DOT & ELD Guidance Blog


Learn how to improve your performance management process with a video event management system.
J.J. Keller Senior Editor J.J. Keller Editor

Mark Schedler - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

August 02 , 2019

Dash cams provide a proactive method for reducing unsafe behavior and improving profitability by helping you focus on the riskiest and most inefficient drivers in a timely manner and apply incentives and continual coaching where needed. To maximize your dash cam technology investment and reduce risk, start by ensuring these performance management controls are in place: 

1. Focusing on the Riskiest Behaviors

Choosing the unsafe behaviors you will focus on with your dash cam system should depend on the likelihood of the behavior to cause a crash. Behaviors and trends to consider monitoring are:

  • Speeding and hard acceleration
  • Hard braking
  • Following too close
  • Rolling stops
  • Cornering too fast
  • Lane drift

Maintain at least a top-five list based on trends in your company. This will give you more high-impact behaviors to prioritize for coaching. Don’t let coaches spend time on lower risk events at the expense of missing opportunities with the highest risk behaviors.

2. Timely Detection and Correction

Timely detection and correction of unsafe behaviors reduces safety-related and operational costs, minimizes potential liability, and can reduce the impact of litigation in the event a major crash occurs. Negligence can occur when a carrier fails to properly identify, coach, and/or remediate or terminate high-risk drivers.

A carrier has a “duty to act” to remedy any unsafe situation that could affect the motoring public. If the behavior could have been detected from the data generated by the truck’s systems, moving violations, driver accidents, or motorist complaints, you should have known that unsafe driver behaviors were present.

You can reduce potential liability and claims of negligence if you demonstrate that:

  • You effectively detect unsafe behavior and utilize correction processes, especially with your drivers who have a negative safety history;
  • Your team consistently follows policies and procedures, including progressive discipline; and
  • Your roadside inspection data does not show a serious trend of unsafe driving.

3. Developing Incentive and Recognition Programs

The most successful transportation organizations incentivize safe behavior over productivity maximization. An incentive and recognition program should be easily understood and perceived as fair if drivers are to care about changing behaviors to achieve the monetary incentives or recognition. Between the electronic control module (ECM) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), the electronic logging device (ELD), and now dash cams, there’s enough data to go well beyond what is needed for an incentive program.

You’ll want to focus on the “critical few” behaviors that decrease accidents, injuries, and operating costs. Productivity improvements tend to be relatively small, but when realized over many drivers, these small wins can add up to meaningful financial benefits. In contrast, risky behaviors exhibited by just a few drivers that are not proactively managed can put your company’s viability at risk.

Recognition and reward programs, combined with a solid performance management process, can aid in minimizing unintended turnover of your safest, most dependable, and most productive drivers.

Don’t Forget About Coaching

A study of over 10,000 crashes by Virginia Technical Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that video event systems — combined with effective driver coaching — could reduce injury crashes by 35 percent or more.

Cameras provide the fuel for the performance management process, but coaches are the engine that maximizes the return on your dash cam investment and provide significant financial and cultural returns for years to come.

Learn more about selecting and training coaches, as well as how to establish relevant performance management thresholds, with J. J. Keller’s free Coaching to Reduce Risk and Enhance Performance whitepaper.


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