Reduce truck-involved crashes and improve truck driver safety with: Consistency, Reporting, and Automation

 Did you know? According to FMCSA, speeding and distraction were the top human factors for fatal truck-involved crashes, respectively.

Did you know? According to FMCSA, speeding and distraction were the top human factors for fatal truck-involved crashes, respectively.

Poor truck maintenance and less discretion for truck driver safety are one of the many factors that cause major truck accidents.
Here are some stats around truck-involved accidents:

There was a 34% decrease in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses between 2005 and 2009, but an increase of 28% between 2009 and 2016. The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 6% from 2015 to 2016.

90% of all truck accidents are caused due to human error.

The most common human-error factors were speeding and distraction at 7% and 6% of fatal truck-involved crashes, respectively.

These accidents not only result in property damage and lost productivity, but also place a financial challenge for trucking companies and their reputation. In this article, we shall propose several measures which you can use to reduce, if not prevent, truck-involved crashes caused by your truck drivers.

Consistency in training

Accident data suggests that in most accidents - human error is the underlying cause. If we correct that, then we can prevent most of these accidents.

The solution? Training.

Design your training module to last beyond on-boarding. Especially safety-related training. Design it like a drip campaign that feeds truck drivers at regular intervals - and takes no more than a few seconds of their time everyday.

But creating a targeting safety drip campaign is key. By that, we mean your work would involve identifying the accident-prone drivers, understanding their Achilles heel, and then feeding them relevant tips and reminders.

Look at macro data as a starting point and create content on the following topics:

  • According to NHTSA report on Traffic Safety Facts 2016, about 2 percent of drivers in large trucks who were involved in fatal crashes had BAC ( Blood Alcohol Concentration) of only 0.08 g/dL or higher.

  • Discussions with the Ontario Provincial Police has resulted in a conclusion that the drivers tend to ignore posted ramp speed advisory signs mostly and fail to slow down on highway on/off ramps. This results in losing control and rolling over.

  • UMTRI (The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute) published a report on Michigan CMV involved crashes in 2008, which stated the most costly individual CMV driver hazardous actions as:

  1. Reckless Driving

  2. Driving left of center

  3. Disregard of traffic control

  4. Careless/Negligent behavior

  5. Speed too fast

  6. Unable to stop in assured distance (following too closely)

As a next step: you should look at bringing in consistency in training. A few things you should do:

  • Automating your content on safety on the engagement platform you use to connect with drivers. This ensures punctuality in terms of time, reduces man power, and makes delivery efficient. Noticeboard provides you with automated notices and personal reminders, which reduces a lot of efforts from your team.

  • Analyze their response to fine-tune your training strategy. Pay attention to the three most important factors that need mostly tweaking: form, format, publishing times

  • Track their behavior over a 15-day or 30-day time period to see if their propensity to crash has significantly reduced (the answer will be in the affirmative, according to our experience)

Reporting

The first step to honest reporting starts with fostering a genuine relationship with drivers.
One can do this by sharing company information with drivers, while making all departments accountable and approachable. This practice becomes easier if everyone are present on a common communication platform.

The second step is to actually get them to submit report accidents and incidents so that claims, and lawsuits don’t go out of hand in a future scenario. Two must-do reporting practices:

Accident Reporting:

After establishing a solid relationship with your staff, make it easy for them to file painful reports.

Provide a simple easy-to-use electronic form that does not need a learning curve. The faster they can convey the information, the better it is for your company.

To learn about how to make accident reporting effective, read Documenting and reporting accidents

Vehicle inspections:

Improper truck maintenance is one of the major causes of truck accidents, and severe crashes. Study shows that poor maintenance might lead to following issues with the trucks, which in turn cause accidents and crashes on the road :

  • Tire blowouts or shredding

  • Failure of Brakes

  • Broken taillights

  • Insufficient reflective material

  • Decreased blind spot visibility

  • Detachment of cargo hold from the truck

  • Spilling or expulsion of cargo onto the road

  • Loss of control due to steering equipment malfunction

To ensure that truck inspections are conducted and reported for regularly, Noticeboard offers customizable DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports) for truck and load pick-up, drop-off, fuel inspection, among others. It takes less than 30 seconds for drivers to file this information - be it to share images or location, strike off inspection checklists etc.

Automating systems

A research concluded that, the cost for safety systems purchased outruns the cost trucking firms pay for accidents. With numerous technological options available in the market today, it is only wise to opt for these safety tools. Following are the most effective safety systems that you could set-up in the trucks to prevent crashes:

  • Lane departure warning systems

  • Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems

  • Automatic emergency braking

  • Air disc brakes

Furthermore, training the drivers on the use of these systems is paramount. Do not make the mistake of training them only once. As mentioned before - conduct a drip-campaign that’s engaging, informative and relevant. At the end of the day - the driver and your management should know that you are doing all you can for the well being of both parties.

Do give us a feedback for how your results changed after you incorporated the above mentioned truck driver safety tips in your procedures, and we can make accident reporting more efficient.