Truck Accidents: How To Shield Your Drivers And Protect Your Fleet | Cartrack Namibia
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With the 10th largest global road network as well as booming transport and logistics industries, South Africa is, unfortunately, a potential hotbed for road accidents. Truck drivers transport cargo on SA roads daily, making truck accidents a real risk fleet managers must mitigate.

But don’t hyperventilate yet; there are smart solutions and software that can help you optimise your fleet operations and increase your fleet safety.

Ready to start dramatically decreasing truck accidents in your business?

Let’s dive straight in.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn more about the causes of truck accidents
  • Determine if and how fleet accidents can be prevented
  • Wise-up on top tips to avoid and minimise truck accidents
  • Understand the importance of driver wellness
  • Get insights on driver safety that help reduce the risk of trucking accidents
  • Discover how Cartrack can help you dramatically reduce truck accidents

Why it’s essential to protect your fleet from truck accidents

Automotive road accidents have disastrous consequences with potential injuries and even fatalities.

However, there are other influential factors from a fleet management perspective. The fewer truck accidents, the more improved and consistent your fleet’s performance and confidence will be. You’ll also see a notable reduction in maintenance costs as fewer vehicles need to be repaired or replaced and a visible increase in ROI.

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The top trending causes of commercial vehicle accidents

  • Speed: According to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed contributes to a concerning one out of three fatal truck accidents in the US. While this may be related to the systematically rising speed limits in several states, speeding in South Africa is a big concern even without speed limit increases.
  • Distracted driving: Another trending cause of commercial vehicle accidents is distracted driving, and the statistics in South Africa are concerning. According to the International Transport Forum’s Road Safety Annual Report, South Africa has one of the highest road accident rates in the world, and around 25% of those crashes are caused by using mobile phones while driving — a classic example of distracted driving.
  • Driver fatigue: Traveling hundreds of kilometres doing a monotonous task like long-distance driving takes its toll on the body and mind and can cause serious deterioration in the required alertness and concentration. According to Arrive Alive, 41% of road accidents are fatigue-related, while 39% of problems truck drivers experience are fatigue-related.

Discover the most pressing FAQs about truck accidents

1. How do truckers protect themselves?

Prevention is most definitely better than cure, and in long-distance truck driving, it’s the best way to avoid potentially devastating accidents that may cost truckers and other motorists their lives.

There’s also the issue in South Africa of trucks being prime targets for commercial vehicle hijackings precisely because of the commodities they’re transporting. In these cases, the following precautions can help keep truckers, vehicles and cargo safe on the road:

  • Sticking to pre-planned routes,
  • Staying in regular contact with your dispatcher,
  • Keeping the vehicle locked at all times,
  • Only parking in well-lit areas,
  • Avoiding picking up hitchhikers, and
  • Only stopping at official truck stops

2. How can truck accidents be prevented?

Like all fleet vehicle accidents, truck accidents cannot be a hundred per cent prevented. To ensure a fleet is prepared for any situation on the road, fleet managers can implement various strategies and technological solutions to minimise the risk of accidents and increase efficiency.

Cartrack’s fleet management solutions provide a range of options to help increase driver safety and simplify the tracking of driver behaviour and risky driving with automated fleet admin.

3. How do I protect myself from other drivers?

If there’s one thing professional truck and other fleet drivers are well aware of, it’s that you can never presume the behaviour of another driver while on the road. So, it’s crucial to practise defensive driving techniques like:

  • Anticipating and predicting the behaviour of other motorists, whether they’re pedestrians, drivers, or cyclists.
  • Obeying traffic rules with no exceptions
  • Practising caution
  • Maintaining a safe following distance. Training your drivers to have a defensive driving mindset is crucial to setting a gold standard for safety and reducing the risk of accidents and injury on the road

Lower the risk of accident with these 4 top tips

Monitor and reward safe driving

Using a reward system or positive reinforcement strategy is a viable way to improve road behaviour and compliance linked to driver safety and reduced accident risk. Driver reward system efficiency is well-researched, and by getting to know your drivers’ behaviour more intimately with a driver monitoring system, you can create a solid base for relevant assessments that offer rewards your fleet drivers will value, fostering motivation and team workplace compliance.

