Incidents happen. From poor weather conditions to a distracted car driver, even the most careful trucker can encounter a dangerous situation when out on the road. Trimble’s Kent Kelly, manager of video intelligence, recently explored how video intelligence technology gives fleets the upper hand should an incident—from an accident to a breakdown—occur out on the road.
Video Intelligence systems—which can provide a 360-degree view around a truck, including cameras built into a truck’s spot mirrors and a trailer backup camera that live streams in-cab video—is an effective way to protect drivers while preventing safety-related incidents on the road. Kelly emphasized that fleets that have implemented this technology to manage incident response have seen overwhelmingly positive impacts on their bottom line, their drivers and those with whom they share the road.
Protecting Drivers When It Matters Most
More often than not, when an accident happens, it won’t be the truck driver’s fault. Resounding industry-wide research tells us that car drivers are at-fault in over three-quarters of fatal car truck accidents. This same research shows that truck drivers are at-fault only 27% percent of time. Unfortunately, the percentage of times the truck driver is blamed, and a claim is filed is significantly higher than that.
It is more important than ever for both your fleet managers and drivers to be prepared when this happens to protect both your drivers and your business from impending lawsuits or false claims. Without video evidence, the odds are highly unlikely that a court decision will favor trucks in the case of an accident. Trimble Video Intelligence allows your fleet immediate access to video of the event paired with powerful data (including ECM triggers, GPS speed, Advanced Driver Assistance and more) that can help prove the driver was not at fault when an incident occurs.
Additionally, according to Kelly, Trimble’s on-demand request form allows your team to have the video (including multiple camera views to provide a full picture of the incident) back to the driver within three minutes of the request so they can provide immediate evidence to law enforcement on the scene. This is especially helpful in areas of the country where road conditions can change within the window of time it takes between the accident and law enforcement to arrive.
Video Intelligence: A System That Never Rests
This on-demand request form is especially helpful for unattended incidents. Because the system is equipped with an extended sleep timer (meaning you can get access to video even when your drivers are on break or off-duty), if an incident were to occur when the driver is away from the truck, you have full visibility. This can save trucking companies thousands of dollars in potential damages and keep your drivers protected from shouldering the blame should something happen to the vehicle while they are on break. For example, should a driver walk into a truck stop and another vehicle swipes or hits the truck and drives away, you can get on-demand access to that video to see what happened and charge the appropriate party to cover the damage.
Additionally, 24-hour on-demand video can be used to monitor worksites during off-duty hours and allow your team to keep an eye on valuable construction equipment that is left out overnight. This also is advantageous for trucks parked in ungated yards that can be accessed by people during off-duty hours. At minimum, Kelly indicated, video intelligence provides peace of mind; at best implementation on your entire fleet can save thousands of dollars in potential damages.
Getting Back on the Road Quicker
Break downs and maintenance issues will inevitably happen, but video intelligence can save you money by helping your team make smarter—and faster— decisions for how to treat the issue. Trimble’s suite of Support Tools including the ability for individuals who are not at the scene to get a snapshot of current camera views and get visibility into what is going on can allow your fleet to diagnose the problem without having to rely on the driver alone to report what is wrong.
Kelly explained how test camera systems can be leveraged by maintenance departments to help diagnose next steps for incidents that happen on the road before a response team even arrives. For example, if a truck slides off the road and into a ditch, your team has the ability to see whether the truck is leaned over—which could require up to two large tow trucks to pull the truck out—or if it is on a flat surface with only a small amount of snow, which would likely only require a small tug out. These types of decisions, when made correctly, can save your team up to thousands of dollars.
Training the Best by Preparing for the Worst
Video Intelligence and its built-in safety analytics suite has become an invaluable coaching and training tool for hundreds of businesses across the country by allowing fleet managers to focus on behaviors in need of improvement, making the fleet safer and more efficient with every new training opportunity. Fleet managers can also use past video examples to train drivers on what to do (or not to do) on the road that can potentially help prevent future incidents. Studies show that this type of behavior analysis can lower collision instances by up to 30%—preventing as many as 63,000 crashes; 17,733 injuries; and 293 deaths each year.
And it is not always about when things go wrong: These tools can actually boost retention when used to coach and provide positive feedback to drivers who are following best practices. Drivers react more positively to video systems (and are more likely to continue driving for your company and use the system properly) when they feel they are rewarded for good driving practices—versus calling out the driver only when things go wrong. A simple gift certificate or free dinner out based on good driving behavior monitored through video can help boost morale, encourage safety and even lower dangerous incidents over time.
In summary, Kelly noted that no matter how well-trained and careful your drivers are, truck-related incidents are bound to happen. When incidents occur, it is critical that your team is equipped with the best practices and technology to respond quickly and effectively. When used to its full potential, Video Intelligence puts the driver first and can help achieve the most important goal of all: getting your fleet back on the road as safely as possible.
Experience the Power of Video Intelligence in Your Fleet
Whether it is protecting drivers from a false claim following an accident, to diagnosing a roadside breakdown, Trimble Video Intelligence technology can help your team respond to incidents effectively and return your fleet to the road in no time.
Check out our recent webinar, which features presentations from both Trimble and a Video Intelligence user, on how this cutting edge technology can make a tangible impact on your fleet’s safety and litigation protection.