Behind the Wheel at Work

NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety

Behind the Wheel at Work is a quarterly eNewsletter bringing you the latest news from the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety.

Volume 5 Number 1 March 2020

Update on the CDC/NIOSH Coronavirus Response

In an effort to continue providing you, Behind the Wheel at Work readers, with valuable safety information, we are sharing this month’s newsletter with an added note. In response to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), CDC is operationalizing all of its pandemic preparedness and response plans, working on multiple fronts to meet these goals, including specific measures to prepare communities to respond to local transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Additional guidance, specific to the workplace is also available in the booklet, Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.pdf iconexternal icon To stay up to date on the response please visit the COVID-19 web page or sign up for the COVID-19 newsletter.

All About In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS)

What are in-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS)? How can employers use them to improve driver performance? Keep reading to learn about this technology. Catch up on previous issues of our newsletter.

IVMS Basics

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In-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) are devices designed to improve drivers’ performance by identifying risky driving behaviors for self-correction and for supervisors to use to coach drivers and identify fleet-wide problems.

Safety Tip
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Before beginning your IVMS program, communicate clear and consistent expectations for safe driving behaviors to all workers in your organization.

IVMS Best Practices

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In-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) can be a powerful tool for improving driver behaviors across an organization. Here are some best practices to consider when using an IVMS:

  • When selecting an IVMS product, determine what driving behaviors you are most concerned about within your fleet. If data are available, identify common contributing factors to previous incidents. Then, select an IVMS that tracks the appropriate metrics to address these factors. Decide if your IVMS will have a forward-facing or driver-facing camera, which can provide useful context for driver coaching.
  • Before beginning your IVMS program, communicate clear and consistent expectations for safe driving behaviors to all workers in your organization. Explain potential consequences of risky driving behaviors, if not corrected. For example, explain that crashes that occur at high speeds are more likely to result in injury or death. However, be sure to present the IVMS program as a positive way to create and sustain safe driving behaviors.
  • Provide one-on-one coaching in a timely manner, using a positive, instructive approach. Supervisors and workers can review data together as part of a collaborative and caring conversation. Reassure workers that the goal of coaching is not to remove their autonomy but to work together to create a safer working environment.
  • Set realistic IVMS-related goals for drivers and teams, for example, zero driving without a buckled seat belt or a 50% decrease in harsh braking events over a year. Celebrate when goals are achieved with a small reward or team party. Also, consider competitions between work teams to achieve the highest IVMS driving scores. To show management’s commitment to safety, involve everyone from field employees to executive-level management.
  • Understand that a worker’s overall pattern of driving behaviors may be more valuable information than isolated events. For example, a harsh braking event may indicate that the driver made the safest choice and avoided a crash, but repeated harsh braking events over time may indicate driver fatigue or distraction.

Acknowledgements: Andrew Miller and Andrew Krum, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI)

IVMS Q&A: Chevron

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Katie Rickle is the Health, Environmental and Safety (HES) Technical Services Manager for Chevron’s Permian Basin operations. In this role, Katie provides leadership and direction in the development and continuous improvement of health, safety and environmental programs to prevent serious injuries and fatalities and protect the environment. She has 20 years’ experience supporting upstream, midstream and downstream operations.

New NETS Road Safety Campaign

Our friends at the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) created the Driven to Wellnessexternal icon toolkit to empower employers to help their employees adopt safe driving behaviors. The free toolkit, which focuses on the link between healthy lifestyles and safe driving, includes the following topics: physical wellness, work-life balance, impaired driving, healthy vehicles, and how to develop a wellness plan.

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Questions? Comments? Email kur4@cdc.gov.

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Page last reviewed: March 26, 2020