Technology can be a wonderful thing, especially when applied to heavy-duty vehicle safety. At first, the process of determining which products will be beneficial can be overwhelming, but after doing some research and finally taking the plunge you will realize how much safer your fleet and work site can be.
Blind spot monitoring systems are one of the most beneficial technologies for improving safety in a fleet - saving lives and reducing both injuries and property damage accidents. The drivers, your first line of defense against any accident, require technology that far surpasses your standard mirrors / parking aids. Industrial grade sensor systems meet that demand.
When selecting a proximity detection system it is important to understand the kind of sensors being used, what their detection capabilities are, and what environments they work best in. The key to making a blind spot detection system work for your team is to ensure that it consistently warns the operator when something enters their blind zone, regardless of the work site and weather conditions. False alerts can create operator frustration and lead them to believe all alerts are possibly false-positive, potentially leading to a life threatening accident.
The chart below breaks down the detection capabilities of radar sensor classifications for large vehicle fleets.
On the surface, Pulsed and FMCW (Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave) radar appear to be relatively the same in terms of detection capabilities. While it is true, they share common capabilities, there are three important differences between the two. FMCW radar is capable of providing higher resolution data about objects detected and also offers a superior range capabilities due to how it uses the RF bandwidth. Finally, FMCW radar offers angle of object information while Pulsed radar does not.
Once a sensor type is determined to best meet your needs, the advanced safety features then need to be taken into consideration. These features include everything from the robustness of the connection cables, to the in-cab display options and integration capabilities. Again, it is important to do your homework to determine which features will best serve your operations, your drivers, and anyone else who may come in contact with the vehicle. The right system will not only help improve your operators’ situational awareness, it will also save you time, money, and lives in the long run.
Overall, an active safety system is key to enhancing driver engagement. This will not only reduce your number of accidents but also prevent near misses. The best way to prevent these accidents from happening is to have a plan. Proactively installing a blind spot monitoring system before an incident has the opportunity to occur is much more cost effective than being reactive after a struck-by accident has taken place. Preparation really is everything.