Many a fleet are now turning their eye to event-recorder video safety system pilot programs. Not only do these systems help protect the truck drivers, but they also provide valuable data on driver habits and actionable information on what they need to do to stay safe on the road.
The fact is, truck drivers are sometimes put into situations where they have to avoid other drivers who may have bad habits. Having an event-recorder in the cockpit provides a valuable witness to events.
Truck Driver Considerations
Some fleet managers may worry about how their truck drivers feel about having a camera in the cab. Surprisingly, many are finding drivers already warm to the idea, and in some cases putting cameras in their trucks themselves. After all, the last thing they want is to be blamed for a collision that isn’t their fault.
Years ago, drivers may not have been so ready. But today, with collision litigation on the rise, everyone is coming round to the idea that a video record certainly can’t be a bat thing. Survey any fleet truck driver force now and the majority will tell you that their view of a camera in the cab has gradually changed over time.
While there are many different models and types currently on the market, most utilize the forward-facing camera method. This way there is an eye forward onto the road at all times.
Other setups not only utilize a forward-facing camera, but can also put other cameras in and around the truck, showing various angles of activity. One thing to consider is that many truck drivers – while they are onboard with outward-facing cameras – consider inward-facing cameras an invasion of their privacy.
The Most Common Type
Forward-facing units generally consist of a small black cylinder with a camera on one side and various controls or buttons on the other. The system will be tied to the vehicle’s telematics system, and should be aware of certain metrics, such as engine speed and acceleration.
When coupled with a live feed, these systems can present a total picture of what is going on in a particular driving situation. While some systems may record everything they see, advanced systems monitoring truck telematics will instantly know when to begin saving an event recording.
In other situations, the operator can manually trigger a recording event through clicking a button on the camera. When these systems are coupled with collision-avoidance systems, the safety benefits are multiplied ten-fold.
The Impact on Coaching
While these systems are certainly a safety and CSA score boon, they also help create better truck drivers. Evaluating and guiding driver performance efforts lies at the root of an in-cab event-recording system.
When you are using video, you can individually coach a driver on certain behaviors. Whether it be making risky maneuvers or improperly negotiating a curve, an in-cab video system can help you shape safe behaviors that affect not only your drivers but others on the road, as well.
Many drivers will be appreciative of the outside perspective and grateful for any constructive advice that can help them improve their commercial vehicle driving skills. Devices like these help truck drivers become more self-aware, which is never a bad thing.
Fleets that adopt these systems report a measurable increase in safety and reduction in unsafe driving practices. Many even report zero collisions as they pilot these systems.
In a day where a potential problem could not only lead to lost revenue, but also to lost lives, fleets need to be doing everything they can to improve safety measures and truck driver skills. If you are wondering how you can have a measurable impact on such measures, maybe you should look into in-cab event recording systems.