As a business operating a fleet of vehicles, drivers and their performance has a huge bearing on efficient fleet management. Therefore, recruiting good drivers and retaining them is a top priority for fleets. Equipping them with the right tools and supporting them in their work is important. Protecting them against unsubstantiated accusations, safeguarding their reputation, helping them become safer are some of the must-dos as a fleet.
Video telematics is one of the most driver friendly tools that can have a dramatic effect on fleet efficiency and driver satisfaction. A dash cam installed on a vehicle keeps an account of what is happening on the road and in the cabin all the time. If there is any dispute, on-demand video will show exactly what happened – exonerating drivers in not-at-fault accidents and protecting businesses against unfair accusations and nuclear verdicts. Video telematics with edge AI alerts drivers on detection of risky driving – the alert having the potential to avert a bad outcome, making prevention the mantra. With personalized insights, fleets can help drivers become safer. A fleet that cares for the safety of their drivers in a driver friendly way is the business that the best drivers want to work for.
With so many benefits and a clear return on investment for fleets, it is no surprise that the number of video telematics installations is set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 16.9% till 2026 – taking the number of installations to 8.4M by 2026 (source: https://www.berginsight.com/the-video-telematics-market).
A fleet deciding to install video telematics in their vehicles is a big decision and change must be managed well. Fleets need to have a plan on how they go about it and driver buy-in is a crucial component of this.
Why do you need driver buy-ins?
Many fleet managers report a concern in addressing a pushback from drivers around the installation of dash cams. The concern stems from the fact that no one likes being watched all the time – and this includes drivers!
Many drivers feel that dash cams, especially driver facing cameras intrude on their privacy leading to the push back. Doubts on how this will be used, whether it will be used against them, what will it mean for their jobs, etc. create enough doubt for drivers to push back. Clear communication and building a culture of trust is extremely important in getting driver buy in –without driver buy in,
3 steps to get driver buy in for video telematics
Many drivers feel under scrutiny when their fleet adopts video telematics. They take it as an invasion of privacy., However, with clear communication, fleets can gain the trust of their drivers and benefit from video telematics.
Step 1 – Explain The Whys and Hows
Transparency is the theme
Before installing video telematics, discuss with drivers about the challenges drivers and fleets face and how video telematics addresses them. Articulating what is in it for the drivers and openly discussing what it means for them on a day-to-day basis will allay most concerns drivers have. This level of high transparency creates a conducive atmosphere for installing video telematics.
Explain how dash cameras and video telematics function
Being transparent about what the cameras do and do not do, and how the data will be used and not used is important. While the cameras record all the time, it is important to convince the drivers no one ever sees the video! Only if there is a dispute, an unfair accusation against the driver that can ruin their careers, then, the fleet will retrieve a video snippet to see what happened.
If drivers do the right thing and stay safe, no one ever sees any video of any driver. In case the camera detects risky driving, like drowsiness, or speeding, the camera will alert the driver first. If the driver takes corrective action, no one ever knows! Video telematics is the driver’s friend – in this sense. Only when drivers continue indulging in risky behavior, a report is created for review by the fleet. Even in this case, drivers always get to present their side of the story – they can ‘challenge’ the event and if the fleet is convinced, this event can be struck off. The drivers are always heard!
It is of paramount importance to convince drivers that video telematics is not a punitive program – it is a positive reinforcement program, where drivers are coached to become safer.
Professional drivers are among the safest drivers out there on the roads. They often take evasive maneuvers to protect others on the road. For example, if a driver braked hard to avoid rear ending a car which cut into their lane, video will show that the driver did a good thing. This qualifies for positive recognition of the driver! Video telematics systems provide tools for fleets to recognize good drivers.
Step 2 – Make your driver feel included in the decision –
Request for feedback
Explain to the drivers what the plans are, what the expectations are from the drivers and what the expected outcome is for the fleet. Solicit feedback from the drivers after showing them the benefits of video telematics. Suggestions from senior drivers and employees at the fleet on how to structure the program and how to build a positive reinforcement program using video telematics.
Recognize the power of good driving
Rather than make generic assessments about drivers that may hold no relevance to individuals, leveraging data and providing personalized feedback makes it more actionable for drivers. Instead of looking at aggregate statistics on how distraction is a problem, getting into what is a specific risky behavior for the individual, with example videos makes the drivers more self-aware and safer.
Creating a ‘merit list’ of drivers doing well, drivers who are improving the most and providing recognition will create a positive reinforcement culture in the fleet.
Take Gamification to the next level
Employees strive for better performance when they know the improvement will be recognized. It is the intent of the fleet that counts – when drivers realize that the fleet really cares for them and recognizes good performance, the trust factor goes up. The reward could be a gift card, a performance table where the top drivers at the end of a month or a quarter are financially rewarded. It could even be increasing the maximum allowed speed limit by a few miles per hour for the safe drivers!
Step 3 – Use Testimonials!
Show them real footage
When a fleet adopts video telematics, they can ask the solution provider to help them with some case studies. These case studies can include examples of driver exoneration, risky driving events and the positive outcomes other fleets achieved by adopting video telematics. Making the drivers feel heard is a hugely important factor in successfully adopting video telematics.
On an ongoing basis, conveying how the team is doing with respect to safety, highlighting the wins, mentioning the areas of improvement – both generically and at a personalized level will help greatly. Making the team feel proud on how they are becoming safer and contributing to society by making the roads safer helps. Celebrating milestones achieved will keep them wanting to do more!
Getting driver buy-ins is a crucial step for a fleet successfully adopting and benefiting from video telematics. Done well, this is not difficult.
When a fleet is willing to spend money on video telematics, it makes sense to invest the effort needed in getting driver buy-in. After all, drivers are the most crucial part of a fleet business. When drivers are on-board with the fleet initiative to adopt video telematics, the benefits accrue and fleets achieve a return on investment faster.
Lightmetrics’ RideView is a cutting-edge video telematics platform that provides in-cabin coaching to keep drivers safe on the road, coaching workflows to help drivers become safer and on-demand video to exonerate drivers.
If you are a telematics service provider looking to offer video telematics to your fleet customers, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how this technology can differentiate and turbocharge your business and offer more value to your fleet customers.