It is critical for a fleet manager to safeguard their assets, including their driving crew and their fleet. Simply said, any kind of movement always entails danger. The most serious hazards — and the most expensive — are traffic accidents, cargo damage, bogus claims, vehicle repairs, and drivers’ health. In a given year, 20% of the vehicles in a trucking business’s fleet will be involved in a car accident.
For fleets and trucking companies, improving safety and performance is a must. Technology plays an essential role in reducing the risks associated with driving. The most important role is played by video telematics combined with GPS tracking.
Challenges in Enforcing Fleet Safety
With great power comes great responsibility. But for fleet managers, fulfilling these responsibilities comes with its own set of hurdles to cross.
- Fleet Safety Policy
To set clear and consistent expectations of drivers, it is critical to explain a codified fleet safety policy. Senior management must be vocal in their support for fleet safety protocols. Policies should be revised on a regular basis (to account for unforeseen challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic) and followed without exception.
- Managing High-Risk Personnel
It is not enough to have a fleet safety policy; you also need to continuously implement it and hold drivers accountable. Most fleets have introduced safety training programmes and technology, such as in-vehicle cameras for driver coaching, to change risky driving behaviours. In a high-turnover situation where driving is not the primary responsibility, keeping safety in mind is a major difficulty.
- Distracted Drivers
The most major and continuous risk that fleet managers must avoid is distracted driving. Fatigued driving is also linked to distracted driving. Today’s field workers are being pressured to accomplish more with less, which contributes to driver fatigue. To reduce in-vehicle distractions, fleet managers must design and enforce policies as well as study the use of technology. The main fact is that a vehicle has far too many technologies that can cause driver distraction. Some fear we are losing the war against driver distraction due to the ease with which we can make and receive calls and texts via mobile phones.
- Budgeting Constraints
While management frequently speaks a great deal about the importance of fleet safety programmes, convincing them to invest money is a different story. Due to economic constraints, many fleets are unable to afford training programmes or purchase optional safety equipment packages when acquiring new vehicles.
- Data Analytics
The way employees operate a vehicle affects how safe they are on the road. You can have a direct impact on driver safety if you can change driving behaviour. Telematics monitors adherence to fleet safety regulations and flags high-risk drivers. Furthermore, telematics technology is still evolving. For example, to boost security and safety, fleets are evaluating bi-directional video systems incorporating artificial intelligence. Even with telematics devices installed, drivers continue to do things they should not, but these high-risk drivers can now be detected and transgressions can be reported.
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The Evolving Tech Scenario of Video Telematics
In the past, in-cab video recordings were used to document incidents such as speeding and hard braking. Because there were no live streams, management had to re-watch tapes afterwards for driver safety and training. Modern video telematics, on the other hand, has entered the market with the ability to monitor live video feeds from vehicles that have been combined with other sensors.
This device, when combined with GPS monitoring and fleet management software, can provide real-time alerts to drivers regarding unsafe or risky driving behaviour. The device can rapidly correct drivers to help them maintain better vehicle control and avoid potentially fatal accidents. Knowing that real-time monitoring is carried out aids in positively changing drivers’ attitude and performance.
How To Improve Fleet Safety Using Video Telematics
According to a report, the video telematics market is anticipated to expand by 22% from 2020 to 2025. (adding 3.2 million subscribers). Vehicle-mounted in-cab cameras record visual video proof or data, as well as serving as a tool for driver training, insurance information, and driver safety. Video telematics (Dashcams) can also cut crashes by 65% and accident costs by 75%, according to the study. These are just a few of the reasons why fleet managers of all sizes are making the switch to this technology.
As fleet management solutions progress beyond the early adopter stage, in-cab video cameras have become a feature of the telematics solution. Experts predict that by 2023, vision-enabled in-cab video will be a typical feature of telematics enabled fleet management systems.
Bad driver behaviour can be detected and reported using a dashboard-mounted camera, known as a dashcam. It can identify driver fatigue or distraction, phone overuse, unbuckled seatbelts, lane changes without signalling, probable frontal collisions, and tailgating.
Poor driving ability and accidents increase operational expenses, increase risks, reduce customer satisfaction, and increase fuel and maintenance costs. This game-changing technology provides fleet managers with previously unseen data into poor driving habits, non-compliance, and crashes.
The Benefits of Video Telematics
- Be aware of what exactly transpired – For informed decision making, the whole context of difficult driving and accident occurrences can be reconstructed, including in-cabin driver behaviour, weather conditions, vehicle positions, and other situations.
- Improve your employees’ trustworthiness – You may trust and support your staff without having to trust and support them blindly—that is, without visual evidence. With video to help establish the facts, you will be able to defend bogus liability claims.
- Assist in lowering the expense of false claims – Unchallenged fake accident claims can potentially result in increases in insurance premiums or damage reimbursements, which can be avoided with video proof.This approach not only minimises the danger of accidents and malfunctions but also lowers insurance costs by assuring insurance companies that high-level safety measures are in place. Furthermore, camera footage serves as conclusive evidence in legal cases, reducing the overall liability of transportation agencies.
- Maintain a high standard for your drivers – Though telematics and video data alone won’t eliminate risky driving habits, they can help you address them more effectively.
- Real-time driving correction – The system not only records safety violations as they occur, but it also emits beep alerts, the intensity of which grows as the severity of the lapse increases. Some systems also provide real-time audio feedback, so drivers are alerted and can rectify their conduct right away.
- Improve driver training programmes – Using intelligent automation and machine learning, the video feed is examined, and the safety issues are classified. Video footage of forceful braking, distracted driving, an impending crash, and so on are examples. These real-life examples put driver training programmes in context, making them more realistic and goal-oriented.
- Assign driver scorecards – Not all drivers share the same driving habits, skills, stamina, or feeling of responsibility. Each of them may be excellent in certain areas but require work in others.The video telematics system employs techniques to deliver a snapshot, a safety score, and a full analysis of each driver’s driving behaviour, all of which are backed up by real-world evidence in the form of video clippings. Drivers may view their progress reports on their smartphones, compare their safety scores to those of other drivers, and stay encouraged to improve their scores over time.
The best video telematics solutions starts recording when the driver starts the car. When a dangerous driving event happens, the AI engine in the system begins to analyse the footage based on the driver behaviour triggers. The AI then categorises the video as a crash, risky, harsh driving, or low-risk situation. You or another selected stakeholder will receive an alert in a matter of minutes, which can be seen instantly or downloaded for further review.
Video can also be seen in conjunction with GPS or other fleet data, providing a richer context and a better understanding of the whole chain of actions that may have led to the incident. Fleets can also request clips on demand. It may also help your fleet retain its best-of-the-best staff by holding them accountable and backing them up, which is crucial in maintaining your fleet productive and safe.
While many fleets took more than a decade to embrace video telematics technology, front and driver-facing cameras will be the dominant source of fleet safety in the next few years.
Quick Read: Dashcams: The Future of Fleet Mobility