measured Safety System. Danny Pack, Loomis’ senior vp-risk management, said collision frequency decreased 53% over the study period, with a corresponding reduction in four other key driver-related metrics: Distraction (dropped 54%); fatigue (declined 56%); non-use of seatbelts (fell 68%); and incidents of speeding (cut 53%)

“While having a safe fleet is our objective, as with any area of improvement, you cannot sit on your laurels. We owe it to our employees, our customers and the general public to continuously seek ways to prevent injury and provide value,” Pack told FleetOwner.

“In these economic times it is easy to put off investment ... and a good risk manager knows there is no ‘silver bullet,’ no ‘one thing’ thing that will eliminate all your risk,” he added. “[But] this has been one of those tools which exceeded our expectations. As noted earlier, our goal is reducing the possibility of injury to our employees, customers and the public. I can think of no greater gain than what we’ve achieved here.” Based on the results seen so far, Pack said Loomis will implement the SmartDrive program in another 1,000 vehicles this year.

Similar results garnered from a different in-cab video technology used as part of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be released next week. That study – conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) using DriveCam’s in-cab video system – involved 100 trucks (both long haul and short haul) over a 17-week period. Jeff Hickman, VTTI’s lead researcher on the project, said that the number of risky driving events fell by 52.2% in the first fleet and 37% in the second fleet for those vehicles running the DriveCam Driver Risk Management Program.

“Both carriers significantly reduced the mean frequency of recorded events/miles traveled from baseline to intervention,” Hickman said. “The results prove that the combination of onboard safety monitoring and behavioral coaching were responsible for the significant reduction in the mean frequency of events/miles traveled at both carriers.”

“The hard evidence of this study proves what our clients have been telling us for years,” noted Brandon Nixon, DriveCam’s CEO. “The ultimate result of reducing risky driving events is the reduction in claims costs, which provide significant dollars straight to the bottom line.”

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean reports and comments on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry -- light and medium duty fleets up through over-the-road truckload, less-than-truckload, and private fleet operations Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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