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Driver Performance Management - FAQs

Dash Cam FAQs

Results will depend on the carrier's approach to implementation, the current level of risky behavior in the fleet, and the focus areas actively managed. However, a recent study of more than 10,000 crashes by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that event-based video systems, combined with the driver behavior coaching, accounted for reductions of 20% in fatal crashes and a reduction of 35% in injury crashes at those carriers.

The benefits include:

  • Exoneration of a driver in an accident. Statistics from multiple large-scale studies show that more than 75% of accidents between commercial trucks and cars are caused by the passenger vehicle driver.
  • Reduced false claims from alleged driver actions not related to an accident.
  • Expedited at-fault claims because you have the facts.
  • Improved fuel efficiency due to a reduction in speeding, hard acceleration, and speed variability due to following too close.
  • Lower drive-train maintenance and repair costs from reduced hard-braking, hard-acceleration, and hard-cornering events.
  • Lower insurance rates.
  • Increased customer confidence in your safety program.

Drivers, overall, have been very accepting of road-facing dash cams because of the exoneration potential. Dash cameras are an investment that shows confidence in your drivers' professional skills. Carriers that utilize dash cam metrics to enhance a bonus program have seen very positive acceptance levels and no discernable negative impact to driver retention.

Many carriers report no appreciable impact to recruiting drivers, even with driver-facing cameras. A critical question is, "Do you want drivers that don't want cameras in the truck?"

Early detection and correction of unsafe driving behaviors can lead to increased retention, especially in the drivers with less than six months of tenure.

There are many data elements or behaviors that can be captured by a dash cam that can lead to significant risk and cost reductions, such as:

  • Speed limit violations
  • Hard-braking
  • Following too close/ tailgating
  • Cornering too fast
  • Lane drift – distracted or fatigued driving
  • Rolling stops

Generally, a dash camera recording video is legal on public roads provided that you are not violating someone's privacy. In public, there is no expectation of privacy.

The laws for recording audio can vary by state or municipality, so this can be an issue. At a minimum, it is highly recommended to inform any enforcement officer if a dash cam is recording them on video or audio.

Forty-four percent of respondents who installed dashcams said they have seen a decrease in the number of insurance claims, 41% saw a reduction in the average value of insurance claims, and 29% have seen a discount on their insurance premiums.*

*Leveraging the Benefits of Dash Cam Technology, 2019. Freightwaves.

Dash cams with analytics (like the J. J. Keller® Encompass® Dash Cam Pro) give you data about specific instances of poor driving behaviors, providing you the opportunity to coach drivers. In a 2019 Freightwaves and J. J. Keller and Associates, Inc. survey, fleets with dash cams installed stated that nearly 53% analyze hard breaking events. Over 47% are using data obtained to improve driver training programs, and over 22% said their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores have improved since they installed dash cams.*

*Leveraging the Benefits of Dash Cam Technology, 2019. Freightwaves.

Passenger vehicles are usually the cause of a passenger/truck accident. Data from the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) shows that the actions of drivers of passenger vehicles alone contribute to 70 percent of passenger/truck crashes. Truck drivers are solely responsible for committing driving errors in 16 percent of the accidents, while truck and passenger vehicle drivers share responsibility for 10 percent of accidents.

Putting a dash cam in your commercial motor vehicles and delivery/fleet vehicles could help you determine the cause of the accident and provide concrete evidence which could exonerate your driver and fleet of negligence or wrongdoing.

Dash cams are installed at the top center of the vehicle's windshield or near the rearview mirror. They are typically powered through either a hard-wired connection to the vehicle's engine or the vehicle's auxiliary outlet (cigarette lighter).

Yes. Using a dash camera for exoneration is a good best practice. However, it's crucial to review video and ECM data (or other data taken from the ECM) and address unsafe behaviors as a standard policy and practice. This practice not only keeps you on top of poor driving but it prevents the risk of negligent supervision, should an accident occur. Attorneys can subpoena vehicle telematics data from your vehicle's ECM (or ELDs, dash cams, or other connected solutions) to demonstrate negligent supervision. If you chose not to look at the ECM data or video, you could be at risk.

The FMCSR provides guidance for carriers in section §393.60(e)(1)(ii). Vehicle safety technologies are to be mounted not more than four inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers or not more than seven inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the wipers and outside the driver's sightlines to the road, signs, and signals.

Vehicle safety technology, as defined in §393.5 below, include video event recorders:

"Vehicle safety technology. Vehicle safety technology includes a fleet-related incident management system, performance or behavior management system, speed management system, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning or mitigation system, active cruise control system, and transponder."

Contact your state's FMCSA office or motor carrier enforcement division for mounting restrictions of dash cams if your fleet operations are exclusively intrastate.

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