Many companies are currently producing credible technology that not only offers day-to-day advantages for fleets and truckers in the form of improved service, reduced time and cost, but also increased safety through the reduction of accidents.
Here are 8 technologies both drivers and fleets should get on board with (if they haven’t already done so):
- Alarms to Prevent Fatigued Driving
Camera and alarm systems, such as the Lytx DriveCam Enterprise, send drivers an audible warning based on drowsy driving behaviors such as weaving and drifting into another lane. If the behavior occurs again, the driver gets another warning, and if there is a third such event, the camera is activated so that eight seconds before and four seconds after the event can be recorded. The video can then be reviewed and the behavior investigated and corrected.
- Self Correcting Alert Systems
Managing the size of a fleet is extremely challenging, no matter how large or small it may be. Onboard computer systems provide feedback on safety issues like hard cornering, braking, and acceleration to give drivers the opportunity to self-correct. If the correction is made, no video is produced. Drivers receive an audible alert when they are maintaining less than four seconds of following distance and a solid tone when they fall within the dangerous one-second range.
- GPS Made Specifically for Trucks
Many truckers are reluctant to depend solely on GPS technology that in the past they might have found to be unreliable and restrictive. But the highly advanced systems designed for truck drivers don’t just deliver a route; they provide many other things that can eliminate the need for a physical map, such as detailed mapping, traffic alerts, connectivity to smartphones, information about truck-approved roadways, and other important driver assist features.
- In-cab Camera Systems
In-cab camera systems, commonly known as “dash cams,” have been around for a while, but they have been getting much better in terms of quality, with major improvements in image processing, usability in low light conditions, high-definition image capture, and increased storage capacity. These cameras can save the day for a driver or fleet in the event of a false claim or intentional collision on the part of a motorist seeking a big payday from a deep pocket trucking company.
- Driver Performance Management System
Driver scorecarding was first introduced into the trucking industry in the late 2000s, when fleet management systems were trying to determine where trucks where having the most operational issues. Driver scorecards have become much more high-tech since then, taking a more constructive approach in real time by scoring for positive driver behaviors considering the truck, type of load, and transmission shifting data to score drivers more accurately and fairly based on the actual mpg achievable by a given truck.
- Collision Avoidance Technology
In 2016, 4,440 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a two percent increase from the previous year, according to data compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Although the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents in due in part to their relative larger size and weight, advanced collision mitigation systems are now incorporating more sensing technology to monitor for certain types of crashes, and then take emergency action to avoid them. Collision mitigation systems are becoming standard on many new trucks, and can be retrofitted to older models as well.
- Electronic Logging Devices
It is now not just an option, but the law that most U.S. interstate commercial trucks must have electronic logging devices (ELDs). Although some owner operators and small fleet drivers have objected to the idea of electronic logs, research has shown that this technology improves truck safety by reducing administrative burdens, decreasing liability, and ensuring that drivers are operating within the limits set by the FMCSA.
- Automatic Emergency Braking Systems
According to a report issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, installing automatic emergency braking systems in all large trucks (new as well as existing trucks) could potentially prevent as many as 5,294 accidents, 2,753 injuries, and 55 fatalities each year. These systems combine a forward-looking sensor, driver alerts, and automatic braking to reduce or prevent rear-end collisions involving large trucks that strike another vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in a collision involving a large truck and are looking for competent legal advice, contact the attorneys at Murray & Murray Co., L.P.A. in Sandusky, Ohio today.