Whether small or large, prioritizing road safety has always been crucial in fleet management. In the past, reactive responses to accidents and other safety-related incidents were the norm. However, increasing costs for road accidents and the financial burden they place on companies, combined with the sobering statistic that commercial drivers average 4.5 road incidents per year (33% at fault), is driving a shift in how companies improve safety on the road and in the cab. More and more companies are adopting a proactive mindset that leverages leading technology to correct potentially dangerous activities in the moment, and coaching programs that lead drivers to safer vehicle operation.
The Financial Toll of Reactive Safety
Whether local, regional, or national, the cost to deliver services over the road is increasing, which continues to cut deeper into operating margins. For example, fleet insurance now comprises 12% of ownership costs for fleets. Bodily injury claims are increasing at a rate of 30% per year. The average cost to repair damaged vehicles has risen by 33% over the last four years.
But these rising costs can be the tip of the iceberg. When an accident happens, the financial impact can be even greater. An accident with non-fatal injuries costs employers an average of $128,000, while an accident resulting in death costs nearly 30 times as much - $3.8 million. And for businesses in the land transportation and heavy construction industries, the burden increases.
In addition, road incidents where a company driver is at fault can also damage the company's brand, reputation, customer relationships, and impact future sales.
Reactive Driver Safety
The phrase 'waiting for an accident to happen' couldn't be more appropriate in the current environment. If the statistics above aren't sobering enough, more than 25% of road accidents involve someone who is driving for work. There is simply more going on in the cab to distract drivers from the road and from practicing safe driving habits. More and more companies are learning after the fact in an accident or insurance investigation that their driver was not operating the vehicle safely -- such as not wearing a seatbelt, talking or texting on their phone, eating, smoking, or any similar distracting behavior -- is far more costly than putting a proactive driver safety program in place.
AI & Coaching: Adopting A Proactive Safety Program
Fortunately, new technology and strategies are emerging that help companies get out in front of driver and vehicle safety -- with AI-powered tools, such as the new linxCam from Linxup, and ongoing driver coaching programs. These proactive programs are designed to improve both short-and long-term road safety through addressing unsafe driving activities in the moment and helping drivers adopt behaviors that avoid preventable (and potentially disastrous) road incidents in the future.
AI-powered Cameras and Coaching
AI-powered dash cameras like linxCam can be configured with real time detection of unsafe driving habits, such as tailgating and driver cell phone use. linxCam's advanced features, for example, include real time detection and alerts for unsafe driving behaviors like tailgating, cell phone talking/texting, not wearing a seat belt, and camera tampering to avoid detection. The alerts are provided in-cab via audio, and simultaneously to designated recipients within the tracking software/mobile app.
Companies also utilize the incident recordings of these 'smart' cameras to develop or augment driver safety coaching sessions. These sessions, which can be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or ad hoc depending on the severity of the issue, allow driver and manager/coach to identify what's going right on trips and what's putting driver and vehicle safety at risk.
Increasing the Odds through Proactive Safety
The costly impact of reactive management to road safety underscores the urgency for a proactive approach fleet safety, regardless if companies have 1 or 1,000 vehicles. Safety solutions that utilize the new linxCam with AI from Linxup, are equipped with key proactive tools for decreasing risk and helping to eliminate the financial toll that results from a reactive approach. Visit here for more information about linxCam with AI.