Coaching Corner

The Value of Dashcams to Your Business

I’ve seen and done a lot in my several decades in trucking, starting out as an owner/operator, then a company driver, then working my way into driver training, and finally to becoming a senior safety director in a large trucking company. Along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make safety pay dividends. I’m excited about my new role serving ICSA as its full time Safety Consultant. You’ll see Coaching Corner as a regular newsletter and website feature, and I will appreciate having your suggestions for topics to cover.

- Mike Hitchcock, ICSA Safety Consultant

The Value of Dashcams to Your Business

I was once told, "The best drivers on the road each think that they are the best! They also think that their truck is (no matter how old) the best truck on the road!"

True or not, we do know that truckers like the freedom of the road and the independent lifestyle. Seasoned drivers will admit that their greatest safety challenge is avoiding complacency. So how do you make a good driver a great driver? A safer driver? How do you reduce the odds of you or your driver being involved in an accident?

There are a lot of new technologies being developed today to help. One of the most helpful is video cameras. SmartDrive is the system I am most familiar with and the approved vendor for ICSA. Being in trucking for over 40 years, I have seen so many recent accidents that used to be charged against the trucker now being accurately charged back to the motorist. In the past, we could never prove a car cut us off. Now we can.

That being said, no one wants to be in an accident no matter whose fault it is. How can we affect that? I can’t tell you that a driver with a good SmartDrive score will not be in an accident. I also can’t tell you if you smoke you will get cancer. I can tell you that the odds are against you if you smoke, and the odds are against a driver with a high SmartDrive score. They are at higher risk of being involved in their own accident or someone else’s. They are also more difficult to defend as a safe driver if they ever have to go to court for any reason.

Many drivers have a fear of video cameras, but in my experience they make a good driver a better driver. The Navy takes video of every carrier landing no matter how many years of experience the pilot has. The pilot is debriefed using that video after every trap. Why do they do this? To keep getting better! Video technology is being used all over the country to help good drivers get even better and reduce the chances of being in a crash. Defensive driving instructors will tell you that nearly all crashes can be prevented, given enough time and space. Video reviews help the professional driver fight complacency and help give them that time and space.

More to come on this topic soon!

Get Ready NOW for Operation Safe Driver 2021

07 July 2021

Operation Safe Driver week will happen July 11-17 throughout North America. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and its partner state and provincial commercial vehicle agencies have announced that the primary focus will be on speeding—by both commercial vehicles and passenger cars. 

ICSA Membership Renewal Notices Sent Last Week

06 July 2021

If you joined ICSA between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021, you should have received an email notifying you to visit our new website and click on the Renew Membership tab at the top of the page.

Update on FMCSA Medical Review Board Actions

06 July 2021

In the May issue of The Landing Gear, we reported on two motor carrier issues under review by FMCSA’s Medical Review Board (MRB). The first is an alternative vision standard that could make it possible for more drivers to meet vision requirements; the second is a review of the current method of assessing the impact of non-insulin treated diabetes mellitus (Non-ITDM) on a CDL driver’s physical qualification.