Safety technology as a whole is becoming more attractive to trucking companies today for a simple reason, according to Dimitri Kazarinoff, Eaton’s marketing manager for truck components. Highway accident costs, especially for medical treatment, are skyrocketing. And nothing is more critical to reducing those costs than altering truck driver behavior behind the wheel.
“Medical treatment and related insurance costs have escalated far more than the rate of inflation over the past few years,” he told Fleet Owner at the Mid-America Trucking Show. “From an overall perspective, the industry is much more cognizant of safety technology and the benefits it can provide. The challenge is that the trucking industry is quite fragmented and that no two fleets calculate accident costs alike.”
For example, Kazarinoff said one of the most important benefits safety technologies can provide is helping to change driving behavior— yet it’s something far down the list of what fleets and drivers expect safety technology to do.
“You have to use safety technology to influence driver behavior, to get them to drive better even though they think they are already at their best,” he said.
“For example, some top-notch drivers might not leave enough safe following distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them because they feel they can react in time to any situation,” he added. “Using safety systems such as our SmartCruise feature makes sure they always have that safe following distance— and it’s something fleets can monitor and record, helping them encourage drivers to operate more safely on the road.”