Technology Improving Driver Safety

Corporate fleet managers are now using recording devices, such as in-cab cameras, to monitor driver behavior. The goal is to improve safety and use fuel more efficiently. Many companies have reported that they have already seen a major reduction in vehicle incidents since they have installed the in-cab cameras. Lily Transportation Corp. in Needham, Mass. said they have seen a 30% decrease in incidents since 2011, when they installed the cameras.
Drivers who were once skeptical of the in-cab cameras, viewing it as “Big Brother” spying or as punishment, now see it as an opportunity to prove their professionalism and earn rewards, increased pay, and therefore increased job security.
Dane Smith, Vice President of worldwide sales for SmartDrive Systems Inc., said “We teach [customers] to coach drivers like athletes and not just to catch them doing something wrong. Drivers oftentimes don’t recognize how much they are affected by distractions on the road or when they are reaching for something in the cab. They are in a trance-like state. They don’t realize the amount of time they take their eyes off the road.”
In 2012, SmartDrive came out with a study from over 15.1 million video events, that revealed that mobile phone usage, along with the manipulation of objects, smoking, and eating were the main sources of distractions for drivers. The video recordings have also been used to acquit thousands of drivers involved in crashes caused by other drivers. 80% of the time it is not their fault. By closely monitoring speed, engine idling, and other factors through the technology, vendors can also improve fuel efficiency by as much as 20%.