Magazine

DriveCam

Valerie Chereskin

Ampco System Parking, a leader in parking management systems, installed the DriveCam Driving Feedback System in about 300 vehicles. Without making any other changes, at-fault collisions were reduced by 56% in one year.

The Company
Ampco System Parking manages and operates more than 1,700 parking lots and garages in 29 states, including facilities at or adjacent to such major international airports as Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Ampco is a subsidiary of ABM Industries, one of the largest facility services contractors listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ampco focuses on the complex professional problems and unique opportunities of parking by fully analyzing a proposed site, including traffic, peak demands, parking layout, safety, security, cash collection, rate structure and parking allocation.
The Problem
Ampco had elected to manage its own risk by becoming self-insured as a way to reduce insurance costs. However, the company was facing higher reserves to protect fleet assets.
Ampco management decided to take self-insurance a step further by adopting safety programs aimed at improving their drivers' safety while further mitigating costs.
"Because the cost for losses comes right out of our bottom line, we set ourselves to a higher standard when it comes to safety," said Ampco President Tom Barnett. "It is also part of our commitment to providing the highest level of safety and cost-efficient service for our customers and the passengers they serve."
The Solution
Ampco selected the DriveCam Driving Feedback System to become the central element of its fleet safety program. It gives Ampco a comprehensive method to monitor, track and improve driving performance.
The Driving Feedback System integrates video technology and management software to identify high-risk driving habits. Driving events are collected by the DriveCam, a palm-sized video recorder mounted behind the rearview mirror that records what drivers see and hear. Video event files are automatically downloaded to a computer, where managers use HindSight 20/20 software to view and analyze driving performance.
By reducing the frequency and severity of collisions, the DriveCam system reduces the number of claims and lowers the cost of insuring fleets. When a collision occurs, the DriveCam provides unbiased evidence that lowers investigative expense and reduces settlement payments. This leads to more predictable losses and, in the case of self-insured retention, more accurate reserve assessment.
The Results
Ampco installed the DriveCam Driving Feedback System in about 320 vehicles at several of its locations around the country. The company uses the system in driver training and to provide unbiased feedback to drivers on their specific driving habits. When the company began the program, the Ampco fleet was averaging 27 at-fault collisions per month. Without making any changes to its programs, at-fault collisions dropped to 12 per month over the next year. This is a 56% reduction in such collisions.
"In addition to our at-fault loss reduction, we believe that other losses attributed to our shuttle operations have dropped considerably since the inception of the DriveCam program," said Tom Merlino, Director of Safety for Ampco. "This includes cost savings in such areas as driver replacement, vehicle replacement, downtime and maintenance costs."
In several incidents, Ampco was able to use the DriveCam recording to prove the company was not at fault. In one accident involving a pedestrian, the company was absolved of any liability, thanks to Drivecam.
"The DriveCam program met and surpassed our expectations," Barnett said. "We will be installing it throughout our entire network of fleet operations to ensure the safety of our drivers and their passengers."

Valerie Chereskin is head of Chereskin Communications. She can be reached through www.chereskincomm.com.

Article Abstract from May, 2004




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