Client Success

DS WATERS CASE STUDY

DS Waters significantly reduces collisions and liability losses in one year with Lytx.

Result Metrics

42

Fewer crashes
after just one year

$86K

Reduction in
liability losses

3K

Vehicles
and drivers

Problem

  • Determined to reduce collision rates and related claims costs
  • Needed to increase fleet accountability and freight visibility
  • Wanted to help exonerate drivers after collisions 

Solution

  • Partnered with Lytx® to build and launch an educational campaign to show the employees the benefits before installing the Lytx DriveCam™ safety programme
  • Implemented the DriveCam® safety programme and leveraged program reporting to quickly resolve issues and recognise model drivers
  • Coached drivers to improve behaviour that was likely to cause a collision

Results

  • Corrected violations involving mobile phone use and seat belts
  • Reduced collisions by forty-two in just one year
  • Reduced liability losses by about $86,000
  • Decreased called-in complaints from many to just four
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“I wanted a holistic driver risk management solution that offered more than just training. The DriveCam programme enables DS Waters to reinforce the safe driving habits we have instilled in our drivers and make them stick.”

– Michael Belcher, Director of Safety, DS Waters

Industry
Distribution
Business Need
Reduce Costs

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The DriveCam Difference

DS Waters of America Inc. produces and distributes bottled water products throughout the United States under the brand names Belmont Springs, Hinckley Springs, Kentwood Springs, Crystal Springs, Sierra Springs, Sparkletts, and Alhambra. Committed to the safety of its employees and the general public, DS Waters was determined to reduce vehicle accident rates and related claims costs across its fleet while increasing visibility of vehicles and their freight once they left distribution centers for customer sites.

Michael Belcher, director of safety at DS Waters, had heard about the DriveCam safety programme in a previous role and was aware of the programme’s record of success in helping enterprises reduce vehicle damages, workers’ compensation, and personal injury and claims costs by as much as 50%.

“Prior to deploying the DriveCam solution, we had made some strides in knowledge building and were gathering information on driving behaviour through ‘1-800’ feedback stickers on our vehicles, but we needed and wanted to go beyond that,” said Belcher. “We needed to delve deeper into what that feedback meant, determine the root cause of accidents, and take preventative measures to reduce collisions. The DriveCam programme had proven results and could help us identify and improve the specific behaviours putting our drivers, our products, and other motorists at risk.”

The DriveCam programme's demonstrated results are based on predictive software and analytics capabilities leveraging tens of thousands of actual events demonstrating risky driving behaviours, combined with deep transportation and safety experience. The palm-sized, exception-based video event recorder is mounted in vehicles behind the rearview mirror and captures sight and sound inside and outside the vehicle.

Drivers respond favorably to the proactive nature of the DriveCam programme. Belcher secured executive approval to test the DriveCam programme in DS Waters’ Belmont, Mass., and Oceanside, Calif., sites. The pilot phase began in April 2006 and the programme was quickly deployed across 62 test vehicles. Prior to installation of the video event recorders in vehicles, Belcher and his team led a comprehensive education campaign designed to help drivers understand the DriveCam programme and allay any concerns they might have as to its purpose.

Specifically, Belcher spoke to how the programme works, how it would be used, and how it would benefit drivers. In addition to facilitating meetings and conference calls with drivers and supervisors, Belcher distributed brochures highlighting the DriveCam programme and promoted the pilot in DS Waters’ internal newsletter. 

Belcher admits that acceptance was greatest when all vehicles in a single location were outfitted with the video event recorders as opposed to a select group of vehicles singled out for deployment; however, overall, acceptance was high and drivers responded favorably to the proactive nature of the DriveCam programme.

Previously, DS Waters had taken a punitive “after-the-fact” approach to risky driving behaviour. Drivers involved in multiple vehicle accidents or with a history of motor vehicle violations were disqualified from driving. Drivers with three or more “preventable” accidents were often terminated from the company. Because the DriveCam programme captures actual risky driving behaviours such as hard braking, tailgating, and distracted driving when the video event recorder is triggered as opposed to simply when an accident occurs, DS Waters fleet supervisors were able to coach drivers to improve behaviour before it resulted in accidents.

“One of the first trends we identified with the DriveCam solution is that employees we thought were good drivers because of their accident-free driving records often were the ones speeding, running red lights and behaving most aggressively behind the wheel,” said Belcher. “It was apparent that while they had not been involved in any accidents to date, they were truly ‘accidents waiting to happen’ and required coaching to improve their risky driving behaviours.”

Accidents Plunge, Liability Losses Diminish, and Complaints Disappear

DS Waters’ December 2006 pilot results were astounding:

  • DS Waters’ Belmont site experienced thirteen vehicle crashes in 2006 versus forty-three in 2005
  • DS Waters’ Oceanside site had two accidents in 2006 across fourteen total vehicles versus fourteen accidents in 2005; both accidents were judged to be non-preventable
  • Belmont liability losses (auto claims only, not including property damage or administrative costs) dropped to $13,200 in 2006 versus $82,100 in 2005
  • Oceanside auto liability losses totaled $0 in 2006 versus $16,705 in 2005
  • Oceanside drivers, known for having one of DS Waters’ highest “1-800” driving complaint rates, received only four complaints since the programme was deployed

 

By capturing risky driving events on the video event recorder, supervisors were able to identify drivers in need of coaching.  They also spotted drivers in violation of DS Waters’ dress code, seat belt, and mobile phone usage policies and were able to correct these behaviours as well. “We had no idea the volume of cell phone use was so high,” said Belcher. “We knew our drivers were using them, but we didn’t realize to what extent.”

Reduction in Product Damage Due Seen as Added Benefit

The DriveCam programme also helps reduce product damage, including bottle cracks, by encouraging DS Waters’ employees to operate delivery vehicles smoothly.

Belcher reports that drivers have been receptive to the coaching they have received and appreciate the objective evidence saved on the recorder, especially in accident situations where previously they had relied on memory and witness testimony to reconstruct the incident and determine fault.

DS Waters has deployed DriveCam video event recorders across its fleet and leverages the comprehensive behaviour-based risk management solution to ensure continued success of the programme.

During the pilot phase, DS Waters fleet supervisors and personnel associated with the DriveCam programme in the Belmont and Oceanside sites spoke positively of the programme, but expressed concern over the challenge of effectively monitoring and managing it to ensure its success. Analysing events was time consuming and detracted from time supervisors had to spend coaching drivers. Issues of inconsistency also arose as analysis and scoring against level of severity of an incident varied from site to site and reviewer to reviewer. 

Program frees employees to focus on core competencies

By electing to manage the solution on a fully outsourced basis using the DriveCam programme, DS Waters personnel will be free to focus on their core competencies. A dedicated DriveCam account team will work directly with Belcher and DS Waters to manage and monitor the programme on the organisation’s behalf and deliver consistent, timely review of saved events so supervisors can deliver drivers the coaching they need.

The DriveCam programme also will provide DS Waters in-depth, unbiased reports illustrating the effectiveness of the programme and comparing frequency and severity of events across the organisation.

“When I joined DS Waters as director of safety, I made a commitment to reduce vehicle accident rates across our fleet, but had limited resources to do so and needed to find something that would give me the biggest bang for the buck. I wanted a holistic driver risk management solution that offered more than just training,” said Belcher. “The DriveCam programme enables DS Waters to reinforce the safe driving habits we have instilled in our drivers and make them stick.”

service used

Lytx DriveCam Enterprise Programme

Our most comprehensive programme for improving driver behaviour and reducing collisions, claims costs, and fuel use.

More about the DriveCam Enterprise Programme

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