Ryder opts for in-cab safety program

Dec. 2, 2008
In an effort to improve driver safety, Ryder has announced it has begun installing GreenRoad Technologies’ Safety Center in the vehicles of select fleets

In an effort to improve driver safety, Ryder has announced it has begun installing GreenRoad Technologies’ Safety Center in the vehicles of select fleets. Ryder said they chose the system because it is tailored to meet specific driver needs and provides a suitable prevention mechanism that gives transparent information on driver improvement.

According to GreenRoad, the Safety Center features a sensor in the vehicle that detects driver skill in five maneuverability categories—speed, braking, acceleration, lane-handling and turning, with each driver awarded a safety rating of green (safe), yellow (moderate) or red (dangerous). Details of each trip are viewable online to show overall safety level and areas for improvement.

“What we liked was GreenRoad provides immediate, simple feedback, giving managers valid talking points on specifically what the drivers need to improve,” Sandy Hodes, vp of safety for Ryder, told FleetOwner, noting that the company has seen a dramatic reduction in severe and poor driving maneuvers since implementing the technology.

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GreenRoad’s sensors are the latest addition to Ryder’s driver safety program, which includes frequent communication with drivers and managers as well as ride-alongs, the company said. However, according to Hodes, “This is the first in-cab safety technology that we’ve used on any kind of broad scale.”

Ryder began testing GreenRoad’s technology late last year, implementing a pilot program in five or six divisions over the course of six months. It reported a drop in risky maneuvers by 40% to 50% over that time period, the company said.

“We believe that the most effective technology to improve driver safety is the kind that provides consistent, real-time feedback,” said Bob Prim, director of safety standards for Ryder. “Through this feedback, Ryder drivers receive immediate coaching that enables them to instantly modify their behavior.”

According to GreenRoad, the Safety Center gives information directly to the driver, with yellow and red lights inside the cab alerting them in real-time of risky behavior, in addition to information available online each day and reports emailed weekly.

Drivers are able to log on from their home computer to look at their safety profile compared to the rest of their fleet, and GreenRoad said that approximately 80% of drivers change their potentially dangerous habits on their own without needing management input. The company said its clients have reduced collisions 54%, lowered accident costs 49% and decreased fuel costs 10% using the Safety Center

Ryder’s Hodes said that the company is planning to push the new technology to its fleets, with a staged implementation set up for its nearly 8,000 trucks.

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