March 17, 2015
Haulers often turn to programs and technologies to help promote driver safety. Now, even the industry’s insurance carriers have begun offering incentives to haulers that utilize those technologies as a way to encourage safe driving practices.
Last week, the American Trucking and Transportation Insurance Company, a Risk Retention Group (ATTIC,RRG), Missoula, Mt.-based motor carrier-owned risk retention group, signed an agreement with Lytx Inc., a fleet management solution and GPS vehicle tracking system, to provide Lytx’s DriveCam video-based safety program to its large truck clients.
“Our shareholders have invested in their safety performance and believe that owning their own insurance company will have long-term benefit,” says Ken Crippen, president and CEO of ATTIC, RRG. “Each motor carrier maintains a large deductible and then a portion of all losses of the group above those deductibles. This puts an emphasis on safety, which led us to Lytx and their DriveCam product.”
Greg Lund, director of corporate communications for Lytx, based in San Diego, says under the agreement announced last week, ATTIC will pay for a portion of its members’ cost of the Lytx DC Highway Program under the exclusive agreement signed last week.
“It will give our members excellent driver coaching opportunities and help us in managing liability and defense costs in accidents,” Crippen says. “We expect the dollar savings from the use of the product to exceed the costs in the long run.”
ATTIC, RRG insures about 5,200 trucks nationally. Currently one member has signed up and another is completing a trial of DriveCam.
“I hope that over the next few years more will sign up,” says Crippen.
The Lytx DriveCam program is designed to reduce collisions by identifying risk and coaching the driver before those risks lead to a crash.
It “identifies and prioritizes risk so fleets can focus on the drivers who need the most coaching,” Lund says.
A device is placed on a vehicle’s windshield to capture video of risky driving events such as hard-braking, cornering, and following too close. The device then uploads that information wirelessly to the Lytx Review Center. There, certified professionals objectively review and score the events and pass them on to the fleet for use in coaching drivers.
The device continually records driving data and provides continuous feedback to the driver. Additionally, video and audio—focused on the road outside the vehicle and on the driver—are continually recorded on a short loop but only stored when the vehicle exceeds a preset threshold. Recorded video and audio includes up to eight seconds before an event and four seconds after, according to Lund.
“The program is highly successful in the waste industry because of the fact that heavy vehicles are used and mistakes can have serious consequences,” he says. “Often these vehicles are in metropolitan areas with heavy traffic, both human and vehicular. Driver behavior improvement can make a significant difference.”
Several of the largest waste companies use the Lytx DriveCam program including Waste Management, Waste Connections, Advanced Disposal and Progressive, according to Lund.
Jeff Martin, vice president of Waste Management’s Safety Services, says the Houston-based company uses the Lytx DriveCam technology to further refine and coach drivers’ safe driving practices.
“Events are sent to route managers for coaching opportunities. Waste Management route managers and drivers then review the event together and discuss how the drivers can further develop safe driving skills,” he says. “It is important to remember that these same events are used for recognition, where a driver responded defensively to mitigate a potential collision.”
Approximately 17,000 Waste Management collection vehicles are equipped with Lytx DriveCams.