14 Mar Using driver behaviour monitoring cameras to improve driver safety
How often do your drivers go over the speed limit? How likely would they be to check their phone if it beeped, eat behind the wheel or become tired while on the road?
What is the chance they would be involved in a collision? How many near misses are your drivers having?
This kind of information is absolutely essential for fleet operators, yet too many managers are left in the dark when it comes to the realities of being out on the road.
Particularly for those who drive for a living, it’s all too easy to become complacent about road safety practices and general road rules.
In light of this, we want to demonstrate both the need for and the effectiveness of implementing a driver behaviour monitoring system to help encourage safer roads for all Australians.
Driver behaviour monitoring systems – more than just telematics
Driver behaviour monitoring systems and cameras are designed to provide useful insights about the driver. This kind of data helps companies to understand what risks they’re exposed to on the road and allows drivers to become more accountable for their actions. This is all aimed at being safer on the roads.
Telematics is just vehicle tracking data, but it’s the combination with video that is key to effective driver behaviour improvement. Without the video component, there is limited information and operators lose the context of an incident, making it much more difficult to identify and correct risky behaviours.
Consider a situation where a driver slammed on the breaks. You need to know why they slammed on the brakes and for this, you need video – both cabin and road facing – to get the whole picture.
Learn more about how our vehicle tracking device.
Better Driver Training
In commercial fleets, ensuring drivers are trained and up to date on both internal safety policies and road safety best practices is critical.
For this reason, it’s recommended that all commercial drivers and other fleets engage in driver training to keep everyone on the same page.
To do this, you can use the information collected from your driver behaviour monitoring system to provide focussed coaching to the drivers on their specific issues. This means you can leave the good drivers alone and not bore them with “standard” training.
You should also aim to reinforce the elements of your company safety policy and ensure everyone is on board to implement them out in the field.
Many companies have policies that are unenforceable without video from a behaviour monitoring system e.g. “no mobile phone use”. You need a way of improving and upskilling through coaching – not just a punitive system. This is where video monitoring becomes an essential component.
As well as reinforcing internal policies, it’s important to educate your fleet about the potential outcomes of negative driving behaviours like speeding and using mobile phones.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, transport organisations such as the Victorian Transport Association, or law enforcement agencies like the NSW Traffic & Highway Patrol run sessions and training to help your team and drivers understand the real-world implications of unsafe driving.
Implement driver behaviour monitoring systems with alerts
Oftentimes, poor driving habits are so ingrained in a persons’ behaviour that they no longer even realise when they happen – essentially subconscious.
Using telematics alerts to notify you when your driver performs harsh braking or cornering is one way to discover that there is a problem.
However, often the bad habits are not recognized or understood by the driver. Seeing themselves on video and having a discussion (coaching) about it post-event has a much better impact on the driver and is more likely to lead to a positive behavioural change.
Using the footage will also provide context to the situation so you can better understand what is happening and why. This is the same methodology that professional sporting teams use. The video allows for objective, constructive critique to improve performance and address weaknesses.
Over time, you’ll also be able to use the video events to create a profile of the driver and understand their bad habits. This allows you to proactively coach them to improve their habits and prevent these habits leading to a collision.
Offer incentives for safe drivers
In general, drivers who know their actions are being recorded will make a conscious effort to improve their performance on the road. This is known as the Hawthorne effect.
However, you can take this a step further by implementing an incentive program for drivers who actively exhibit improved behaviours and a dedication to road safety.
With driver behaviour monitoring cameras like DriveCam, you can monitor the performance of individuals over time and compare them to past personal performances, as well as against their peers.
To encourage your fleet to make conscious changes, an incentive could include something as simple as a gift card or could even lead to things like cash bonuses and extra paid holidays.
Take action on collected data
Behaviour monitoring systems offer a range of really useful insights about how well your drivers adopt safe driving practices. Now the question is, what do you do with it?
In reality, there is no real benefit of collecting and storing driver data unless you’re willing to take action based on what you find.
DriveCam driver behaviour monitoring cameras provide a case management workflow system to close this loop, document the process and show an audit trail to protect you in the event that something should go wrong.
Partnering with DriveRisk, you’ll also gain access to a team of road safety experts who will work with you to help understand your findings and use them to inform courses of action, education topics and policy updates.
What is driver safety worth to your company? Learn more about improving safety with driver risk management and road safety solutions from DriveRisk.