For those researching or considering driver cameras for their mobile employees driving work trucks, one of the questions that needs to be answered is whether or not the ability to stream video live (vs. accessing archived video clips after the fact) is important to you. Of course, as with any technology investment related to fleet operations, you need to think about the goals you hope to accomplishment in installing cameras in the first place. If correcting costly and/or dangerous driving habits is among those goals, being alerted to violations and poor driving behaviors in real time provides your coaches and supervisors with “teachable moments” that might otherwise be missed – and are proven to help improve drivers’ safety records.
Your average dashboard camera or in cab camera system bought online won’t include this powerful feature, so it’s important to do your research thoroughly. Here are four very good reasons why being able to stream live video when needed will make a huge difference for your driver behavior coaching and improving overall driving performance:
- Direct and immediate access from any mobile device, as well as desktop computers – the ability to stream video in real-time goes hand in hand with being able to access clips of your drivers no matter where you are during the work day. Your in cab camera system must include a mobile app to access your video, so that you can become aware instantly of behaviors that need to be addressed ASAP.
- Real-time access to video means real-time response to emergencies and problems – As anyone who drives or manages work trucks knows, situations often arise where an immediate response is required. Being alerted in real-time to such situations and being able to see what is happening enables managers to immediately address problems as they are happening.
- Validate or ensure compliance with company policies – Live streaming driver cameras gives managers/supervisors a chance to check on adherence with critical company policies, like seatbelt use… but also, the same opportunity to acknowledge and reinforce proper procedures. You can prevent seatbelt, speeding and other violations before they incur costly fines!
- Address and reduce risky cell phone use – Nothing distracts a driver – and puts drivers, pedestrians, company equipment and cargo at risk – quite like a cell phone. Everyone has one, and everyone is tempted to use them behind the wheel. But with one out of every four road crashes in America now being caused by cell phone use… why wouldn’t you want to address this incredibly dangerous and costly habit as it happens, to make sure it won’t happen again?
Video clips are an effective driver coaching tool and should be used for exactly that reason. But addressing dangerous driving behaviors as they happen, and being able to coach “in the moment” when required, helps to reinforce your seriousness about changing the culture in your organization to one of “safety first”… for every route, every stop and every service call.