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Safety is good, training is better

Mack Trucks announced last week plans to provide Bendix’s upgraded adaptive cruise control to its Roll Stability Advantage safety system at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Fleet Owner Senior Editor Sean Kilcarr has a video on the product here.

I’m all for safety, and this product sounds like potentially a life-saver. Basically, it’s designed to detect if the truck is following too closely to the vehicle in front of it and will throttle down the engine, apply the engine brake or if needed, the truck’s foundation or service brakes.

I’m a firm believer in technology and if technology can make driving safer, we need to take advantage of that. My concern, though, is training. Many people believe truck drivers are not adequately trained now. With the addition of more technology, even technology designed for safety reasons, into the cab, the potential for training to slack off further is there.

The accounting department and CEOs may justify cuts to training budgets by purchasing new technology, but that’s the wrong approach. Despite the advances in technology, training needs to keep pace. For every new item installed, new training needs to be implemented. Fleets can’t lose sight of that fact.

The truth is, like everything else, the technology is only as good as the people using it. We can’t rely on technology to protect us from ourselves. Instead, we need the technology to supplement what we already know and act as a second line of defense.

The more fleets remember that, the safer we will be.