Technology is a wonderful thing and it is saving thousands of lives every single day. With the advent of GPS, real-time traffic mapping, rearview cameras, sensors, auto-braking systems, lane departure warning, and readily available driver data have helped us reduce the risk of road accidents that in the past would have been unavoidable.
While not every company embraces the technology available in the market, some of the bigger organizations such as Walmart and Waste Management are using technology such as dash cams to help increase driver safety and avoid 18-wheeler accidents. There are over three and a half million truck drivers in America, according to the American Trucking Association. Those truckers carry over three-fourth of all of the freight our nation uses annually. The trucking industry truly is the lifeline of America. But with this demand also comes the cost. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that around 15 percent of the workers killed on the job every year are truck drivers.
Using Technology to Reduce Costs
Companies are testing technologies to reduce costs of insurance coverage, out-of-pocket litigation expenses, and other such things. Cabin cameras or dashboard cams are being installed at the big rigs which provide invaluable information to a company that helps them in keeping their drivers honest. More significantly, these cams provide great help in determining the cause of a crash after it happens.
Too many truck drivers are fearful of their jobs and may not be totally honest with the company about how an accident occurred. The old saying that “a picture is worth 1000 words” applies in cases where the accident video is recorded in the cab cam of the truck.
Many companies are also using electronic systems that let them view electronic logs such as trip reports and learn how many hours the driver has driven in the last day and week. Larger trucking companies have fully realized that technology not only helps improve compliance with safety regulations it also drastically cuts the costs when fully implemented.
Tech Incorporation By Truck Manufacturers
Manufacturers have also introduced such things as sensors that can detect things from low tires to lane departure warnings that are helping in reducing road accidents. Rear sensors and rear cameras have also come as a great blessing as these are preventing hundreds of backing accidents every day. Of course, these technological options are not inexpensive on the face of it. But, trucking companies are learning that happening of a preventable accident many them more over time. The connectivity market for commercial trucks is estimated to be around 3.5 billion dollars.
Larger Truck Companies Are Leading in Tech Use
The bigger trucking companies are the first ones to embrace technological advances to prevent accidents. Companies are facing driver shortages, and inexperienced drivers are much more likely to cause an accident than the experienced ones. Using technology to monitor driver safety and ensure compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) just makes good business sense.