According to data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017. Of these crashes, 4,237 were fatal and 344,000 resulted in injuries1. The impact of fatalities and injuries related to crashes can be overwhelming. Not only does it decrease the safety of your fleet but it can also have an impact on efficiency and costs. Truck safety technology exists that helps improve such behavior and gives fleet managers more control over their fleets.
To help reduce crashes within a fleet and increase safety, the most important thing is to reduce dangerous driving behaviors. Before we delve into new vehicle safety technology that improves fleet safety and more, let's look at the negative impact of bad driving behavior.
According to the NHTSA, the cause of 94% of crashes is driver behavior error2. So, it’s vitally important for the focus to be on risky behavior if you want to reduce fleet crashes.
Certain behaviors have been proven to increase the likelihood of a driver getting into a crash and these include:
When a driver engages in the above, they are driving aggressively and likely trying to get somewhere as fast as possible with no consideration for their safety or others. It also wears out engines much quicker, making them dangerous on the road if they are not maintained properly.
Distracted driving, such as looking at a phone while driving or micro-sleeping, can be just as dangerous as the above behaviors. Sleep deprivation (which is why micro-sleeps occur) can be the equivalent of driving drunk. Being awake for 18 hours straight is equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .05 (0.08 is considered drunk) and being awake for 24 hours straight is like having a blood alcohol level of 0.103.
An in-cab telematics camera solution (such as MiX Vision) gives you an inside view of how your drivers really behave on the road. When used in conjunction with a fleet management solution with vehicle safety technology, hooked up to the vehicle’s engine, you get a holistic approach that gives you much more control of your fleet than ever before.
In-cab video can record whenever a predefined event is triggered to notify fleet managers that their driver is either participating in risky behavior (including near-crashes) or that they have been involved in a crash. Even if a driver has not been involved in a crash, videos can help you identify which drivers are not being cautious enough. That visual evidence can then be used to provide relevant training to drivers and show them exactly why what they’re doing is wrong. They might not be aware of certain subconscious behaviors but seeing it on video makes it more real.
In addition to it assisting with monitoring driver behavior (alongside a fleet management solution and other truck safety technology) and providing a visual training option, in-cab video also helps in settling the aftermath of crashes and assisting with decreasing or settling insurance claims.
With video you can see exactly what led up to a crash happening. Was the driving participating in risky behavior? Were they looking at their phone or distracted by a fellow driver? Were they fatigued? Were they wearing their seatbelt as they should? All of this can help you determine what can be done differently in the future to prevent it from happening again.
Video evidence is also the best way to settle any claims made by a third-party. It is an objective way to show the sequence of events that occurred and protect your drivers in cases where they were not at fault.