The adoption of new safety technology has been surprisingly slow. On-board cameras were thought of as an invasion of privacy, and somewhat Orwellian. Many fleets feel that the ROI on adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and lane departure systems is still negative.
This thinking could not be further from the truth. We have just seen a whole series of articles on “nuclear verdicts” and insurance scams. Many of these high-dollar accidents could have been avoided or less severe with the new safety technology available today. Onboard cameras have vindicated many truck drivers, showing the reckless behavior of the drive of the other vehicle before the accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released two excellent brochures showing the value of new safety technology—referred to as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)—and that it does in fact have a positive ROI. They go one step further and show us how to calculate the ROI based on their crash database and how technology plays a significant role in saving money and more importantly saving lives. More than 38,000 people die each year in crashes. About 4,200 of these deaths are attributed to heavy trucks. There is no acceptable number other than zero when it comes to loss of life.
So how can we increase the adoption rate of ADAS and show that it has a positive effect on the bottom line? When it comes to safety, the first place we need to look for savings is with our insurance carriers. While many carriers have started to offer discounts for additional safety equipment, the fleet operator needs to work closely with risk management to ensure you are receiving the savings. As the adoption rate increases equipment lessors will give more residual consideration to the added technology, thus lowering the fixed financing cost of the tractors. So, we see that as safety technology becomes the standard in the base spec vehicle it will cost less.
There is also the issue of driver recruitment and retention. Showing your drivers that you are serious about their safety and well-being is extremely important. We provide our office employees with top-notch laptops and computers to make them more productive and give them the necessary tools to be successful. We should provide our drivers with the same, if not more, consideration when spec’ing their work equipment.
The safety of our employees and the general public should be paramount. The ROI for ADAS is there. Invest in ADAS and watch your bottom line grow and your driver turnover rate decline. Check out the brochures at www.tech-celeratenow.org.
Patrick Gaskins, senior vice president of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for Corcentric’s fleet offerings. Over the past 10 years, Gaskins has grown the fleet services area of Corcentric’s business by implementing a best-in-class asset management database and a data-driven approach to providing Corcentric clients with visibility into all areas of their fleet spend. He joined Corcentric in 2010, bringing over 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. Gaskins leads a team of industry experts who work with a supply base of over 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet related spend.
Gakins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL, and his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council.