DRIVING PERSPECTIVE BLOG

Driver of the Year Embraces Safety Technology

Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured
Aug 14/2018 Published by: Lytx Lytx Telematics

TransAm Trucking over-the-road driver Denise Ponds accepts her Driver of the Year award as Lytx VP of Safety Services Del Lisk looks on.

When the dispatcher called Denise Ponds to tell her she’d been named Lytx Driver of the Year in For-Hire Trucking, she thought he was joking. The temps outside were below zero, so she joked back: “Yeah, and I’m sitting on the beach.”

Later that night, it sank in. “I sat in my room and cried,” she said. “Because I have tried to teach my girls and granddaughters that they can do anything they set their minds to. I hope they learn from this and feel inspired. It shows them I’m not just preaching it. I’m living it.”

Indeed she is. Ponds, a long-haul driver for TransAm Trucking, has made a name for herself as one of the fleet’s safe drivers. Last year alone she clocked more than 130,000 safe miles, and in the three-and-a-half years she’s had a CDL trucking job, she’s tallied nearly 400,000 safe miles.

How has she done it? By being vigilant and embracing safety technologies.

Safety Technologies Enhance Her Own Awareness

“I talk to Gladys every day,” Ponds said of the nickname she’s given her DriveCam video event recorder. “It’s made me more observant. If I’m driving the way I’m supposed to, Gladys isn’t going to go red, meaning I’m not going to trigger the video event recorder with an unsafe driving event.”

And she doesn’t trigger it. Her employer has taken note, too. In nominating Ponds for Lytx Driver of the Year, TransAm’s Thomas Young noted that Ponds “takes safety seriously, and her record proves it.”

For all of 2017, Ponds had no collisions, late arrivals or issues with her electronic logs, helping her avoid costly DOT fines for non-compliance. What’s more, she didn’t have to be coached on a single DriveCam event, meaning she had a stellar safety record. They’re amazing feats, considering Ponds spends weeks at a time on the road as a long-haul truck driver.

Ponds attributes her impeccable record to attention to detail and a deeply rooted safety mindset that originated during her 15-year career as a nursing assistant. As a solo driver, the DriveCam program makes Ponds feel more secure, and she’s quick to use the safety tech to her advantage.

For example, when an aggressive driver clipped her mirror, Ponds captured the incident on video using the DriveCam’s manual switch. “He didn’t do any damage, fortunately, but if he had, I would have been prepared with video evidence,” she said.

Ponds so staunchly supports the use of video telematics and road safety technology that she’s ordered additional cameras to increase the visibility of what’s happening outside of her truck—in much the same way the Lytx Video Services program works.

“When people see big trucks, they see big dollars,” she said. “Some drivers check their brakes on me, trying to cause a collision. It happens a lot. So I don’t hesitate to record when I have someone around me driving aggressively.”

Aggressive Driving on the Rise Since the ELD Mandate

Cars are the main culprits when it comes to aggressive driving, whether they have new car safety features or not. But since the ELD mandate went into effect in December 2017, Ponds is seeing more commercial drivers driving aggressively. “It’s getting to be ridiculous,” she said. “Drivers are pushing it. They don’t think they’ll be able to get the miles that they had when they were doing paper logs, and they don’t have patience.”

But Ponds loves electronic logging devices, saying paper logs are cumbersome and time consuming. “There’s always a chance your papers could be damaged. And heaven forbid you spill something,” she said. “If you spill, that’s a DOT violation because your book’s messed up. So ELDs make my life easier and keep me consistent.”

Ponds uses a Garmin device for her electronic logging. It reads her messages aloud and doubles as a GPS fleet monitoring device. The technology is so integral to Ponds’ morning routine, she’s even given it a nickname—“Fred.”

“I start my pre-trip by telling Fred, ‘We’re not getting lost today, and I tell Gladys, ‘We’re not going to turn red,’” Ponds said with a laugh.

So far, her routine has paid off in an impeccable safety record, and she has no plans to change it. After all, having the support of safety technology lets Ponds focus on what she’s best at—driving.

