“Not only can the technology help prevent and reduce collision rates, but it also encourages better driving practices by delivering real-time feedback to drivers. Even if you’re a good driver, driving conditions can be unpredictable, and by having a safety net system that actively delivers warnings — such as forward collision and tailgate monitoring — good drivers are able to react even better to unpredictable situations,” Michael Backman, VP and general manager of U.S. Operations for Mobileye.
Advancing Safety in Medium-Duty Truck Fleets
July 2016, Work Truck - Feature
by Lauren Fletcher
The lives of fleet drivers and the public are of utmost concern to fleet managers. The mitigation and overall elimination of accidents are some of a fleet manager’s top responsibilities. [...]
Work Truck magazine spoke with several subject-matter experts to get their take on current accident trends in medium-duty truck fleets, as well as the challenges specific to these fleets in reducing accidents and ways to help prevent them.
Overall, repair costs are on the rise for medium-duty truck fleets.
“Body repair costs for medium-duty trucks increased about 4% from 2014 to 2015. Aftermarket parts aren’t as price competitive as in the past, which is driving accident management costs up for medium-duty truck fleets,” said Allison Lanzilotta, Executive Vice President for Fleet Response. [...]
Fleet managers are often early adopters of new and advanced technologies, especially in the safety arena related to helping reduce a driver’s mistakes.
“Almost all collisions are linked to a driver’s mistake. We see fleets trying to tackle this challenge with a combination of technology and enhanced driver training. We find more companies moving away from stand-alone technology and one-time or as-needed driver training, and instead looking to integrated technology solutions with ongoing driver coaching to elevate their safety culture and better prevent collisions,” said Del Lisk, VP, Safety Services for Lytx.
According to Backman of Mobileye, fleet managers will see more of an impact on their bottom line if they proactively work to prevent or mitigate accidents rather than implementing fixes to address a tragic aftermath — and collision avoidance technologies can do just that.
“New technology to help prevent accidents can have a big impact on accident management costs for medium-duty trucks. If a fleet is serious about safety and better managing their accident costs, what better way than to possibly help prevent an accident from happening in the first place?” said Backman.
Collision avoidance technology is an extra set of eyes on the road that helps drivers know when their vehicle is collision-bound.
“Not only can the technology help prevent and reduce collision rates, but it also encourages better driving practices by delivering real-time feedback to drivers. Even if you’re a good driver, driving conditions can be unpredictable, and by having a safety net system that actively delivers warnings — such as forward collision and tailgate monitoring — good drivers are able to react even better to unpredictable situations,” Backman said. [...]
Looking to the future of accident management, all of the subject-matter experts agreed that overall repair costs are likely to continue to rise, so the reduction of incidents through innovation and education is key to reducing future expenditures.
“Accident repair costs are likely to rise at a faster rate over the next decade or so for several reasons. First, in the effort to raise fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, work trucks will contain more parts made of lightweight materials that are more difficult and costly to repair. Second, they will contain more sophisticated electronics, including computers and onboard crash prevention technology. Crash prevention systems will help reduce the number and severity of some kinds of accidents, but when they’re damaged they will add another repair expense,” said John Wolford, director of client and vendor services for The CEI Group.
The use of technology and telematics will help reduce this impact. [...]
Backman of Mobileye seconded the place technology has in the future of accident management.
“The future of accident management costs and similar programs are going to heavily center around technology, especially as collision avoidance systems continue to get more sophisticated over the next few years,” Backman said. “It’s also important that, as fleet managers implement new safety solutions, drivers are educated about the benefits of such solutions. Drivers need to know how these solutions can keep them safe and possibly even save their lives. There are so many regulations mandated on drivers that can be a challenge, however, proper training and ongoing communications regarding implementation can be extremely beneficial for all.”
In the future, as is the objective today, total crash prevention is the utmost goal.
“The focus will continue to shift from simply dealing with the aftermath of a collision to more preventative measures. This includes ramping up traditional efforts like training, but also a continued move toward adoption of safety technologies for the vehicle such as roll stability and automatic braking as well as systems focused on improving driver skills such as in-cab video. Safety programs focusing on improving safe driving skills will substantially help prevent collisions,” said Lisk of Lytx.
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Fletcher, Lauren. "Advancing Safety In Medium-Duty Truck Fleets - Article - Work Truck". Worktruckonline.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 July 2016.