We all want our drivers to operate in a safe manner and we think we’re doing a great job reinforcing that in our daily operations. Fleet owners make safety a critical component of their new driver orientation programs. Fleet managers talk about safety best practices in every driver meeting.
Company-wide communications tools are being used to share safe driving tips. And, supervisors as well as dispatchers are constantly bringing up safety procedures to their drivers. But, unfortunately, it’s just not enough.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains, which contained statistics that, in all honesty, opened our eyes to the scary reality of truck driver safety on the road.
Did you know that in 2015, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 crashes, which resulted in 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries? In fact, it was up 4% from 2014. That’s just too much.
Truck Safety Technology: The Societal Benefits
AAA’s study examined the possible societal safety benefits of trucking technology such as the economic value of lives saved and injuries prevented. Fleet owners should consider that the cost of equipping all trucks with lane departure warning systems, automatic braking systems, and video-based onboard safety monitoring are greatly mitigated by these massive benefits.
The findings indicated the following safety results attached to the aforementioned truck safety technologies:
- Lane departure warning systems can prevent up to 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries and 115 deaths each year.
- Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems can prevent as many as 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries and 293 deaths each year.
- Automatic emergency braking can prevent up to 5,294 crashes, 2,753 injuries and 55 deaths.
These are powerful numbers and, in many respects, eye opening when it comes to the debate surrounding the costs and benefits associated with truck safety technology. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the FMCA’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week just this past October has already encouraged many fleet owners to start spec’ing the truck safety technologies that best suit their needs and we encourage you to do the same.
For more information about truck driver training be sure to check out this blog post: Basic Truck Driver Training Essentials Every Carrier Should Implement