According to industry data, fleet accident rates are on the rise. Fortunately, new smart truck technologies can reverse this trend. Smart truck systems are designed to ensure easy control and real-time communications and information transfer between drivers, vehicles and the back-office. According to Mattei Insurance Services Inc., there are three vehicle maneuvers and driver actions that tend to lead to accidents most frequently.
1. Backing up
Backing maneuvers are potentially dangerous for employees, pedestrians, surrounding goods and the trucks themselves. New smart trucks now come with the ability to capture snapshots, video snippets and continuous recording from up to eight truck mounted cameras. These provide complete visibility to both drivers and back-office personnel for optimal safety. In addition, comprehensive alarm monitoring and event recording capabilities provide alerts to head off potential issues. More advanced onboard computing systems can include lane departure detection warnings, frontal collision avoidance systems and pedestrian detection systems.
2. Keeping an unsafe following distance
The Mattei study found that rear-end accidents are consistently among most expensive of accidents. Smart trucks can now include Safety Dashboards that provide live video feed and picture views into your fleet, driver and collection services activity. Managers benefit from an intuitive back-office view into what’s going on for each route, truck and driver. These dashboards let you track individual incidents, alarms, driver scoring, and video streaming and playback. This provides the insights managers need to monitor and coach drivers on safer driving techniques.
3. Driver distractions
On a typical day, a waste collection driver has the potential to be distracted in hundreds of ways. Drivers can have too much to think about, too many buttons to press, too many calls to answer or make, and too many reports to submit. Eliminating or seriously reducing the risk of distraction is of utmost importance. Virtually all of this can be easily eliminated or radically reduced by deploying the right onboard computing system.
New smart truck technologies can vastly improve the driver experience and reduce the risk of distraction. Advanced touchscreen displays make bilateral communications between drivers and dispatch (the back office) easy and intuitive. These smart displays typically provide a single point of interface for the driver, truck, back office and all communications. No more cell phones or other mobile devices. A touchscreen display allows for real-time video and audio functionality, and flexible interfaces ensure easy interaction with the control system.
Additionally, today’s automatic driver direction tools provide directions to a driver’s designated next stop and can also automatically re-calculate routes when a driver deviates from the route or makes an out-of-sequence manual stop. This allows the driver to focus on driving.