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Kroger private fleet sees 50 percent drop in collisions from video safety program

Kroger Safety Manager John Lobenberg

Kroger Safety Manager John Lobenberg reports that the company’s 1,200-vehicle fleet reduced collisions by 50 percent within four months of deploying the Lytx DriveCam safety program.

Lytx, provider of the DriveCam video telematics and safety program, and private fleet customer Kroger, a well-known grocery retailer, shared results from a recently concluded four-month trial period of the DriveCam technology.

“The results of the DriveCam program have been tremendous. Within four months, we saw a 50 percent reduction in collisions, a 71 percent reduction in handheld cell phone use, and an 82 percent reduction of Driver Unbelted incidents,” said Lobenberg, Kroger safety manager. Use of the technology has reversed a troubling trend in liability among Kroger’s dedicated fleet of over 1,200 vehicles.

“Liablity spending was increasing year over year, and we’d just suffered three major driving incidents,” added Lobenberg. “Changing that trend was all about proactively managing driver behavior.”

After reviewing other safety programs, Kroger adopted the Lytx DriveCam program and prioritized cities with the largest collision-related spend to pilot DriveCam. The exception-based video telematics program combines video capture of road incidents such as hard braking or sudden swerving, data analysis of those incidents, and personalized coaching insights to improve driving behavior.

Reducing Driver Unbelted incidents is critical, he said, because drivers who don’t wear their seat belts are 3.4 times more likely to get into a collision than those who do, according to Lytx data. 

The key learnings from the initial rollout are:

  • There’s more risky behavior going on than Lobenberg realized. “About 15 percent of our drivers represented 80 percent of our risk,” Lobenberg said.
  • It only took about a week for drivers to forget that the event camera was there.
  • Having driver coaches is of utmost important – “they’ve been there and they’re listened to.” That said, not all coaches selected have the same skill level and will likely need coaching themselves.
  • An unanticipated benefit was reduced maintenance costs, especially with tires, because drivers were no longer “bouncing off curbs.”
  • Video proved to be a high-value piece of evidence to exonerate drivers.
  • DriveCam helps make recognition programs easy by delivering information on drivers who do everything right. “Truly good, life-saving driving is hard to observe,” said Lobenberg.
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Aaron Huff is the Senior Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. Huff’s career in the transportation industry began at a family-owned trucking company and expanded to CCJ, where for the past 14 years he has specialized in covering business and technology for online and print readers and speaking at industry events. A recipient of numerous regional and national awards, Huff holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama.