When St. George, Utah-based van freight leader Andrus Transportation Services sought a way to safeguard its freight, its drivers and the roads they travel while still maximizing their trucking assets, its leadership knew that video could be the powerful tool they needed.
That’s when the Andrus team, which serves 11 Western states and Texas, entered into a trial with the Lytx DriveCam video telematics program that began a journey toward a safer 340-truck fleet.
“When we were first deciding about a full DriveCam deployment after a successful trial, the management team was debating the pros and cons, but after he’d heard enough, our owner and president, James Andrus, asked a simple question: ‘Will this make us a safer company?'” said Wes Peterson, director of Risk Management for Andrus Transportation Services. “Then the decision was a unanimous yes.”
The DriveCam exception-based video safety program combines video capture of road incidents such as hard braking or sudden swerving, data analysis of those incidents, and personalized coaching insights to improve driving behavior. Today, Lytx helps protect more than 600,000 commercial and government fleet drivers under its DriveCam program.
At the time they began the trial, some Andrus drivers already had their own GoPro cameras recording their time on the road to help exonerate them in the event of a collision. But still, Peterson said that they wanted to take the deployment one step at a time to ensure that drivers understood that adopting DriveCam was a positive move for them.
“It’s been really well received,” he said, adding that driver exoneration has played a role in that. “We know accidents aren’t always a simple case of ‘A hits B,’ and the video uncovers the root cause.”
But even though the DriveCam program has helped Andrus Transportation Services exonerate — and retain — drivers, the company’s primary focus is on the prevention of collisions, and being able to take action on the driving behavior insights the DriveCam video revealed.
“We found that drivers we thought were the safest because of the absence of driving events were actually fairly complacent about their driving,” said Peterson. “They hadn’t been in a collision but it was just because the odds had not yet caught up to them. They’d been lucky drivers.”
DriveCam’s data-backed insights, Peterson said, gave the company’s driving coaches a softer path to help eliminate the complacency and address unsafe driving behaviors before they turned serious.