If you ask any fleet manager where fleet safety ranks on their list of priorities, they will all put it somewhere near the top. Preventing unnecessary and, potentially, dangerous events from occurring on the road or inside the cab could be the difference between a successful and safe fleet and an unsafe and unsuccessful one.
Dash cams and other onboard camera systems have become some of the most effective technologies for ensuring fleet security. Although fleet video monitoring has been considered invasive by some, constant observation is not the goal. The goal is to provide monitoring of negative real-time events and insights into how they occurred.
Although the benefits of onboard camera systems are abundant, it is vital that the drivers of those trucks understand these benefits and feel comfortable with its use. Most drivers are sceptical at first and feel like it is intended to monitor them. Although it can monitor their performance, its primary function is to monitor the state of their vehicle.
A culture of safety can be developed by the use of fleet vehicle monitoring but, will require driver buy-in to be as effective as possible. It is about making your fleet’s drivers feel respected and treating them with dignity. Inspiring driver confidence in these new technologies is pivotal to creating a safe organisational culture.
Here are some ways to encourage driver buy-in and drive out scepticism:
Building trust through transparency
Having your team aware of new hardware deployments or other changes helps maintain the interests of everyone. Building trust through transparency and open dialogues is key to making drivers feel comfortable and avoid misunderstandings. By creating strong communication lines, drivers are able to raise concerns about video monitoring and fleet managers can explain the company’s safety goals and policies.
Rolling out any new equipment will require some learning, debriefing or training and fleet video monitoring is no different. Members of a fleet should understand how the system works, what information is provided and what the fleet managers and companies will do with those insights. Naturally, team members are more engaged when senior leadership communicates openly.
Expanding on the new technology
Dashcam technology is meant for driver protection and safety as well as vehicle safety. Unfortunately, without knowing how the technology prevents fuel theft, insurance claim fraud and drivers being blamed for accidents that are not their fault, drivers tend to think the dash cams are there to watch over their driving procedures.
Fleet managers must dispel these kinds of misunderstandings by explaining how safety events are detected and how the footage of them is assessed. It is also important to explain who has access to that footage and encourage drivers that they are there to support them and keep them safe.Give drivers some access to the information managers obtain, so that they know what is being monitored.
Leading by example and sharing experiences
Show your drivers that there is nothing to be afraid of. Try installing a fleet video monitoring system in a manager or executive’s car. In addition, find some practiced drivers and see if they are happy to have dash cams installed in their cabs too.
Once leadership and team members have some experience with the technology, share it with the rest of the fleet and show that the new system is trustworthy and reliable. This will help the team feel more comfortable with the incoming technological shift.
Showcasing drivers being exonerated using dash cam footage
Showing your team instances of successfully and reliably exonerating drivers can be an incredibly convincing and comforting example for fleets to see. If a driver has ever been in a situation where they had a near miss, showed great defensive driving or were blamed for an incident that was not their fault, explaining to them that this new dash cam footage can be used to prove them right can be very motivational.
Offering up incentives and rewards to drivers
Most, if not all, employees say that they work harder when they feel recognised for the work they are doing. As many say that reward structures are a sign of appreciation for their work. Workers are more engaged with their jobs when they are made to feel valuable.
Introducing a driver reward programme can improve compliance and effort from drivers who are incentivised to cooperate. This does not only improve driver behaviour but, help develop a culture where they feel their good work is being recognised by the dash cams rather than their faults being magnified.
Show transparency in your corrective measures
Have an agreement with all drivers before deploying the video monitoring systems, so there are no surprises when training and implementation begin. Make it clear what constitutes rule violations and what actions – caught on the dash cams – may warrant verbal or written warnings and terminations. Be consistent, unbiased and fair in your approach and make that approach an overt part of the plan.
Add on new features in stages
It can be tempting to turn on every feature – like in-cab alerts – from day one. However, slowly introducing new and bigger features can prevent drivers from feeling overwhelmed by the changes before they see all the potential benefits. Start with the most needed features and slowly toggle others on-and-off as drivers become more comfortable with the new system.
Dash cams and in-cab privacy
The number one concern from drivers seems to be the possibility of constant video surveillance. This has never been the intention of these systems and that needs to be proven to those on your team. Show them that you do not want to watch them all day by explaining that most dash cams are outward- or outside-facing. These will remain on for a period after the vehicle’s ignition is switched off, however, the in-cab cameras will only be on whilst the engine is running. This will help them feel comfortable and secure while you improve your fleet’s overall safety.
Landmark Tracking are leaders in the fleet management field and provide South Africa’s best fleet vehicle monitoring systems. Contact Landmark Tracking for more information on how you can transform your fleet’s safety and reliability. To see more of the benefits provided by fleet vehicle monitoring systems, see here.