Safety measures in the trucking industry mean more than common sense. With a definitive return on investment, they make business sense too. Preventing an accident saves on repair costs, insurance premium increases, legal bills, and a full ledger of other expenses.
Technology is changing the trucking scene—and what it’s like to safely navigate the working life on the road—in both big and small ways. Let’s examine a few new developments up close, and then calculate how they could save you.
Telematics—integrating telecommunications with information and communications technology—is dubbed the fastest growing technology in the industry, with an explosion of apps now available. Right now the so-called “connectivity market” is worth $3.5 billion annually, monitoring everything from maintenance to mileage to warranty management.
Additionally, telematics are now being utilized effectively from a safety standpoint. Cloud based systems like the Telogis Coach application have transformed the ‘big brother’ mentality of driver monitoring by gamifying an operator’s driving habits. The result: operator engagement in becoming a safer driver and dramatic increases in fleet safety.
Telematics will eventually reshape the trucking industry by redeploying vehicles and tightening operations for better efficiencies. Telematics means business, and savings, with benefits like fuel economy, less vehicle downtime, higher productivity, and someday, maybe even trucks that drive themselves, whether they be semi- or fully autonomous.
Beyond fuel savings, the return on investment in telematics isn’t quite as straightforward. It takes time and tracking to really chart the results, but the possibilities, and the business benefits, seem endless.
According to Derek Kaufman, managing partner of Schwartz Advisors and president of C3 Network, LLC, there are eight major safety technologies now hitting the trucking industry: antilock braking systems, stability control, lane departure warning, collision avoidance systems, blind spot warning devices, interior cameras, rear view cameras, and side monitor cameras and sensors.
By investing in this safety technology, the high cost of accidents can be avoided. How much? According to Kaufman, property damage payouts average $100,000 to $200,000. An injury accident can cost up to $450,000. And recovering from a fatality can cost fleets $1 million or more.
Collision mitigation solutions, like what we at Preco Electronics offer, can result in up to a 75 percent reduction in fatalities and injuries alone. That number is expected to grow even more with the next generation of solutions.
To sum it all up, safety is not just a cost. And it’s not only a way to protect people, property, and places. It’s a legitimate business investment.
But the toughest route in all this technology buzz? With access to so much data, how do we turn it into useful information? Share your experience and perspective on technology in the trucking industry in the comment section below.