Trucking accidents are among the deadliest – and most terrifying – accidents on our roadways. Semis are massive machines that weigh many, many times what the relatively small vehicles that we drive do. This size differential alone makes any accident involving a semi exceedingly dangerous. New research, however, suggests that there are things the trucking industry can do not only to increase their profits but also to improve traffic safety – a win/win for everyone involved.
Truck Accident Statistics
The statistics related to truck accidents reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are quite dire, and they include:
- There were more than 4,000 traffic fatalities involving big rigs in 2017.
- The vast majority of those killed were occupants of other vehicles.
- The 2017 fatality total is 30 percent higher than the fatality total for 2009 (when it was at an all-time low).
The National Safety Council shares that trucking companies that consistently implement management practices and advanced technologies that prioritize safety can not only increase their profits but can also help make our roadways safer for all who travel on them. Common factors have been identified that can help any trucking company protect its investments, its profits, and its drivers by decreasing the number and severity of truck accidents involving its fleet.
The study forwarded by the Council shares several important findings that include:
- Building a company culture that is based on safety improves safety outcomes.
- Adopting at least one advanced safety technology, such as an automatic emergency braking system, significantly improves safety outcomes.
- Proactive anti-crash measures are the most effective safety mechanisms. This means that trucking companies that organize themselves according to proven safety standards show better actual safety performance.
- Comprehensive safety adjustments that incorporate all of the changes noted are the only way to achieve improved safety performance across the board (implementing only one or two is far less effective).
All told, the study found that changing management practices to more fully embrace a culture of safety, implementing state-of-the-art safety technologies, improving manager and driver training, implementing more rigorous hiring guidelines, adhering to strict scheduling practices, and overseeing diligent maintenance protocols can all help fortify a company’s bottom line and improve safety.