“My view changes every day,” she said. “Knowing that gives me a sense of freedom. I plan to keep driving for as long as I’m able.”

Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to our blog and be the first to receive our updates!

# # #


Related Tags

Related Blog Posts

Apr 29 / 2016Driving in the 21st Century

Partnering with Autonomous Vehicles

Staff Writer

Sep 24 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Changing Habits by Retraining Muscle Memory

Staff Writer

Sep 16 / 2015Driving in the 21st Century

Understanding the Demand for Driverless Cars

Staff Writer

Sep 14 / 2015Driving in the 21st Century

Who Will Code Ethics into Autonomous Vehicles?

Staff Writer

Sep 03 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Risk is a Consequential Matter

Staff Writer

Sep 01 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Innovation as a Business Focus

Staff Writer

Aug 25 / 2015Driving in the 21st Century

Innovation’s Role in Recruiting the Next Generation of Drivers

Staff Writer

Aug 20 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

What Professional Drivers Learn From Their Coaches

Staff Writer

Aug 18 / 2015Driving in the 21st Century

Frost & Sullivan: 1 million vehicles with video by 2020

Staff Writer

Aug 13 / 2015Driving in the 21st Century

Humans vs. Robot Cars: Preparing for the Showdown

Staff Writer

Jul 24 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Big Data, Better Drivers

Staff Writer

Feb 25 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Why Cheaper Gas Prices Could Put Your Safety At Risk

Staff Writer

May 16 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Predictive Analytics: A Game Changer in 2018

Staff Writer

Jan 15 / 2015Driving in the 21st Century

CES Focus: Road Safety

Staff Writer

Nov 03 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Adjusting to Standard Time

Del Lisk

Oct 17 / 2014Driving in the 21st Century

It Takes More than Technology To Make Roads Safer

Del Lisk

Sep 17 / 2014Driving in the 21st Century

Women on the Road

Staff Writer

Sep 15 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Driver Appreciation Week

Staff Writer

Sep 05 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Distracted Driving Forecast: Sunny with a chance of collision?

Del Lisk

Nov 02 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx: The Power of Data Blog

Staff Writer

Apr 04 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Video Telematics: Seeing is Believing

Del Lisk

Aug 13 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

What Will Really Deter People From Engaging in Distracted Driving?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 25 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

There are No Short-Term Initiatives … that Work!

Del Lisk

Mar 09 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Is Distracted Driving Decreasing or Are We Hiding Distractions?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 26 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: Following Too Closely

Del Lisk

Nov 29 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Habits

Michael Richter

Mar 15 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: The Most Common Risky Driving Behaviors

Del Lisk

Dec 22 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

Looking Farther Down the Road

Del Lisk

Nov 23 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

One Simple Step to Reducing Truck Crashes

Del Lisk

Oct 24 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

Blind Trust

Del Lisk

Jan 03 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: Danger in the Parking Lot

Del Lisk

Feb 01 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Make Driving a Game

Del Lisk

Oct 10 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Safety Culture: What is it and How does it Affect Fleet Safety?

Global Administrator

Sep 09 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Thank a Truck Driver (or two)

Staff Writer

Feb 28 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

The Dangers of an Open Lane

Del Lisk

Feb 02 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

How do you define ‘behavior’?

Caroline Hurst

Sep 20 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Lorry Driving: one of the UK’s riskiest jobs

Paul Jones

Oct 22 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx – Proud Supporters of Brake Road Safety Week

Caroline Hurst

Apr 19 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Reading between the guidelines

Caroline Hurst

Sep 05 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Prevention is the Best Cure

Caroline Hurst

Nov 03 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

The positive feedback loop

Caroline Hurst

May 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Retraining to Retain Your Drivers

Staff Writer

May 25 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Taking the Risk Out of One of the Riskiest Professions

Staff Writer

Jun 01 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Heinrich’s Pyramid Challenge: 190 to 1 in an Instant

Staff Writer

Jun 03 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Hands-Free Phones Still Lead to Distractions & Collisions

Staff Writer

Jun 15 / 2016Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

How Gamification Optimizes Driving & Vehicle Performance

Staff Writer

Jun 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Who – or What -- Does the Heavy Lifting to Improve CSA Scores?

