Like companies in most industries, trucking companies must continually implement new technology to keep pace with their competitors. New technology utilization is especially important when it comes to truck driver safety. Trucking companies now have at their disposal an abundance of operational data software that can be used to create actionable safety intelligence. Basically, safe trucking companies are using analytics to determine whether drivers are using risky driving practices and, if so, to coach those drivers to avoid that dangerous behavior. Here are some of the analytics tools that safe companies are using:
Journey Management. For every trip, a trucking company must plan a safe and achievable journey for its driver. GPS monitoring software allows companies to check in with drivers before, during and after their trip. These software programs also alert companies if its driver is speeding, has taken a wrong route, or is engaging in unsafe driving.
Driver Behavior Management. Risky driving leads to an increased likelihood of crashes – plain and simple. Driver behavior monitoring systems involve in-cab driver sensors and cameras that can identify a number of different dangerous driving activities, such as: if a driver has drifted out of his lane, if a driver is fatigued and struggling to keep his eyes open, or even if a driver has taken his eyes off the road to check a text message. Any of those distracted driving indicators would trigger and automatic alert system that vibrates the drivers chair and/or emits an audio tone to recapture the driver’s attention. The event also triggers an electronic recording of the distracted event so that the driver can be coached on ways to avoid the dangerous distraction.
Electronic Logbooks (ELDs). ELDs are an electronic solution that allows drivers and trucking companies to manage Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. Handwritten logbooks have been used for decades as a way to ensure compliance with HOS regulations, which in turn is supposed to reduce the prevalence of fatigued drivers behind the wheel. The problem with handwritten logbooks? It allowed truck drivers to avoid the HOS limitations by falsifying their logbooks. ELDs are connected to the truck’s engine and as a result, more accurately track the time the vehicle is being driven. When truck drivers don’t have the same ability to drive for much longer than the federal safety regulations allow, there will be less fatigued (and dangerous) truck drivers sharing our roads. Starting in December 2017, CDL drivers are required to have ELDs installed in their commercial vehicles.
While these safety programs are available to all trucking companies, many companies put their bottom line ahead of safety and elect not to install these life saving systems. When investigating a truck crash, Shannon Law Group identifies whether the trucking company utilized any of the safety systems available to them. If they didn’t, we find out why not. If you or someone you know is injured in a trucking crash, feel free to call Shannon Law Group for a free consultation.