Tackling the Safety Perception

Truck drivers are professional drivers, they live their lives on the road and all the hazards that come with it. Trucks however are not the only users of roads, they share the asphalt with passenger traffic, whose drivers are often not professional drivers. Yet, despite the professional nature of their business, truck drivers often are perceived as a danger and unsafe by passenger traffic.

This perception is very evident in a recent New Mexico court case deriving from a 2010 fatal car-truck accident. In this case, the jury awarded the family of the killed passenger motorist the largest damages ever in a truck accident verdict to the tune of $58.5 million. While the size and scale of this award is extremely significant, the part that was most alarming to me when I read a recent article regarding the case in Transport Topics was the comment from the jury foreman. The foreman stated, "Our hope is that our judgment will clearly communicate that we expect a much higher standard of safety from the trucking industry."

This statement was incredibly shocking to me as SpeedGauge is focused on the safety of the trucking industry, and we're not alone. A number of companies are focused on the safety of truck drivers and others on the road, the federal government developed the Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program to track fleet safety, truck drivers are the only drivers who are banned from any cell phone use - including hands-free - nationwide or limited to the number of hours they can drive in a given period of time. These areas are just the tip of the iceberg that is safety efforts among the trucking industry, and it is important that we, as an industry, work to counter these perceptions trucking safety held by the passenger driving community.

Trucking companies must do more to communicate the work they are doing to improve safety on the roads. No longer can the industry hide safety technology in the shadows out of fear it may eventually be used against us. Fleets must to do more to communicate the safety efforts they employ with the communities they operate in, and ensure their drivers are being good stewards and ambassadors of their safety programs. If your fleet does not have a current safety program, now is the time to develop one and ensure drivers are following safe driving principles.

Get involved in your community, and don't be afraid to boast about the safety program your fleet uses to keep your drivers, and other drivers on the road, safe. Share with us on Twitter how your fleet stays safe and shares that commitment to good road stewardship with other drivers.

This entry was posted on May 7th, 2013 by jhubbard and is filed under Recent News & Updates.