How Technology and Coaching Can Improve Truck Driver Safety

Improving Truck Driver Safety With Technology and Coaching

At Swenson & Shelley, we know how tractor-trailer collisions can turn lives upside down. Our skilled truck accident lawyers have seen the devastating toll a wreck can take when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to make decisions to keep the public safe. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a Utah semi-truck accident, contact us today for a free consultation.

Strict federal regulations govern the trucking industry. Drivers must receive specialized training and licensure to operate a commercial truck. At the same time, truck companies must hire responsible drivers and track their safety records.

Now, innovations in technology and coaching make it easier to oversee truck driver behavior. A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) study indicates that monitoring truck drivers using in-vehicle technology and coaching those who exhibit unsafe behaviors can significantly reduce the number of repeat offenses. Keep reading to learn more.

Transportation Monitoring and Safety Technologies

As part of the study, VTTI researchers acknowledged that implementing vehicle monitoring technologies and advanced safety features can be expensive. Still, they offer a high return on investment (ROI) for truck companies.

To determine the potential ROI, Virginia Tech developed a “safety ROI calculator” for fleet and risk managers. The calculator provides the following estimated costs and ROI for certain common types of vehicle monitoring and safety technologies:

  • Automatic emergency brakes cost an average of $2,500 per vehicle and can prevent 16 to 28 percent of truck-caused rear-end collisions.
  • Lane departure alert systems cost around $1,000 per vehicle and can prevent 30 to 48 percent of sideswipe, road departure, and head-on truck collisions.
  • In-vehicle video monitoring systems cost an average of $525 (plus $40 per month for monitoring and coaching), but prevent anywhere from 20 to 52 percent of truck accidents involving driver error.

Clearly, in-vehicle technologies have the potential to save lives. As a counterpoint to these costs, consider the average financial and societal costs of the following types of truck accidents:

  • Average cost of a property damage-only truck accident – $43,124
  • Average cost of an injury truck accident – $217,657
  • Average cost of a fatal truck accident – $4,340,160

If you’ve been hurt in a truck crash, you don’t have to bear these financial burdens alone. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your losses.

How Coaching and Technology Improve Truck Driver Safety

To obtain reliable data on the effects of coaching and technology on truck driver safety, VTTI researchers secretly installed monitoring devices in the vehicles of truck drivers in the oil and gas industry. After collecting preliminary data, the in-vehicle monitoring systems were revealed, and drivers received coaching to avoid speeding, making sharp turns, and braking abruptly.

After coaching, driver behavior changed significantly. Consider these findings:

  • Speeding decreased by 60 percent, from an average range of 3.6 to 8.7 speeding events per hour to a range of 1.49 to 3.61 events per hour.
  • Aggressive driving decreased by 50 percent, from an average range of 0.89 to 1.18 events per hour to a range of 0.41 to 0.59 events per hour.

One Virginia Tech researcher noted that coaching is an essential component of any monitoring system, as the technologies themselves do nothing to hold drivers accountable. Put another way, truck companies must be vigilant about monitoring their employees’ driving records and intervening when violations occur. If they fail in their responsibility and a crash occurs, they can and should be held accountable for their negligence.

Hurt in a Truck Crash? Call an Experienced Utah Truck Accident Attorney

If you suffered injuries in a Utah truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you need top legal representation to demand justice and pursue compensation for your injuries. The proven truck accident attorneys at Swenson & Shelley can help. Call or contact us today for a free case review.

Kevin Swenson

Kevin Swenson was raised in Bountiful, Utah, and is a co-founding partner of Swenson & Shelley. After graduating from Bountiful High School, Kevin attended business school at Westminster College.