Trucking improvements have been coming at a rapid rate in the past few years. With fuel efficiency and safety as headliners, the trucking industry adopted new policies, procedures and safety measures that deliver benefits to fleet managers, drivers and consumers.
Industry Concerns and Actions
As the globe embraces “green” initiatives, the trucking and freight industry has similar concerns and continues to adopt measures that reduce their carbon footprint. Some of the more important actions from the American Trucking Associations are initiatives to enact a national 65 mph speed limit, increasing fuel efficiency, supporting highway improvements that reduce congestion and helping establish national fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks.
Improvements in clean diesel technologies have improved truck and environmental performance over the past 20 years, reducing carbon footprints. These improvements have also increased fuel efficiency, which should save around 86 billion gallons of fossil fuel over the next decade.
Improving U.S. highways, most of which were constructed over 50 years ago, will help reduce congestion and idling, and further increase safety and lower fuel consumption. A reduction in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions comes with these initiatives.
America’s crumbling highway system encourages more trucking accidents and fuel efficiency problems. The need for refurbishing the nation’s interstate highways is reaching critical levels. Even with a government commitment, it will take time and money to renew America’s roadways. However, trucking manufacturers are working diligently to improve vehicle safety, reliability and fuel efficiency.
Safety Predictive Analytics
New technology allows fleet managers to employ advanced analytics to predict driver behavior that affects safety. Until now, managing driver safety and behavior was based on historic data. However, new technology that analyzes current truck driver data, can help trucking companies produce safer driver actions.
Driver stress, caused by exhaustion, personal issues and a myriad of other reasons, influences behavior and safety. New software analytics massage prior and extraneous data to forecast potential driver behavior. Predictive analytics give fleet managers a clue to future driver behavior or safety risks.
For example, a fleet’s top driver was identified as a prime safety risk. Fleet officials thought this was a software glitch or anomaly. However, only two weeks later, the driver was involved in a serious high-speed crash on a major U.S. highway. The fleet manager didn’t know that the driver was enduring serious personal challenges (with a home severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and a physical injury) that resulted in distracted driving.
The analytical software, however, evaluated this information when making its dire predictions. These trucking improvements benefit the industry.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has proposed new trucking safety measures. The trucking industry opposes some of these measures as too expensive. However, the industry agrees with the motives and the recommendation as a whole. There also many regulations passed on by the FMCSA that truckers need to do to maintain their trucking authority that helps improve safety overall.
Trucking safety and fuel efficiency helps everyone be safer and save precious fuel. The industry is making impressive strides to make our highways safer and consumer costs controlled.