COVID-19 Delivers an Important Message About Trucking Safety
During these extreme times, the trucking industry rolls on, and we’re all thankful for it. Many people have become more aware of the importance of our dedicated, professional truck drivers and the sacrifices they make to keep our nation’s goods moving.
It’s one of the few bright spots amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which has offered many important lessons, including an unexpected but important reminder about trucking safety.
Roadways are much less congested right now, which allows our truck drivers to keep a safe distance from other vehicles. In fact, the American Transportation Research Institute recently reported that afternoon and morning rush hour truck speeds have more than doubled along some of the nation’s most infamously congested stretches of highway.
Fewer accidents are occurring as a result, as the trucking industry is experiencing its own version of social distancing on the roads. For example, one of our customers, which is one of the nation’s largest waste management companies, has seen a 37% decrease in vehicle-related incidents compared to the previous two months, all due to reduced traffic and congestion.
This is a good reminder of the importance of practicing safe space cushioning between trucks and vehicles.
Carriers should reinforce this safety practice because the current reduction in vehicle traffic makes it easier to maintain safe space cushioning, and it will be as important as ever once our highways and local roadways are back to “normal.” It may be the difference between a preventable and non-preventable accident, and a lot is at stake.
In addition to the cost in lives and personal impact on employees, vehicle accidents cost companies an estimated $60 billion per year in medical expenses, leave, property damage and other liabilities. The key to avoiding these costs is prevention, which starts with best practices and proper accident analysis.
The foundation of commercial motor vehicle accident analysis is the determination of preventability. Each accident must be judged individually to analyze all available facts and use established industry guidelines to determine preventability, modify behavior, and increase the driver’s understanding of how to prevent future accidents.
At Safety Management Systems, we work with leading truck and vehicle fleets every day to determine accident preventability and implement continuous driver safety improvements. We do it through a combination of software and services called Fleet360.
This allows us to:
Investigate your accident data
Determine preventability based on FMCSA recommendations
Recommend accident-specific countermeasures for improved driver safety and education.
We’re able to do all of this by accessing your current safety system for seamless transparent management. And our safety professionals can do it all remotely, working from home while supporting your safety efforts through this challenging period and beyond.
If that would be helpful to you and your business, please feel free to reach out to our team in this time of need.
We are in this together.