Blind spots behind all moving vehicles and equipment can cause serious physical harm and financial damage. The problem will soon be addressed for passenger vehicles. In May 2018, a decade after the enabling legislation was passed, a law will go into effect requiring that all automotive vehicles be equipped with backup cameras and monitors. The Department of Transportation (DOT) law will apply to new vehicles under 10,000 pounds. It is not hard to imagine that these same requirements will soon be extended to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
Being in and around moving vehicles, regardless of their size, has inherent dangers built in. Today’s highways and city streets are more congested than ever, with a heavy mix of traffic interacting with bicycles and pedestrians.
Add in distracted driving—which has been on the rise—and you’ve got a recipe for potential disaster. Sadly, accidents and fatalities on highways involving trucks, and those in cities involving pedestrians and bicyclists colliding with trucks, have been on the rise.
Safety technology is a heavy hitter in the heavy equipment industry today. The ability to see into blind spots using radar technology—regardless of environmental conditions including dirt, mud, rain, snow or ice—is a tried and true industry breakthrough. PRECO Electronics takes safety one step further by combining our monitor systems with radar sensor alarm warnings. These beep-beep-beeps have helped save countless lives in the occupations and work zones serviced by heavy-duty fleets.
These heavy vehicles often contain large blind zones that present immense safety concerns. Integrating PRECO’s collision mitigation technology allows operators to do their job with greater confidence and peace of mind by providing active alerts, detecting what the operators cannot see. Safety truly takes a front seat next to trained operators to avoid preventable collisions, mitigate risk and save money.
Every piece of heavy-duty equipment is different. Designed for specific, and usually logistically complicated tasks, no one-size-fits-all safety package works for every equipment type. By accounting for all of the unique variables associated with a wide range of heavy equipment, object detection systems can fill in the gaps and blind spots in safety practices over a wide range of industries. By integrating radar with other active and passive technologies, the ultimate collision mitigation safety solution comes into focus.
How does it work? PRECO's Tom Loutzenheiser recently gave a forward-thinking explanation to that question in the Idaho Business Review:
“If you look at any of the autonomous vehicles, whether cars or mining trucks, they all have lots of different sensors. There’s this concept called sensor fusion, where you work together to make a smarter vehicle. The human analogy is you have a sense of touch, a sense of smell, eyesight and ears, they all contribute to you being a safe navigator of the world. There’s the same analogy in autonomy. There are multiple sensors coming into play.”
Keep your eyes on the prize. That’s easier said than done—especially when driving—even when that prize is your very life. Recent research indicates that some type of distraction is present during 52 percent of normal driving—and distracted driving can be nearly as dangerous as driving drunk.
In a new three-year, nation-wide, naturalistic driving study involving 3,500 participants, researchers report that the risk of having a crash involving injury or property damage doubles when distracted. In fact, 68 percent of crashes involved a distraction of some kind. And an estimated 36 percent of all motor vehicle crashes could be avoided if distractions were out of the picture.
By May 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will require rear visibility technology in all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and over the road trucks. This field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. Let’s take a look at what prompted this forward thinking change in safety regulation.
Once an accident has occurred, you can’t go back. The simple act of backing up a vehicle can turn tragic in a matter of seconds. But these common accidents can be avoided by utilizing a combination of safety technologies available today.
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.
PRECO Electronics is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with MEKRAtronics, a business division of MEKRA Lang GmbH & Co. KG. MEKRAtronics will offer and bundle PRECO’s patented PreView® Radar object detection solution as a complement to its suite of heavy-duty indirect vision solutions. Focused specifically on Europe’s heavy-duty vehicle industries, the combination of safety offerings provide customers with proven solutions that actively mitigate accidents, improve efficiencies and create safer work environments.
PRECO Electronics is excited to announce Kim Hodges, Fleet Manager at Montana-Dakota Utilities, is the recipient of our 2015 Safety in Motion Award. Mr. Hodges, a 20-year veteran of the Montana-Dakota Utilities, is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the utility's fleet that spans eight Northern and Pacific Northwest states.
PRECO’s Safety in Motion is an annual award that recognizes an individual who demonstrates the highest initiative, imagination and involvement within the safety industry.