Accidents happen on European roads every day, which unfortunately also means that there are victims. Just under a quarter of fatal accidents involve trucks or vans, according to figures from official authorities investigating road safety (1). This can often be blamed on the other road users, but in about 3 out of 10 cases the cause lies with the transporting party. Driver fatigue or using their smartphone while driving is often cited as the cause, but technical calamities such as a blowout also play a role of course.
Smartphone Speed Cameras
Any victim is one too many, so the European Commission sets the bar extremely high when it comes to road safety. Zero deaths and zero serious injuries, that's the goal for 2050! (Vision Zero - 2). A utopian goal perhaps, but one that is worth pursuing. And the transport sector is also taking the necessary measures to achieve this, such as the well-known driving and rest times act and the stricter technological safety requirements (3) that trucks must meet.
These can be passive safety features such as seat belts, airbags and general vehicle crashworthiness, as well as active safety features such as ABS (Anti-Lock System), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), Advanced Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assistance. Also think of the Lane Departure Warning System that makes alarm bells go off if the truck suddenly swerves and ends up in the other lane. But enforcement is also becoming smarter and more sophisticated, such as 'smartphone speed cameras' that check whether truck drivers are using their mobile phones.
At every self-respecting transport company, safety is a subject that is constantly under scrutiny. Safety first! Getting involved in accidents is the last thing you want; not just because of personal injuries, but also because you don't want to incur repair costs, fines or expensive court cases to prove your innocence. However, you may be able to do more than the precautions you are already taking, partly because we now have another new technology available. At Trimble, we have developed a number of advanced solutions that allow you to take a number of significant steps forward in terms of security. We have listed them here.
With the use of our new generation of on-board computers and telematics solutions, you can stay in control of your transport fleet and drivers no longer need to call or use an app to report their status. By registering and analysing FMS data about speed and braking behavior, you can nip potentially unsafe driving behavior of individual drivers in the bud and therefore prevent accidents later on. With the Trimble Performance Portal you have all relevant KPIs in one place and you can coach (young) drivers in a targeted way to improve their driving style. Keep in mind that drivers who drive safer also drive more economically, so you will also be saving money in terms of lower fuel consumption.
One of the latest trends in making transport safer is the so-called Onboard Event Recording, where trucks are equipped with smart cameras that record images of incidents and near incidents. With the new Video Intelligence solution that Trimble has developed for this purpose, transport companies can provide their drivers with visual evidence of the unsafe behavior and coach them towards safer driving. The images can also serve as objective evidence in legal proceedings or possible damage claims. In the event of an accident, no matter how convinced you are of your innocence, if the other party claims otherwise it can get you in quite a bit of trouble and really damage your reputation.
Lower Insurance Premiums
As a transport company, safety is and will always be a top priority that should be at the top of your management agenda. With Trimble's solutions for telematics, driving style coaching and video intelligence, you can make significant improvements and handle your social responsibility. The fact that you will be saving on fuel costs, prevent damage claims and lower your insurance premiums is a nice by-product that will further enhance your company's prosperity.
Driving road safety innovation. IRU Report 2020 and SWOV