Commercial fleet owners and managers are turning to mobile management systems that identify and record high-risk driving behaviors, issue instant warnings to drivers, and send email alerts to managers in an effort to improve the safety of their trucks on the road.
The technology is allowing trucking firms to improve driver behavior and reduce the risk of potentially deadly and costly crashes.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2011 crash data, speeding was a leading cause of 23 percent of all commercial truck crashes. Aggressive driving and following too closely are also significant crash causes, representing 5 percent or more of all commercial crashes.
Forty-three percent of commercial truck crashes involve another vehicle, and more than half of those crashes involve rear-end collisions, which all too frequently result in loss of life and costly litigation, fines, and legal compensation for fleet operators.
According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, some commercial carriers are turning to onboard systems that effectively regulate driver behavior and help managers improve the overall safety record of their fleet.
CCJ cites the example of one Missouri-based carrier that uses a Rand McNally TPC 7600 system to monitor its 100-truck fleet. Drivers instantly receive a message on the device display whenever they exceed the speed limit by 5 mph or more or hit the brakes hard. The device also records other critical data that can help give the carrier and other authorities a fuller picture of the event, if needed.
An email alert is also sent to a fleet manager, who calls the driver to discuss the incident or issue a warning if the event involves a particularly dangerous driving technique, such as hard-braking events at high speeds.
“We want them to know that we see everything,” one fleet manager who uses the devices told CCJ. “Basically, after about two events they know we are on top of the situation and they will quit doing whatever they were doing.”
According to CCJ, since implementing the onboard systems, the motor carrier has seen a 75 percent decline in hard-braking events and 90 percent of its drivers have no events on their record.