Truck Fleets with Video-Based Safety Can Reduce Accidents
June 20, 2018
A national truck company is leading the way in implementing technology accompanied by a driver safety program to help understand and possibly avoid truck accidents involving its fleet of trucks. The preliminary results show that implementing safety technology and instruction may reduce the number of accidents.
Implementing Truck Technology as a Pilot Program
Last year, trucking company, Penske Logistics, started a pilot program equipping some of its trucks with SmartDrive, consisting of onboard cameras that face inside the truck cab and outwards toward the road. Simultaneously, they also provided specialized safety training instructions to truck drivers with the Smith System. This safety program is widely regarded in the truck industry to be a leader in providing instruction on defensive driving.
Penske reported that after the pilot program, there were reductions regarding incidents involving its trucks and the drivers involved in the program had increased safety scores.
Expanding the Pilot Program
Penske recently announced that they would expand this pilot program to 2,800 of their heavy-duty trucks across North America. The video-based safety program does not record unless there is a triggering event. The cameras face outward to show the surrounding area of the truck and they also face inward to show driver behavior.
The video technology also includes backup alarms, collision avoidance, stability control systems, lane departure systems, air disc brakes, onboard telematics, speed governors, advanced visibility with LED headlights, and electronic driver logs. Therefore, the system provides much more than video monitoring and involves many systems inside the truck to provide more information to the driver and the company. This creates increased driver awareness about the systems of the truck while also addressing potential hazards that can arise if the truck driver becomes fatigued.
The footage and the accompanying information about the truck can identify problem behaviors among drivers, but it can also be used to exonerate the driver from wrongdoing. The video and electronic driver log can also be utilized to reconstruct an incident and can also be used as a teaching tool within the company. The company has stated that it utilized the information to help other truck drivers become safer and better educated about potential hazards and to use the tools needed during dangerous conditions on the road.
The results from Penske’s pilot program and ongoing efforts could inspire other companies to take similar efforts and implement similar safety programs to increase driver and truck safety. This could have dramatic effects on the number of overall accidents involving trucks each year.
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