Staff Writer

Jul 07 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Top 3 Ways Proactive Fleet Managers Build a Safety Program

Staff Writer

Jul 08 / 2016Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Meet Janelle: The Cone Destroyer

Staff Writer

Jul 27 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Using Data to Prioritize Your Fleet’s Safety Issues

Staff Writer

Jul 29 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Driving for the Limits of Automated Technology

Brandon Nixon

Aug 18 / 2016Choosing the Right Program, Featured

DOT Regulations: From the Same Government Who Brought You the Tax Code

Staff Writer

Aug 24 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Unsafe Drivers Are Often the Biggest Fuel Offenders

Staff Writer

Sep 08 / 2016Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Hours of Service, Driver Behavior and the ELD Mandate: American Central Transport’s Story

Staff Writer

Sep 26 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: The Dangers Lurking Inside Your Fleet

Staff Writer

Oct 19 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Hallmark of a Successful Video-based Safety Program

Staff Writer

Oct 28 / 2016Choosing the Right Program, Featured

What You Might Not Know About the ELD Mandate

Staff Writer

Nov 01 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: Putting a Stop to Rolling Stops

Staff Writer

Nov 09 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 1: Manual Distractions

Staff Writer

Nov 15 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 2: Visual Distractions

Staff Writer

Nov 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Distracted Driving Behaviors – and How to Solve Them – Part 3 Cognitive Distractions

Staff Writer

Dec 06 / 2016Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Making a Case for Video Part 1: The Value of Video in Litigation

Staff Writer

Dec 16 / 2016Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Making a Case for Video Part 2: Exoneration From The Driver’s Seat

Staff Writer

Dec 22 / 2016Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Making a Case for Video Part 3: The Company and the Courtroom

Staff Writer

Jan 10 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Three Things That Put Teeth in Your Safety Policy

Staff Writer

Feb 01 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Effective Video Review: Better Coaching

Staff Writer

Feb 28 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

High-Efficiency Driving: Five Driver Behaviors that Reduce Cost

Staff Writer

Mar 02 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

What’s a Safety Halo? And Can it Help Build Your Brand?

Staff Writer

Mar 22 / 2017Choosing the Right Program, Featured

From the Front Lines: Turning Data into Insight

Staff Writer

Mar 24 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Part 2: Using DriveCam® Event Data to Drive More Effective Coaching

Staff Writer

Mar 28 / 2017Featured

Part 3: Getting Drivers and Managers to Buy into Analytics

Staff Writer

Apr 14 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part One: Levels of Automation

Staff Writer

Apr 18 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part Two: Impact on Drivers, Fleets and the Industry

Staff Writer

May 30 / 2017Featured

A Safety Manager Uses Math to Look Under the Surface

Staff Writer

Jun 07 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Swift Guide to Better Coaching

Staff Writer

Jun 26 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

How ‘Cultural Novocain’ is Numbing Outrage to Traffic Fatalities

Staff Writer

Jun 30 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Practical Guide to Coaching Through Conflict

Staff Writer

Jul 06 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Putting Positivity Behind Your Training Program Will Pay Off

Beth Geraci

Jul 13 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Mobile Fire Department - Lytx Coach of the Year

Beth Geraci

Jul 17 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

More Fatalities Happen on Rural Roads - On Either Side of the Atlantic

Beth Geraci

Jul 20 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Secrets of Top Performing Fleets

Staff Writer

Jul 25 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

The Power of Peers to Inform Fleet Safety

Beth Geraci

Aug 10 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Distracted Pedestrians are On the Rise: What to Do About Them

Staff Writer

Aug 16 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Fear of Autonomous Vehicles – Loving of Autonomous Features

Staff Writer

Aug 31 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Is Your Rewards Program a Bust? Get a New Approach

Staff Writer

Sep 01 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Trucking Industry Pulls Together to Aid Houston During Hurricane Harvey

Staff Writer

Sep 08 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Video Event Recorders Can Protect One’s Livelihood

Beth Geraci

Sep 15 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Components of Effective Accountability Systems

Staff Writer

Sep 22 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

What’s Out There: Three Rewards Programs That Work

Staff Writer

Sep 25 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Video: Evolution, Revolution, or Both?

