Commercial drivers are at risk of having an accident every time they are out on the road and fail to adhere to safe driving principles. Fortunately, technology has advanced how we do business in every field and the automotive sector is no exception. The new tools technology has made available to monitor vehicles enable fleet managers to be aware of how their drivers are performing, even more accurately than if they were a passenger in the vehicle. This empowers them to take steps such as training or discipline to decrease accidents in the industry. We discuss the latest innovations for commercial driver safety.           

Vehicle tracking systems are invaluable to the fleet manager in route planning, time management, and logistics. They provide accurate data on routes and times taken for each leg of a journey or delivery and inform the fleet manager of stops.

There are two fundamental means by which this information is helpful in terms of safety. Firstly, when drivers are on the road for long stretches, they are more likely to become exhausted and less alert. Fleet managers can select shorter routes that will ensure that drivers complete their allocated work for the day before visibility is compromised at twilight.

Secondly, the system links to traffic reports and can be utilized to bypass congestion, incidents, and road conditions that delay traffic and make drivers more susceptible to accidents.

Feedback Systems

A feedback system gives the driver alerts about how they are driving. It will inform them if they are going over the speed limit, braking suddenly, and accelerating severely. Speeding remains the biggest factor in road accidents, but the other aspects are also dangerous. The message could be a visual or audio prompt. The feedback system has been demonstrated to improve driver behavior.

The fleet manager also receives a breakdown of unsafe driver actions. This may identify that one driver only broke the speed limit once while this is habitual behavior for another. The former employee can be reminded verbally to watch his driving speed and adhere to the rules of the road, whereas the latter person needs coaching and training at the Center for Transportation Safety, for example. If there is no improvement, disciplinary action may have to be taken or the employee dismissed.

Augmented Reality Windshield

Augmented Reality (AR) is an example of technology that can be used in real-time to provide commercial drivers with information. Because the data appears on the windshield, the driver does not ever have to look down at the dashboard to keep track of useful information. Keeping eyes on the road enhances safety.

These images are created by a computer and programmed to be visible on the windshield along with the normal view of reality. The type of information displayed is cruise control, driver speed, and how much fuel is in the tank. It could conceivably be set to provide route information and even a map.

Safety first is no longer the sole domain of commercial drivers. Using the latest technological systems, fleet managers can play an active role in keeping their drivers and other road users safe.

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