Safety Technology is a Good Starting Point

I mentioned in last week’s blog post that trucking is inundated with technology options and you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines deciding what to buy or you will be left behind.

That’s not to suggest that you invest in technology for technology’s sake but rather, that you embrace the inevitable. Technology is not going to go away so you might as well start getting comfortable with it.

I think a good place to start is with safety technology. Everyone is on board when it comes to safety enhancements for both trucks and drivers, and there are likely insurance benefits you can take advantage of that can mitigate the cost of safety technology investments.

Lane departure warning systems and the more sophisticated systems that take active control of braking and/or steering to keep trucks in their lane might be a good place to start.

In a presentation during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW), Derek Kaufman, managing partner at Schwartz Advisors and president of C3 Network, cited U.S. Department of Transportation statistics showing that lane departure warning systems could reduce up to 2,500 single vehicle road departure incidents, up to 1,300 roll overs, and up to 2,233 lane departures.

Kaufman cited return-on-investment estimates for lane departure warning systems at $1.37 to $6.55 per dollar spent. Need I say more?

You may also want to check out collision avoidance systems, which cost more but are estimated to pay for themselves if only one accident is avoided. While it’s hard to measure something that didn’t happen, there’s data out there that suggests collision avoidance systems could result in a 20 – 25 % reduction in rear end fatalities and injuries, and as the technology is refined, that percentage could climb as high as 60%.

Forward facing video cameras are now being installed by some fleets, especially those that recognize that 80% of truck accidents are caused by passenger cars. If nothing else, these cameras can be used as part of a legal defense in the event an accident occurs.

It’s definitely time to dive into the technology pool, and plunging in while improving safety is not a bad way to get started.

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