3 Fleet Safety Products Revolutionizing Driver Safety

April 21, 2021

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Key Takeaways

According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, safety is the number one priority for 36% of fleet managers. But for fleet managers tasked with evaluating the latest fleet safety products, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this guide, learn about three of the most effective technologies revolutionizing commercial driver safety. Plus, see how your business can benefit from all these technologies with Samsara’s video-based fleet safety solution.

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Due to rising accident rates, increased in-cab distractions, and skyrocketing legal settlements, fleet managers increasingly see safety as not only a risk to their drivers, but also to their bottom line. In fact, a recent Frost & Sullivan report found that safety was the number one priority for 36% of fleet managers. 

Today, fleets are turning to various fleet safety technologies to reduce these risks. But with such a rapid pace of innovation, it can be difficult to keep up with new fleet safety technologies and decide what to implement for your business. From next-generation dash cams to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and driver coaching tools, new technologies and features are developed every year. For fleet managers or CTOs looking to maximize their investment, what fleet safety technologies are the most effective at reducing accidents and lowering costs? And how can you benefit from these technologies without implementing multiple new solutions?

Read on to learn about three fleet safety technologies that are revolutionizing commercial driver safety—and how they are all part of Samsara’s advanced video-based safety solution.

1. Dash cams with artificial intelligence (AI)

Video-based fleet safety technologies have evolved tremendously over the past decade. At first, dash cams were simple event recorders that captured footage until their storage was full. They required manually retrieving footage from a vehicle and downloading it to a computer. More recently, commercial dash cams became internet-connected, with the ability to auto-upload incident footage to the cloud, making it easier for fleet managers to review specific harsh events and coach drivers. 

Today, the most advanced dash cams, such as Samsara AI Dash Cams, use a combination of g-force sensor data and embedded artificial intelligence (AI) to detect a wide range of hard-to-detect incidents, like distracted driving and tailgating, and auto-upload incident footage to the cloud. With the ability to process data “on the edge” using advanced edge computing, Samsara AI Dash Cams even offer real-time, in-cab alerts to help drivers react to risk factors before an accident occurs. 

Dash cams with embedded AI represent the “latest and greatest” in video-based fleet safety technology. For many fleets, AI dash cams are one of the most accessible, affordable, and effective ways to introduce cutting-edge advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features via an aftermarket solution, achieving significant safety improvements and cost savings.

Features of Samsara AI Dash Cams

AI dash cams offer a wide variety of advanced driver safety features. For example, Samsara AI Dash Cams offer:

  • Front-facing or dual-facing camera options

  • Full HD 1080p resolution (720p for in-cab camera) for high quality footage

  • Ultra wide-angle lens

  • Infrared LED for in-cab recording at night

  • Auto-uploaded incident footage

  • On-demand video retrieval for up to 100 hours of past driving time

  • Embedded AI for live scene analysis and object detection

  • Built-in audio speaker for optional in-cab voice coaching

Benefits of Samsara AI Dash Cams

Why are fleet managers investing in dash cams equipped with AI? Here are just a few of the benefits of Samsara AI Dash Cams:

  • Gain visibility into hard-to-detect events: 87% of all commercial motor vehicle crashes are the result of driver behavior or driver error, according to the NSTSCE. Advanced AI makes it possible to detect high-risk behaviors like tailgating and distracted driving without a harsh event occurring. Combined with in-cab alerts (which we’ll discuss more below), this makes it possible to minimize risky behavior and prevent accidents before they happen.

  • Train, coach, and reward drivers remotely: With auto-uploaded incident footage and manager-led driver coaching workflows (more on this below), Samsara AI Dash Cams enable effective driver coaching at scale. Fleets with anywhere from a few drivers to thousands can build an effective safety program that’s rewarding for both drivers and the company.

  • Avoid false claims and lower costs: In car-truck accidents, trucks are only at fault about 26% of the time—but they get blamed far more often. Samsara AI Dash Cams auto-upload HD incident footage to the cloud within minutes. Combined with GPS tracking data from Samsara’s connected telematics device, this makes it easy to exonerate innocent drivers, bypass lengthy claims processes, and eliminate unnecessary payouts.

ROI of Samsara AI Dash Cams

Dash cams have been proven to reduce overall fleet operating costs and quickly pay for themselves. For example, here are just a few of the results our customers have seen after implementing Samsara AI Dash Cams:

  • GP Transco reduced speeding by 66% and decreased accidents by 30%. “If I had to pinpoint one thing that has been the most effective with driver training, it would have to be the dash cam footage,” said VP of Safety and HR Marija Jamontas.

  • ABF Freight decreased the frequency of preventable vehicle accidents by 13%. “The footage from the Samsara dash cams really paints a picture,” said Director of Safety & Security Josh Lovan. “Drivers can observe from a different perspective and managers can see exactly what the driver was facing. That level of detail makes all the difference.” 

  • ACV Enviro lowered accident rates by 60%. “The AI is unbelievable and we’ve seen huge drops in harsh events,” said Vice President of Environmental Health & Safety Donna Miller. “It gives us more visibility than we could have anticipated.”

2. In-cab alerts for unsafe driver behaviors

Another effective fleet safety technology is in-cab alerts, which are a feature of certain dash cam solutions. Some dash cams include built-in speakers that can play verbal and/or audio alerts when unsafe driving behavior is detected, like distracted driving, tailgating, or harsh driving. These in-cab alerts make it possible to provide real-time feedback to drivers to correct unsafe behavior—preventing accidents before they happen.

