Taming Risky Driving-Helps Fleets Avoid Nuclear Verdicts

Operating a fleet carries plenty of risk, including the possibility of a catastrophic legal outcome caused by risky driving for trucking and logistics businesses. Nuclear verdicts arrive when a jury awards a settlement of over $1 million. A “thermonuclear” verdict occurs when the judgment exceeds $10 million, according to the Insurance Journal.

In the world of trucking, grasping the nuances of safety and compliance is a critical step toward preventing accidents and avoiding the risk of these high-dollar judgments.

Nuclear verdicts are increasing exponentially, according to a 2020 study from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). From 2015 to 2019, there were 300 nuclear verdicts compared to the 26 between 2006 and 2010, the institute found.

By most metrics, a truck crash will bring an array of negative consequences to the business operating the fleet vehicle that was involved in the collision. These can include:

  • Employee driver injuries
  • Third-party injuries
  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Loss of productivity
  • Increased insurance costs
  • Legal fees
  • Multimillion dollar legal judgment

Companies need to shift their focus to preemptive measures rather than reacting after the incident. Forward-looking companies are taking proactive steps, implementing innovative practices, and harnessing cutting-edge telematics technology to improve safety standards. This safeguards their drivers and contributes to saving lives on the road.

Let’s look at six ways you can reduce risky driving and protect your company from nuclear verdicts:

  1. Place cameras in all company vehicles: Dash cams increase safety by providing greater awareness of risky driving, real-time coaching, and support for coaching workflows.
  2. Implement a holistic approach: Many companies surpass minimum safety standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by leveraging other technologies, such as a GPS vehicle tracking system that gives you precise location, vehicle health status, collision notification, and secure data capture. Boost vehicle health by staying compliant with preventive maintenance (PM) schedules and service notifications.
  3. Prioritize continued education and training: Top-tier drivers possess comprehensive knowledge of their routes; adeptly anticipate road conditions; and skillfully navigate to prevent accidents. Consistent training empowers fleets to introduce new technologies and cultivate best practices among drivers.
  4. Perform drug tests: Test employees that may operate vehicles, even those whose main job is not driving. Plaintiffs’ attorneys will hone in a company’s policies and procedures in this area!
  5. Avoid public safety slogans: Avoid making public claims about safety being a top priority, as this common slogan is a draw for plaintiffs attorneys. Company websites should be carefully scrubbed of these messages.
  6. Proactive fleet maintenance: Keep your vehicles safe and up to par with a systematic approach to PM intervals, service reminders, and repair scheduling. A comprehensive fleet management system can help you schedule maintenance and reminders, vehicle inspections, and recall notifications.

As you navigate the challenges of risk management in the trucking industry, consider adopting these strategies to reduce risky driving behaviors and strengthen your defenses against potential legal outcomes.

From leveraging advanced telematics solutions to fostering a culture of continuous education and training, every proactive step taken today can secure your company’s future tomorrow.

Reach out to EnVue Telematics today and let one of our fleet management experts provide a customized plan to help you reduce risky driving in your fleet using leading telematics solutions powered by Geotab.

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Taming Risky Driving-Helps Fleets Avoid Nuclear Verdicts

Taming Risky Driving Helps Fleets Avoid Nuclear Verdicts

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