The DriveCam Difference
According to US Foods Regional Safety Manager Herb Marlowe, the DriveCam® safety program is the first proactive driver risk management system he has come across, compared to other systems that are more reactive in nature. “This allows us to change the behavior prior to the accident, where before it was all based on performance numbers in the past,” Marlowe said.
The DriveCam safety program's proactive approach comprises two key components: video event recording that documents specific incidents of bad or risky driving behavior, and dedicated driver coaching to help correct that behavior. With video event recording, Marlowe explained, “I can hear what’s going on, I can see what’s going on, it tells me the time that it’s going on—there’s so much information in that 12-second clip that’s so valuable to us that we never had in any other system before.”
Speaking to the driver coaching combined with the video event recording, Marlowe said, “Now we can look and see what’s happening, and change the behavior before the accident occurs. We can see that behavior, and change our drivers by helping them see, proactively, what they’re doing.” Marlowe said that a majority of US Foods divisions are showing coaching effectiveness rates of 65%, adding, “This means that when we sit down with a driver and coach him on a risky behavior, that driver is changing that behavior.”
Deciding Benefits of DriveCam’s Program
In the first six months of implementing the DriveCam Program, US Foods saw a 70% decrease in risky driving behaviors such as following too closely, not leaving enough following distance, not looking far enough ahead, not scanning intersections, not scanning the mirrors, and more. “All those types of things are on a constant decrease,” said Marlowe.
In addition, US Foods experienced a 50% reduction in minor vehicle accidents, and a 50% reduction in worker compensation claims—both in the first six months of using the DriveCam Program. “In addition to the coaching and interaction with the supervisors, I think that the raised level of awareness the [video event recorder] brings being in the truck is what gave us those numbers,” Marlowe said. “We’re talking about a 50% reduction in minor vehicle accidents in six months, and I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t make that investment.”
Other benefits for US Foods include increased accountability on the part of the drivers, and exonerations from wrongful claims. According to Marlowe, “There have been multiple cases where the driver has come in and said, ‘Hey, I was driving along and this is what happened,’ and the event clip proved his point. We’ve also seen plenty of times where we’re not going to have a lawsuit now because it’s clear that we didn’t do anything wrong.”
The Bottom Line
US Foods continues to see a steady decrease in risky driving behavior. “The drivers are actually conscientiously changing their behaviors, and that’s translating into their other work habits as well,” Marlowe said, attributing this result to having the right tools and incentive to improve.
“The most important thing to us is getting the driver homesafe to his family, ” said Marlowe. “[The DriveCam Program] is the best tool in the world for that. It has been amazing. I love the interaction, I love the support that you get from the DriveCam team—to me it’s the biggest change in the industry. If you’re not using it, the question is ‘Why?’”