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New numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide a stark reminder of the need to focus on fleet safety. The number of truckers who died in accidents increased by 1% in 2018, reaching the highest level in more than 30 years.
In all, 885 truckers died on the nation’s roads in 2018, according to the NHTSA. That’s the highest total since 911 died in 1988.
Fleet safety is the highest priority in telematics, where vehicle optimization technology offers a chance to mitigate the risk associated with driving a commercial truck. Randy Read, CEO of EnVue Telematics, said the NHTSA numbers offer a sad reminder of why advanced technology is so important in fleet management.
“Our highways and byways have never been busier….or more dangerous. Traffic congestion is an issue in every city in the country and exposure to risk on the roadways have never been higher,” said Read.
EnVue Telematics offers a wide variety of vehicle safety systems that can help fleet managers better manage risk and improve fleet safety.
In addition to the increase in trucker deaths, the NHTSA also reported increases in the number of pedestrian deaths (6,283) and bicyclists (857). Overall, the number of traffic accident-related deaths fell by 2.4%, to 36,560 people.
However, 4,678 people died in collisions with large trucks in 2018. That’s an increase of 1% from 2017. Also, the number of pedestrians killed in accidents involving large trucks increased by 13%.
The American Truckers Association said that the federal government needs to do a more detailed study of large truck-related death, because many of the accidents are caused by the drivers of other vehicles, according to Trucks.com.
Clearly, though, the numbers show a need for fleet managers to focus on fleet safety.
How Telematics Solutions Can Help
Many of the systems offered by EnVue Telematics directly address some of the issues that lead to fatal accidents involving large trucks.
For example, Pulse offers a rear-end collision avoidance system that is installed into the wiring system of the third brake light. Studies have shown that a pulsating third light alerts 69% of drivers, allowing them the chance to react faster and avoid a rear-end collision. It’s a simple, effective solution.
Also, business intelligence tools can help reduce the risk of traffic accidents involving fleet trucks. They offer a chance to optimize routes and record driver information that can be used to provide feedback to the drivers and help them operate more safely, improving overall fleet safety. “EnVue Telematics has focused our service delivery to help our clients enhance their risk management oversight capabilities, putting programs in place to identify and remediate aggressive driving behaviors,” said Read. He added EnVue Telematics provides tools “to help ensure drivers return home safely at the end of the day.”