The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, often referred to simply as the Trucking Alliance, recently announced new safety requirements for its members.
Any organization that is seeking membership with the alliance must adopt four new safety technologies in their fleets. These technologies are designed to assist drivers and compensate for human error, and aim to reduce the amount of accidents involving large commercial vehicles.
According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report titled “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains,” four safety technologies offer large benefits for commercial operators. While these aren’t the only technologies carriers are using to reduce accident rates and potential liability, they’re proving to be some of the most effective.
The report was designed to examine the costs of installing these devices in comparison to the benefits they could provide. Many carriers are uneasy about adopting new techs due to concerns of costs, but AAA’s report notes that these four could be well worth the investment.
The first safety technology mentioned in the report is the lane departure warning system. Designed to detect when drivers drift out of their lane and alert them, this tech is extremely valuable for preventing accidents. It’s found its way into personal and commercial vehicles alike over the past several years.
The next tech is video-based onboard safety monitoring. This tech utilizes cameras and sensors to give drivers more information about their surroundings, helping them make better decisions and avoid hazards they may have otherwise never seen. The improved technology in modern cameras and sensors is also being experimented with in self-driving trucks.
Another technology mentioned in the report is automatic emergency braking, which can automatically engage brakes in the event of an impending crash if the driver fails to brake manually. This is another tech that is popular in both commercial and personal vehicles.
The final technology is an improvement over an old classic in trucking. Air disc brakes are becoming a preferred alternative to traditional drum brakes, which have been popular in tractors for decades.
The Trucking Alliance has such faith in these technologies that they now require all members to adopt them. Many of the biggest carriers in the industry are members, including Swift Transportation, J.B. Hunt Transport, Knight Transportation, US Xpress, KLLM Transport Services, and more.
Steve Williams, the president of the Trucking Alliance and Chairman/CEO of Maverick Transportation spoke about the safety technologies, saying: “These technologies can make the highways safer for our drivers and the public and that’s why the Trucking Alliance carriers are installing them on new trucks. The AAA Foundation report shows how these automated technologies can help commercial drivers and motorists avoid accidents and return home safely to their families.”
The data-driven reporting behind the techs was clearly a deciding factor. The report states that improved braking systems could prevent nearly 8,000 accidents and 100 fatalities if implemented. Additionally, they noted that onboard monitoring and lane-departure systems could prevent nearly 70,000 additional accidents and potentially save hundreds of lives.