Brandon Nixon

Oct 06 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Why Reporting Claims Quickly Can Significantly Cut Claims Cost

Staff Writer

Oct 10 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Painting the Complete Picture: The Use of Witnesses in Trials

Staff Writer

Oct 16 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Four Driver Behaviors That Consume The Most Fuel

Staff Writer

Oct 19 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Worst 'Crash' Ever

Staff Writer

Oct 24 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Can We Reverse the Trend of Road Fatalities? New Figures Give One Safety Official Hope.

Beth Geraci

Nov 03 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Daylight Saving Time: More Light Has a Dark Side for Road Safety

Beth Geraci

Nov 07 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Communications 101: Seven Steps to Successfully Spreading the Word

Staff Writer

Nov 10 / 2017Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Owner’s Guide to Creating a Medium-Sized Fleet Safety Program

Beth Geraci

Nov 16 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Five Sources of Aggressive Driving and What You Can Do About It

Staff Writer

Nov 20 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Seven Safety Quagmires and How to Sidestep Them

Staff Writer

Nov 29 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Gunning It: 6 Facts on Why to Avoid Hard Accelerations

Beth Geraci

Dec 06 / 2017Featured

The Interplay Between Leadership and Technology

Staff Writer

Dec 13 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

How Safety Technology is Paving the Way to Zero Collisions

Beth Geraci

Dec 15 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Catching the Spirit of the Season

Beth Geraci

Dec 19 / 2017Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

12 Days of Takeaways

Beth Geraci

Dec 27 / 2017Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Out of Control: Drugged Driving Is on the Rise. Here’s What Commercial Drivers Can Do About It.

Beth Geraci

Jan 15 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Navigating the Risks of Navigation Devices

Beth Geraci

Jan 22 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Four Ways the DriveCam Program Backs Up Drivers

Beth Geraci

Feb 02 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Off Site but on Top of It: Leveraging Video Telematics to be in More Places at Once

Staff Writer

Feb 07 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

2018 Automotive Telematics Trends: A Look at the Telematics Industry

Beth Geraci

Feb 16 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Reflections on Using Mirrors When Driving

Beth Geraci

Feb 21 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

What 20 Years of Innovation Looks Like at a Video Telematics Company

Beth Geraci

Mar 09 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Shedding Light on How Daylight Saving Time Impacts Road Safety

Beth Geraci

Mar 16 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

6 Defensive Driving Tips for St. Patrick’s Day

Beth Geraci

Apr 13 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Complying With the ELD Mandate: What’s Next?

Staff Writer

Apr 27 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Distracted Driving Awareness: Curbing the Power of Smartphones

Beth Geraci

May 03 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Driving Coach Can Bring A Human Approach to the Vision Zero Initiative

Staff Writer

May 08 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

When Safety Is a Family Affair, Work-Related Injuries Can Be Avoided

Beth Geraci

May 14 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Five Top Tips from A Top Driving Coach

Beth Geraci

May 23 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Five Benefits of Modern Fleet Tracking Systems

Staff Writer

May 31 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Safety Technology and the NTSB: How Video Impacted an Investigation

Beth Geraci

Jun 06 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Stricter Enforcement Makes ELD Compliance More Vital

Beth Geraci

Jun 20 / 2018Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Where Will the Transportation Industry Be in 20 Years?

Beth Geraci

Jul 11 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A 3-Step Guide to Proactive Coaching for Fleet Managers

Beth Geraci

Jul 31 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Man Who Takes Fleet Driver Safety to Heart

Beth Geraci

Aug 08 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

National Truck Driving Championships: Roping a Win for Fleet Safety

Beth Geraci

Aug 08 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

3 Ways the American Safety Council Helps Keep Roads Safer

Staff Writer