Shippers are a part of the overall shipping process. No shipper, or even Cerasis as a transportation management 3PL, can ship freight without trucks. We rely on our hunreds of carrier partners to safely get our shippers’ freight from their docks to their customers. It is vital that the industry is aware of the trucking industry safety tech that can aid in decreasing the amount of freight damages, but more importantly decrease the amount of human damages.
When it comes to safety and innovation in the transportation industry, many of us often hear about the latest technology coming out of the automotive world. Things like safety suites that feature blind spot monitoring, backup cameras, and autonomous collision braking systems are among the most notable advancements that are highlighted in the modern day automobile; however, the trucking industry has been making strides of its own with a vast amount of tech safety features that are paving the way towards safer operation.
Given the fact that long-haul truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, trucking companies need to upgrade their fleet to mitigate accident risks and improve overall safety because the technology is here. Every year, there are approximately 250,000 truck drivers who are involved in crashes and between 1% and 2% of those accidents result in fatal outcomes according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, according to some truck accident experts, many of the reasons why truck crashes occur is due to outdated/lacking safety equipment features as well as loose operational regulations. On top of that, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted the fourth consecutive year of truck crash increases from their available 2013 data.
With that said, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has turned their attention to focus on truck safety. When looking at the bigger picture, the price of implementing new safety technologies is nominal when compared to the price of collisions – it can quickly skyrocket in costs when injuries and fatalities are involved. Some of the safety advancements include anti-collision technology, enhanced limits on driver hours and tighter regulations on companies that have high collision rates.
Tractor-trailers are notoriously known for their enormous blind spots, and some of the latest safety technology that is expected to experience the highest growth among trucking fleets are Blind Spot Detection systems. Also, Lane Departure Warnings will help keep trucks in their lanes in the event they drift over too far. Both systems will help cut down on the amount of accidents caused by lack of sight or attention, especially for inexperienced drivers.
According to Volvo Trucks’ Accident Research Team, 90% of all truck safety incidents are primarily due to human error and by 2020, they plan to have over 35 million trucks globally connected with collision-avoidance technologies. They have a goal of zero-collision drives with the advancement of next-generation safety systems. With the collaboration of their Volvo Cars brand, the trucks and vehicles will use real-time data from cameras and radar sensors to scan the external conditions of difficult to detect objects like cyclists and pedestrians in the surrounding environment. This will keep drivers alert of the surrounding conditions and mitigate accident risks.
While seatbelts have made the cabin of any vehicle a much safer environment, more technology and innovation will fuel the future of truck safety. With the use of passive and active safety features like automated braking and cruise control assistance, automated systems may be able to react faster than a driver during emergency situations by scanning the road for sudden changes and appropriately activating.
At any rate, the NTSB will be pushing to reform many areas of trucking industry safety and with the impending increase in safety regulations, trucking companies need to take action now. Not only will the above safety features help keep their drivers and other road users safe, but it will save money in the long run. Not to mention, some companies that are far from truck manufacturers, have designed concepts that will help the industry. For instance, the electronics firm Samsung wants to place large video displays on the back of trucks that will help other drivers see in front of the tractor trailer. Their concept involves a front facing camera on the cab that transmits a video signal to the back screens that allows for the vehicle behind the truck to see oncoming traffic in the event they want to pass the truck. This technology would make it safer for passer-byers and is just one idea that could become an integral part to a trucks safety system.
Will your fleet of trucks be on the forefront of safety reform?
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