Safer roads are good for all of us, and implementing the latest technology for your fleet can save lives, time and money
Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured in road traffic accidents. Shockingly, according to the US Department of Transportation, 94% of accidents could be attributed to driver error; a statistic that is repeated closely worldwide.
It’s clear that every company has a responsibility to ensure that its fleet and its drivers don’t add to the statistics. As well as meeting the goal of reducing deaths and injuries, fewer accidents on our roads help keep traffic flowing, keep vehicles on the road, and give businesses the ability to keep serving their customers in a timely fashion.
Ultimately, technology is the key to making fleets safer.
With modern vehicles and autonomous systems – such as automatic braking – we can see how technology is already making a difference. For older fleet vehicles, however, or newer models where autonomous systems aren’t available or are prohibitively expensive, retrofitting safety equipment is the next best option.
It’s simpler than you might think. Here are some of the safety systems you should consider…
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33.4% of accidents were caused by a rear-end collision, where one vehicle crashed into the back of another. With this type of accident, time is of the essence. Drivers that can react quickly enough can often avoid a collision entirely.
Forward collision detection systems use cameras to monitor the road ahead, providing an audible and visual warning of impending crashes. Crucially, these systems trigger a few seconds quicker than the human brain, giving the driver extra time to brake or take (safe) evasive action. Ideally, forward collision detection systems should be able to spot motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, in addition to other vehicles, giving safety warnings for all.
Rear-end collision detection systems, meanwhile, monitor the road behind, warning drivers if they’re at risk of being rear-ended. The installation of such a system allows the driver to take the appropriate defensive action, such as moving lane, thereby reducing the threat.
Blind Spot Detection
Blind spots are a big issue for all drivers, but particularly for those in charge of larger vehicles. Not having a clear view of a vehicle’s blind spot can lead to cyclists or motorcyclists being injured during a turn, or increase the risk of a traffic accident when changing lanes.
With blind spot detection, drivers receive warnings when there are other road users that can’t be seen in a vehicle’s mirrors. This makes all maneuvering far safer, as drivers have a better overview of their surroundings, allowing them to safely judge when they can move and when they can’t.
Lane Departure Warnings
Drifting across lanes is easy enough to do, particularly on a long journey, and a swerving vehicle can represent a serious risk to other road users. With lane departure warning systems, drivers receive alerts if they start to drift out of their lane, allowing them to correct the error quickly before it causes an accident.
Speed Limit Detection
It’s often easy to miss a change in speed limit and vehicles moving faster than the regulated speed can be deadly. First, speed kills: a pedestrian is four times more likely to be killed when hit by a vehicle travelling at 40mph than at 30mph. Secondly, speed limits are designed to suit the terrain, so driving faster can make conditions more treacherous.
However, with a speed limit detection system automatically reading road signs, drivers can receive immediate warnings when they’re exceeding the speed limit, so that they can slow down.
A 360-Degree View
Maneuvering in tight urban spaces is difficult (particularly in a larger vehicle), with drivers liable to hit stationary objects or even passing pedestrians. The installation of a 360-degree camera system eliminates all blind spots, letting drivers spot hazards and prevent collisions. There’s the added benefit that drivers can more precisely maneuver larger vehicles too, making journeys and deliveries safer and faster.
Be Safe. Be Aware. Be Mobile360
These driver assistance tools have been developed to give extra information to drivers and to help them correct both their own errors and those of other road users. It’s just the start, however. Training must go hand-in-hand with new technology to ensure that drivers know how to deal with common road situations and can spot the potential for trouble.
With a system, such as the VIA Mobile360 suite, drivers can enjoy better visibility and automatic warnings, letting them take the right defensive action to protect themselves and other road users. Find out more about the VIA Mobile360 solutions here.
Main image copyright: Shutterstock/chombosan