Every time your driver gets behind the wheel, he or she is at risk. Trucking driving ranks seventh in the deadliest occupations in America. Truck drivers also face the highest number of fatalities of any job, at a rate of 918 fatalities each year.1
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the most common cause of workplace death is transportation accidents, which account for 40% of all on-the-job deaths; and delivery truck drivers experience nearly three times more injuries and deaths than any other occupation.2 And this number is only going up each passing year. The U.S. Department of Labor points out that the number of truck drivers who were killed on the job rose 6.6% from 2016 to 2018.3
The growing competition in the online retail industry, has also made a big impact on the day-to-day lives of truck drivers. With the “Amazon effect”, consumers are led to believe that one-day turnaround for their online deliveries is a norm. With increasing number of packages flooding the supply chain and the frequency of deliveries being made, truckers are performing under pressure.
While fleet managers and safety directors work hard to create a culture of safety, it’s important to make timely investment in telematics technology to combat the ever-increasing demands on truck drivers. With accident mitigation systems and enhanced braking technology it is estimated that you can reduce your accident frequency by as much as 40%.
How can technology mitigate the dangers of being a truck driver?
Modern telematics technology provides features and capabilities that streamline fleet operations and can help make a dangerous job safer while underscoring a safety-first approach for your fleet. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), companies that actively develop and promote a strong safety culture have fewer and less severe accidents. By setting and enforcing high expectations for safety behaviors from the top down, a culture of accountability is established. And, when combined with a telematics system to track and measure safety metrics, fleet managers can experience the power of a cost-effective and proven solution that helps:
Link driving behavior to driver safety. Telematics helps improve driver safety by monitoring the location and speed of every vehicle. It provides near real-time alerts when speeding incidents occur, and automated speeding reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It also highlights other risky driving behaviors such as hard braking and fast acceleration. By creating awareness of these behaviors, fleet drivers can be more aware when they get behind the wheel, and you can support a greater return on investment.
Increase vehicle safety. Improved maintenance leads to healthier, more efficient vehicles and decreases the risk of breakdowns or unexpected problems. Telematics can provide up-to-the-minute data on vehicle condition to help streamline fleet upkeep and control repair costs to extend the service life of vehicles. This is done via automatic mileage calculations, daily odometer updates, and notifications when preset maintenance intervals are reached. Using this continuous monitoring, engine issues can be identified early, making vehicles safer to drive and making it easier to stay in compliance with governmental emission requirements.
Elevate route safety. Unknown terrain and unsafe roads pose a constant driver hazard. Telematics technology helps mitigate the dangers associated with getting lost or taking the wrong route by providing navigation that calculates truck-legal routes, reduces left turns and gives detailed “last-mile” directions. It also allows managers to set up geofence alerts and use GPS tracking data to steer workers through, or around, dangerous areas like construction sites or pockets of extreme temperature zones, and receive notifications when workers enter and exit hazardous places.
Jury verdicts and safety technology
As we continue to see court verdicts rise to unprecedented amounts, the value of factual data from the truck at the time of the accident is proving to be priceless. Recently, the state of Florida Supreme Court allowed video evidence into summary judgment by amending the states rigid summary judgement standards. This went into effect on May 1, 2021. Trial judges are now finding that video evidence can be “blatantly contradicting” to a plaintiff’s submission and act on the video information.
Have a turn-by-turn visual driving account. It’s difficult to know exactly what happens pre-crash. Was the driver distracted? Did another vehicle slam on the brakes? Now, thanks to dashcams, it’s easier to understand the context of an incident involving a truck. Integrated fleet dashcams capture the moments before a crash occurs, and the visual data often demonstrates who was responsible in the case of a collision. Integration with telematics software data can also help provide extra insight into driver behavior. Contextual evidence of incidents surrounding an accident can help fleet managers and drivers reduce crashes and fatalities by creating accountability and establishing driver safety as a top priority.
Need help sorting all this out?
Contact your Idealease location today to find out more about the safety technologies that are available to your fleet. Also, inquire about our ELEVATE® Your Drivers' Performance program using telematics to track your driver and vehicle performance. Sign up for the ELEVATE Question/Tip of the Week here.
New FMCSA Driver Physical Exam Form Required on Sept. 7th
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a revised version of its Medical Examination Report form (long form) with a September 7, 2021, compliance deadline.
The updated form includes a variety of minor technical changes, the most prominent of which is removal of the driver’s gender from Section 1. The new form was part of a larger package of technical corrections to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations issued July 7, 2021.
The new medical form retains the “OMB expiration date” of 11/30/2021 in the upper-right corner. This means the form will need to be updated yet again before the end of November this year. Motor carriers are encouraged to ensure their medical examiners are using the new form starting September 7, 2021. In addition, watch for news of another new medical form and certificate later this year.