(IMAGE SOURCE: P & S Transportation)
Just two major collisions sent motor insurance premiums for Clugston Distribution soaring a dizzying 30 percent in a year. While immediate action was taken to prevent more collisions, the company’s distribution director, David Heath, found the initial remedies caused even more challenges.
Heath took the first step by trialing a number of programmes meant to improve fleet safety, but instead he experienced programme reliability issues and an inefficient process that distracted his team from their mission: to safely deliver steel, bulk food, bulk powders and petroleum products to their customers. His quest for a reliable, effective collision prevention solution ended when he found Lytx DriveCam video telematics.
The Lytx DriveCam safety programme is a comprehensive video telematics solution that combines video capture of road incidents such as hard braking or sudden swerving, data analysis of those incidents, and personalised coaching insights to enable fleet managers to improve driving behaviour to help prevent those incidents. The net result is reductions of collision-related costs by up to 80 percent. In addition to the full-fleet deployment of the DriveCam® programme, Clugston is currently trialing the Lytx® Fleet Tracking solution with a view to moving to a full-fleet roll-out to improve fleet efficiency.
Step one: understand the behaviour causing near-collisions
Collisions nearly always spring from behaviours that first manifest as near-collisions and if Heath could reduce those near-collisions, he knew that could have a dramatically positive effect on the fleet’s overall risk, making both his insurance company happy and his company’s bottom line healthier.
“The DriveCam® programme did just that, helping reduce our fleet’s near-collision rate by 51 percent,” said Heath. “Even within the first year, we’ve seen a downward trend on our insurance premiums in the double-digits. Claims are down across the board, both in amount and in frequency.”
The DriveCam video telematics programme allows Heath and his team to identify and address the root causes behind near-collisions and offers coaching insights to help drivers fine-tune their safe driving skills.
Heath learned that the key unsafe behaviours causing near-collisions were late response, following distance, and failure to keep an out. “I also learned that about 10 percent of our drivers represented more than one-third of our risk, so we knew exactly where to focus our coaching efforts,” he said. As the DriveCam programme identifies these behaviours, it also delivers personalised, data-backed coaching insights to help make coaching more effective.
Originally, Heath was concerned about driver acceptance of the DriveCam programme, but said he learned that was a somewhat outdated viewpoint. “Five years ago, that might’ve been the case, but video is everywhere now. Once they understand that its there to protect them, and that it’s part of a safety culture, they’re on board.”
DriveCam video tells the whole story, and defends the Clugston brand
Heath also sees the DriveCam video clips as a powerful way to defend the company’s integrity against false claims.
“Trucks, in general, are targets for insurance fraud, with motorists deliberately braking short in front our tankers,” he said. “Before, we might’ve been skeptical if a driver said he wasn’t at fault, but in a recent case, we could affirm that our driver was totally correct in denying responsibility. He was driving correctly, with hands in the right place, and with the right state of mind. The video proved that.”
Heath discovered another DriveCam benefit in the reports generated by the data that comes off the event recorder that help him see a more complete picture of the trends in his fleet, his drivers, and the roads they travel, but while improving business operations is important, safety is the priority for Clugston.
“In our business, hauling hazardous materials, safety is a competitive advantage,” said Heath. “If we get a request for a bid, now we’re able to more confidently come to the table, and that’s because we have a robust programme that protects our drivers and our fleet.”
Lytx and Clugston worked together to install the DriveCam event recorders in petro-chemical vehicles, and the installations are certified to meet the required Institute of Petroleum specifications.