Martin Transportation Systems, a Michigan-based dedicated-route trucking fleet said it discovered that reacting to – instead of preventing – road safety issues proved to be a costly way of doing business.
The fleet’s search for a solution to protect its 1,300 drivers and reduce costs on a high-deductible insurance policy led them to the Lytx DriveCam program. The move paid immediate dividends, according to Jeffrey Wood, Martin’s director of safety.
The Lytx DriveCam safety program is a comprehensive solution that 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 to help prevent those incidents. The net result is reductions of collision-related costs by up to 80 percent.
Many trucking accidents are “word versus word” with no witnesses who are impartial, Wood said. “Trucking companies are also targets of inflated and downright false claims,” he said. “Every claim that’s forced into settlement to avoid costly litigation is money straight off our bottom line.
“Immediately after we deployed the DriveCam system to our fleet, we experienced the value of DriveCam video as an ‘impartial witness,’ and we have used the DriveCam footage to exonerate our drivers,” said Wood. “We just shared the video with the police — and no other witness was necessary. That saved us potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims, with the added benefit of getting us money back for our equipment damage.”
Martin Transportation also uses the DriveCam program to identify and improve unsafe driving patterns that in many cases go undetected until something bad happens.
“We hire experienced, road-tested drivers, but even the best drivers can bring habits with them that might lead to risky situations,” said Wood. “Random one-on-one talks and small meetings when you can catch drivers on time off aren’t enough to help them be at the top of their game.” Real-time feedback about real situations is the key.
Increasing following space, wearing seat belts and making the cab free from distractions are all critical driving practices, according to Wood. “DriveCam video gives us the opportunity to sit down with our drivers and show them how they can fine-tune their driving skills using real events, not hypotheticals,” he said.