More fleets monitor in-cab driver performance

Increasingly, truck fleets are using in-cab video recorders connected to Internet-based management systems to improve the effectiveness of their safety programs.

The in-cab video and driver management technologies are being used by growing numbers of fleets to reduce the risk of vehicle crashes while improving driver behavior and skill behind the wheel.

These were among the points made by representatives from Chevron Products Company and Cox Petroleum Transportation an In-Cab Driver Management webinar that was presented July 8. This was the second in a series of Toolbox Safety Meeting webinars produced by Bulk Transporter magazine in cooperation with National Tank Truck Carriers Inc. The webinar was sponsored by SmartDrive Measured Safety System. The webinar was recorded and available.

Other trucking companies working with in-cab driver management systems include Loomis Armored, which 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 system. Danny Pack, Loomis senior vice-president,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%).

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 of a fleet’s risk, Pack says. “[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.

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