Many trucking businesses conduct road tests or skills assessments as a component of their internal safety requirements. This is commonly done by someone with the appropriate competency riding along with a driver to determine if the driver is capable of safely operating a commercial motor vehicle. The COVID-19 outbreak and the need for social distancing makes these ride-along assessments difficult, if not impossible. Understandably, both driver and/or evaluator may be reluctant to sit side-by-side in the cab and violate the minimum 6-foot social distancing recommendation.
For fleets with the technology, a potential work-around during these times of crisis is to use in-cab video to accomplish a driver skills assessment in such a way that the driver is in the cab while the assessor is in front of his or her computer. For example, the Lytx SF300 video recorder can be configured to capture both a road and driver facing view. In addition to capturing video on an exception and continually recorded basis, this device also has the ability to get a live stream view of the road ahead as well as a view of the driver, if enabled.
Here is what a skills assessment via live stream might look like. The driver is provided instructions in advance as to the route to take, including any maneuvers that may be required. Once the driver is underway, a supervisor with the right access can then log on to get a live stream view of the journey. The supervisor may use a checklist or a notepad to record items of interest while viewing the trip.
If permitted by the organization and if safe to do so, the supervisor could also provide verbal instructions or comments at points during the drive via a hands-free device. It’s important to remember, however, that the live stream video typically lags actual events by a few seconds due to cellular transmission speeds.
Once the drive is completed, the driver and supervisor then meet to review and discuss. This could be done in a face-to-face manner (honoring the 6-foot social distancing recommendations). DVR footage of the drive can be accessed and shared by the supervisor to support key points and recommendations.
The review session could also be done via teleconference, webinar or other media if an in-person meeting wasn’t possible due to logistics or virus concerns. To enhance the learning, the supervisor could access continually recorded video footage to extract points in the drive that support discussion points. This video can then be shared with the driver via webinar, Skype, or other media. Alternatively, the video segment could be emailed to the driver in advance of the remote conference.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Leverage technology to ensure your safety program doesn’t lose momentum during these difficult times.
by Del Lisk, VP of Safety, Lytx