4 Ways to Reduce Accidents
Reducing accidents in the trucking business is a no-brainer — not in how you’re going to do it, but in the fact that you need to. Four ways to reduce accidents now begins with keeping the urgency of the task in front of you.
4 Ways to Reduce Accidents in 2019
The cost of accidents
Accidents are dangerous, and they’re expensive. Here are some stats:
- A fatal accident on average costs $3.6 million.
- A crash with injuries (tow-away) costs $200,000.
- The average cost of all large truck crashes is $91,000 per crash. This average includes even backing into objects.
Grab a calculator. Think about how this squares up with your CSA score.
Safety affects CSA scores, insurance, your reputation, and ultimately, whether your company endures. Protecting the motoring public, truck drivers, and your bank account are #1. And the FMCSA is very clear on this. They’re pushing trucking companies to build up a culture of safety and get numbers down.
1 – Put accidents into the bigger picture.
When you aim to reduce accidents, start with how you think. It’s essential to think in terms of improving your business as a whole, and not just a number.
A good CSA score isn’t a magic fix-all. But a safety culture is like a web that undergirds and protects every part of your company. Like a spider web, if you touch one part, it affects the others.
For example, better CSA scores protect people and save you on accident and incident costs, but they also help you keep customers. Your shippers need to know they’re moving their freight with a safe carrier. Shippers have been sued because they contracted with unsafe trucking companies. It’s in a shipper’s best interest to partner with a trucking company that operates in a culture of safety.
2 – Get your training on track.
Drivers don’t just drive trucks; they drive safety culture too. Your goals might be top-down, but your results are bottom-up. Get the right messaging to drivers, make buy-in easy, and document training so your due diligence can hold up in a court of law.
In order to alter behavior, training also has to be repetitive and ongoing. You can’t train one thing one time and expect to change behavior or your CSA score.
Infiniti-I Workforce Solutions helps transport companies significantly reduce accidents; some of our clients have seen improvements by as much 50-66%. That’s because we teach you how to implement ongoing, repeated, online training through 5-to-7 minute micro-learning video modules that are flexible for your drivers to complete and easy for them to remember. You’re meeting them more than halfway by applying a proven system of learning, even if they see it as familiar information, that supports them as they improve behavior and skills on the road.
Here’s what a few of our clients had to say about reducing their accidents:
“Year-to-date, apples-to-apples, we’ve saved about 50-percent in our crash ratings. Our CSA scores continue to improve every single month.”
“Our CSA score for our crash is a 6 and our unsafe driving is a 16, [and that’s with] 2500 trucks in our chemical fleet.”
“We’ve seen a decrease by almost 20 percent in unsafe moving violations.”
“Our accidents are down about two thirds in two years since we’ve been using [Infinit-I Workforce System]. A lot of that also has to do with manager buy-in. When they see something that’s good in videos, they’ll cover it in talks with the drivers.”
3 – Track your progress; include others.
A lot of our success in reducing accidents has to do with manager buy-in. This connection is key. Whatever goal, technology, or organizing principle you put in place, you’ve got to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Infinit-I Workforce Solutions also offers a consulting service. Each client has a team of customer service reps who stay in communication with safety directors to make sure our system is working for your company and that you’re on track for the results you want. Every fleet is different, so we work with you to hit that sweet spot of coordinated effort.
For example, are directors training with enough frequency? Are you focusing on training your drivers’ needs or still getting the “been there, done that” response?
4 – Try out new tech — now.
Start doing your homework on this, and find the accident-reducing tech that’s going to work best with the goals of your company and personality of your fleet. Not every truck has to have all the new bells and whistles. But it needs to have a few. Don’t wait until you’re behind the curve. This is a great time to discover what’s out there on the cutting edge; try free demos, and get lots and lots of feedback from your drivers.
Accident-reducing technologies to try
If you’re not already invested in these, consider how one or more might help you, depending on what kind of accidents and incidents raise your safety scores:
Lane departure warning systems – Detect when the vehicle drifts out of its lane and warn the driver.
Automatic emergency braking systems – Detect when the truck is in danger of striking the vehicle in front of it and brake automatically if needed.
Air disc brakes – Provide maintenance and performance advantages relative to traditional drum brakes.
Video-based onboard safety monitoring systems – Use cameras in vehicles and other sensors to monitor the driver’s behavior and performance and help the driver’s employer provide feedback to the driver to improve his or her driving. (The video captured with these systems also makes great custom training content.)
If you do not see the output of an investment in safety culture in your fleet yet, don’t be afraid to get help. Safety awareness is higher than ever. Take advantage of it. Safer roads are up to you!
We’re satisfied with your safety culture only when you are. We even offer free seminars and webinars to help you meet and exceed your safety goals. Browse the 800+ resources we offer, and sign up for a free demo today!