Driving is a dangerous activity, and fleet managers have to work hard to protect their drivers' safety. As one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, causing nearly 40,000 deaths in 2016 alone, it's clear that this is an issue that fleet managers must be able to handle. Though the number of fatal accidents has decreased meaningfully from 2005, when features like backup cameras were released, death rates have been climbing again recently with the increase of distracted driving.
Technology can be a double-edged sword, although we have more advanced safety features, we now also have more drivers texting while driving, effectively reversing the benefits of improved safety technology. However, we now have new technologies like in-cab two-way cameras that can keep an eye on your drivers, and potentially exonerate them in case of an accident.
Not only will you be able to eliminate distracted driving and other bad driving behaviors, but also reduce costs associated with false claims. Some safety programs have been able to recoup 75% of safety costs associated with preventable accidents by instituting programs that routinely and comprehensively monitor their drivers. All this is aside from the immeasurable benefit of saving another human life.
Traditional safety programs help decrease the number of accidents, the severity of accidents, as well as help coach drivers to improve behavior in the future. Two way facing cameras can identify if a driver is driving distracted, if they are too tired to continue on the job, or show what they were doing at the time of an accident (almost like a black box) to improve behavior or potentially reduce the claim liability.
Detailed here are some statistics from a leading two-way driver camera implementation. Accident reduction saw a huge improvement, as did the amount of money and severity of these accidents. This additional focus on safety also pays dividends by way of improving CSA scores, which helps reduce insurance costs as well as promoting more trust with your business partners.
Two-way cameras are only one part of an effective safety program. Telematics systems can help monitor other types of more subtle data points like instances of harsh braking, cornering, or speeding, in order to identify the drivers that are most at risk.
Some programs even have advanced predictive analytics software that can estimate when or how often certain drivers are going to be involved in accidents. Combine this with a comprehensive safety program, and those same at-risk drivers can be isolated and coached, reducing the chance of a fatal accident happening in the future.
As much as there may be pushback on implementing these sometimes intrusive safety and monitoring programs, the drivers are the biggest beneficiaries. The most important part of these programs is that more drivers are going back to their families at the end of the day. That is something that can't be measured. Sometimes big brothers can help protect you after all.
If you disagree, let me know.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet