How to Get Driver Buy-in for Cameras & Telematics

July 23, 2021

Telematics and dash cams provide a lot of obvious benefits for fleet management, spanning both safety and productivity, which combine to create a fast payback period and a high return on investment. However, some drivers may be wary of having video technology in the cab with them. That’s why it is important to explain why your company is implementing these technologies to build trust with your drivers.

Let’s look at the benefits of cameras and telematics and some strategies to get buy-in from your drivers.

Cameras and telematics provide a host of benefits for fleets, but it's essential to get buy-in from drivers before adopting the technologies. Click To Tweet

Why Cameras & Telematics?

Fleet managers are under a lot of pressure from stakeholders and customers to do more with less. The rise of e-commerce and two-day shipping has put stress on supply chains, while stakeholders are always looking for ways to cut costs and improve profitability. Fortunately, dashcams and telematics can help address these challenges.

There are several reasons to consider these solutions:

  • Increased Safety: Identify unsafe driving habits, encourage safe driving, and retrain/coach those with unsafe driving behaviors.
  • Better Fuel Economy: Alert drivers when they suddenly brake or accelerate or excessive idling to improve fuel economy.
  • Lower Insurance Costs: Reduce legal risk and fraudulent claims with video recordings and telematics data.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Go beyond arbitrary scheduled maintenance to proactively maintain vehicles and trailers based on actual usage to avoid on-the-road breakdowns.
  • Greater Productivity: Gain real-time visibility to optimize asset utilization.

Dashcams augment telematics data with visual evidence that can exonerate drivers and aid in security and theft recovery efforts. For example, dashcams can provide visual evidence of a driver’s behavior, as well as road view footage, if an accident occurs.

PowerFleet provides a full range of telematics and dashcam solutions and has helped thousands of customers improve their safety operations. All of these solutions connect to a software platform that provides holistic visibility of your fleet and helps you make data-driven decisions.

How to Get Driver Buy-in

Drivers are the lifeblood of any fleet, so it’s critical to secure their buy-in when implementing these technologies. Without explaining the reason for installing cameras and telematics, it’s easy for them to assume that you don’t trust them or that you will spy on them. Simple communication can eliminate these concerns and build trust with drivers.

Some important things to communicate include:

  • Why are you installing cameras and telematics? Explain that cameras and telematics can help lower insurance premiums, maximize available resources, and improve visibility. In addition, remind drivers that these same technologies can help defend them in the event of an accident and minimize dwell times.
  • How will you use the technologies? Drivers may worry that you’ll record personal information or inappropriately use the footage. Give drivers a clear policy that explains who will access the information and clarify that no one will even log in to watch them on a live feed from the device to reassure them.

Before implementing these technologies, fleet managers should meet with drivers to give them a forum to voice any concerns, ask questions, and for you to explain the benefits of these technologies from a business perspective. These meetings can be invaluable in making drivers feel heard and determining the right technologies to implement where everyone feels comfortable.

Fleet managers should communicate all information in a written drivers’ guide or as part of other written driver materials. In addition to addressing frequently asked questions, these guides provide an easy-to-enforce set of rules and clarity during any disputes. Onboarding processes should also cover these policies in detail.

Addressing Driver Concerns

The average cost of a commercial fleet accident is about $74,000, according to Drive Safe, and that figure jumps to $500,000 or more if the crash causes a fatality. On the whole, vehicle accidents cost employers upwards of $60 billion each year in legal and medical expenses, property damage, and lost employee productivity.

Telematics and dashcams may naturally shed light on poor driving habits. For example, you may begin to notice that drivers are aggressively accelerating, harshly braking, or speeding regularly. So the next question becomes: How do you address these concerns without hurting your relationship with drivers or increasing turnover?

Start with a few steps:

  1. Develop a baseline. Record initial individual and overall driver scores over some time and use them as a benchmark.
  2. Concentrate resources. Focus on high-risk drivers rather than trying to address all drivers at once.
  3. Identify common behaviors. Determine the most common behaviors and focus education efforts there.

Next, consider implementing a few strategies:

  • Driver feedback. Some telematics solutions provide real-time driver feedback to help them become more aware of poor driving habits. In other cases, you may need to coach drivers with poor driving habits after the fact to help them improve.
  • Rewards programs. Recognizing good driving behaviors with a rewards program is an excellent form of positive reinforcement. For example, you may choose to send gift cards to good drivers or create a leaderboard with prizes for each month’s top person.
  • Enhanced screening. The benchmarks from telematics data can help screen future drivers. You know what behaviors to look out for, and a preliminary driving test can help weed out poor drivers before you commit to hiring them on the fleet.

The key to success is focusing on rewarding positive driving behaviors and explaining how drivers can benefit from technology solutions. When they enable rewards programs, drivers may be much more receptive to implementing these technologies, especially when paired with less legal risk and other fleet-wide benefits.

The Bottom Line

Telematics and dashcams are transformative technologies for fleets, but before they are implemented, it’s important to put together a driver relations plan. By communicating the intent and limitations of these technologies with drivers, you can avoid tension and ensure everyone is on the same page while realizing the full benefits of these technologies across your fleet.

Fleet managers should also ensure that they plan to address poor driving habits identified with these solutions. By focusing on rewarding good behaviors, you can increase buy-in from drivers and maximize the effects of these solutions on driver safety. The data can also help improve screening processes when hiring new drivers.

If you’re interested in adding telematics and dashcams to your fleet, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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