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In the construction industry, more fleets are hitting the road than ever before, and construction companies require the proper measures to ensure the safety of themselves, their workers and their surroundings. In fact, vehicles have become a leading cause of accidents and serious injury in the construction industry and beyond. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported approximately 38,680 fatalities from traffic accidents in 2020. This death rate of 1.37 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased from 1.11 per 100 million VMT in 2019.

Accidents and serious injury can result in significant lost time and revenue—and reputational damage for construction operations of all sizes—which is why companies and contractors must protect their workers and vehicles while traveling to and from construction jobsites (often with heavy equipment and materials in tow).

To safeguard drivers from danger, construction industry fleets are turning to smart dashcams, which provide a 360-degree view of the driver’s environment as well as real-time alerts and recording capabilities. This visibility helps construction fleet managers monitor driver behavior, decrease the number of accidents, and lower the number of false accident claims by recording activity on the road and in the cab. The dashcams record what happened before, during and after an accident. Video footage from dashcams can provide evidence of drivers looking at their phone while driving, not wearing a seat belt or slamming on the brakes too late prior to an accident. However, in most cases, dashcams show that drivers are not at fault.

Many fleets are turning to the combination of smart dashcams and telematics to ensure safety measures are in place to help offset risk and enhance training programs and driver safety. Below are examples of how smart dash cams can exonerate drivers, promote safety and reduce insurance costs, all while maintaining a driver’s privacy and loyalty.

AI Technology Brings Safeguards to Construction Contractors

While basic dashcams work well for average motorists looking for evidence from an accident, commercial fleets in the construction industry can use smart dashcams that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI). A dashcam’s AI technology automatically analyzes what is happening on the road, which can prove invaluable while a worker transports critical supplies to a construction site. These features provide context to drivers, such as spotting “obstacles” on the road like a pedestrian or loose debris. Fleet managers are also able to monitor how reactionary drivers are to obstacles by reviewing video footage. It’s important to point out that the construction industry uses the smart dashcams primarily for coaching via their mobile apps or in-cab audio warnings rather than spying on workers.

Often, drivers are transporting construction materials across many miles and can become weary on the road. Automated sensors can detect whether the driver who has been behind the wheel for hours is drowsy or distracted. Not to mention, they are more likely to stay alert and focused if they know their behaviors are being monitored. The sensors aren’t only looking at the driver though. They also detect distance in relation to the next vehicle, monitor seatbelt compliance and notify fleet managers of stop signal and traffic light violations. Today’s smart dashcams incorporate computer vision to see and analyze driving minute by minute. With this real-time data, contractors can be alerted to hazardous conditions.

Setting Thresholds and Offering Incentives

Oftentimes, contractors are working against a delivery time or deadline and are tempted to bend the rules to complete a job. Setting speed thresholds on the road lets fleet managers alert drivers if they are traveling above acceptable speed limits. A manager can then collect information from the dashcam to determine whether their drivers are staying under these thresholds over time.

But how can managers further enforce thresholds and keep workers safe? An effective strategy involves offering incentives for good driving and staying within accepted thresholds. These thresholds can prevent workers’ bad habits from returning, and records of good driving allow construction business owners to negotiate rates with insurance companies. Fleet managers offer rewards to drivers when they perform actions, such as allowing another driver to merge or coming to a complete stop at 75 consecutive stop signs. Long hours on the road can make drivers less likely to adhere to safety practices, so offering incentives based on information from smart cams can keep them sharp.

A Safer Construction Workforce

 Of prime importance, dashcams help construction fleet operators create a culture of safety that motivates drivers to stay alert and operate vehicles responsibly. Using a smart cam can also save money on accident costs, including vehicle repair and legal fees, especially from false claims by drivers of nearby vehicles. It's critical that construction professionals understand dashcams are designed to keep them safe and not spy on them. Put simply, it’s effective driver and management collaboration that will ensure effective use of the smart dashcams. With safety thresholds and use of AI in smart dashcams, workers stay safe in the field, and fleet managers can maintain more peace of mind that their drivers and those around construction sites will be safer.


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