In-cab alerts can be an effective safety tool for commercial fleets, especially since they can be introduced as part of an aftermarket video telematics solution. This makes it possible to provide in-cab speed warnings and distracted driving alerts via an easy-to-install solution, without investing in new fleet vehicles that have built-in advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features.

Benefits of in-cab alerts

  • Provide timely feedback to drivers: With in-cab alerts, you can coach drivers on near misses and risky behaviors (like distracted driving, tailgating, and more) in real time.

  • Coach hundreds or thousands of drivers at scale: In-cab alerts make it possible to provide personalized coaching to many drivers while they’re on the road, helping large organizations coach hundreds or thousands of drivers consistently and effectively.

  • Prevent accidents before they happen: 87% of all commercial motor vehicle crashes are the result of driver behavior or driver error, according to the NSTSCE. With in-cab alerts, you can provide real-time feedback to drivers to correct unsafe behaviors before they cause an accident.

ROI of in-cab alerts

In-cab alerts have been found to help increase safe driving and prevent accidents. For example, Samsara customer ACV Enviro decreased accident rates by 60%, in part by using in-cab alerts from Samsara AI Dash Cams to reduce unsafe driving behaviors. “In-cab alerts are incredibly helpful because our drivers receive coaching before we have to step in,” said Director of Transportation Compliance Kellie Case.

3. Video-based driver coaching workflows

Along with improvements in dash cam technology, coaching tools for commercial fleets have evolved tremendously over the past few years as well. Now, advanced dash cam solutions provide web-based tools and reports for reviewing dash cam footage, coaching drivers, and tracking safety trends over time. Often part of a broader fleet management solution, these video-based driver coaching workflows make it possible to coach drivers consistently and effectively at scale.

Video-Based Coaching Workflow

Benefits of video-based coaching workflows

Samsara offers an advanced video-based safety solution that combines internet-connected AI Dash Cams and cloud-based safety and coaching software to help fleets of all sizes reduce accidents, prevent false claims, and lower costs. Here are a few benefits of Samsara’s video-based driver coaching workflows:

  • Streamline incident review: Dash cam footage is automatically uploaded, tagged, and available for review in minutes. With the Samsara Safety Inbox, you can organize, prioritize, and review dash cam footage easily across your fleet.

  • Coach drivers with consistency: Ensure consistent coaching of all drivers—no matter the location, supervisor, or time. Step-by-step coaching workflows for safety managers enable consistent manager-led feedback and improve accountability.

  • Track improvements over time: Identify risky driving practices and measure changes in your safety culture over time with driver scorecards and trend reports. Benchmarking data contextualizes performance and makes it easier to set goals.

  • Build a positive safety culture: Gamified driver safety scores help foster healthy competition and make it possible to create a data-based driver safety rewards program. Dash cam footage of defensive driving can be used to celebrate drivers.

ROI of video-based coaching workflows

Video-based driver coaching workflows are proven to increase coaching consistency, accountability, and efficacy. Here are just a few of the results our customers have seen with Samsara’s video-based coaching workflows:

  • Sprint Waste achieved a 58% decrease in speeding, 50% increase in miles per safety incident, and 50% decrease in average dollars per claim by using Samsara’s video-based coaching workflows to improve the consistency and efficacy of 1:1 and group coaching. Video-based coaching also helped Sprint Waste create a positive driver safety culture. “We have a significantly better retention level than most companies in our peer group, and I think part of that is because of how we use Samsara,” said President Dave Nelson.

  • KeHe Distributors achieved an 18% reduction in accidents in just one year and improved driver satisfaction by improving their coaching process with Samara's manager-led coaching workflows. “It makes coaching much easier because we have a clearer video to talk drivers through,” said Executive Director of Transportation Rodney Gamble. “The biggest feedback I get from my team and the drivers is that the quality is much better.”

  • Dohrn Transfer Company saw an 88% reduction in harsh events and 10% reduction in driver turnover after using Samsara’s video-based coaching workflows, safety reporting tools, and gamified safety scores to build a positive driver safety program. "Since we started working with Samsara, we have a clearer, more holistic view of safety," said COO Robert Howard. "We have more data. We’re able to give feedback to our drivers faster and more accurately. We use that information to make better decisions and to show how much safety is improving at Dohrn."

Benefit from all these technologies with Samsara’s video-based fleet safety solution

Samsara’s video-based safety solution combines all of the fleet safety technologies above—AI Dash Cams, in-cab alerts, and web-based coaching workflows—to help fleets make measurable safety improvements, providing ROI in the moments that matter. Plus, with Samsara’s complete Connected Operations Platform, you can manage all your fleet operations within one dashboard—from fleet maintenance to DOT compliance—as well as equipment monitoring, site security, and beyond.

In a recent survey of more than 500 Samsara customers, 90% said Samsara’s video-based safety solution has helped improve safety within their fleet. And more than 50% of our dash cam customers have used Samsara footage to exonerate drivers in the past year, saving $5,000 to $25,000 on average, with some customers saving over $100,000 a year. 

To learn more about how Samsara can help your business make safety a competitive advantage, read about how we can partner with you for the long-term, or reach out for a free trial today.

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