The link between motivation andcompliance is essential to ensure safety and reduce truck accidents. Keeping tabs on driver behaviour with telematics technology helps keep your fleet safe and motivated.

Use advanced tech to your advantage

The good old dashcam can help you identify key causes of trucking accidents, road conditions, traffic issues, and driver behaviour. However, even more advanced cameras and SaaS-based technology are available to optimise fleet driver protection and reduce truck accident risks.

  1. fleet management performance tracking system uses telemetry data to track different components of a fleet’s performance, including trip reportsrisky driver behaviour like excessive braking and speeding, and whether drivers stick to their allocated route to help fleet managers effectively pinpoint areas of concern for effective training and improved driver safety.
  2. With smart cameras, live stream technology, and face recognition, you’ll always know who’s in your driver’s seat. So, if there are incidents on the road with our drivers, you’ll have the video footage to help you settle any disputes and insurance claims.
  3. If you don’t want your fleet vehicle to move, technology allows you to disable it remotely, significantly contributing to roadside safety for your fleet and other motorists. Controlling fleet vehicle movement can prevent accidents caused by driving under the influence, unauthorised vehicle usage, fatigued driving, and increased road safety.
  4. Fleet management technology that allows streamlined reporting on driver behaviour is also a key contributor to tailor-made driver training by allowing fleet managers to pinpoint exactly where drivers are going wrong and focus on their improvement.

Encourage regular rest and breaks

Driving, especially long-distance driving, requires quick-wittedness and a healthy mindset. Studies have found that poor sleep quality negatively impactstruck drivers’ job performance, with a high percentage of drivers reporting sleepiness during the day. Software created to accurately monitor drivers’ working hours plays a vital role in making sure drivers are not overworked and minimising potential truck accidents caused by fatigue.

Getting a good night’s sleep and stopping regularly to freshen up on long routes makes the world’s difference in your truck drivers’ mental capabilities and drastically reduces the risk of having a truck accident.

Prioritise fleet vehicle preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance has so many advantages that it’s difficult to imagine effective fleet management operations without it. From increasing fuel efficiency to saving on costly vehicle breakdowns, preventative maintenance also has a notable effect on reducing truck accidents.

By ensuring fleet vehicles are in peak working condition, you’re taking an essential precaution to protect your fleet and other drivers on the road against preventable accidents. A fleet should operate like a well-oiled machine, and it all starts with the health of your vehicles’ gearboxes, brakes, tyres, and lights.

Conduct regular driver training

With the right fleet management technology, you can monitor drivers closely and create a custom-made training programme vital to address your fleet’s flagged behaviours. Overall, it’s important to instil a defensive driving mindset, which creates a solid platform for responsible driving habits. Consider the following defensive driving tips:

  • Always be prepared for an emergency
  • Watch out for those blind spots
  • Keep enough following space
  • Communicate with other drivers
  • Make slowing down the default

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How Cartrack’s advanced software can help keep your drivers safe

With Cartrack, we design our products with your fleet’s safety in mind. By implementing advanced telematics-based fleet management and camera-based technology, you can help prevent truck accidents and optimise your business’s safety with the following state-of-the-art tech:

  1. LiveVision cameras for increased driver safetyHave 24/7, real-time access to driver activity in fleet vehicles with a flexible, user-friendly vehicle video system. This live-streaming system allows the improvement of driver safety, reduces driver liability by pinpointing and addressing unproductive behaviour, assists with insurance claims, and ultimately keeps drivers safe and compliant.
  2. AI camera technology to address distracted driver behaviourEnsure increased driver awareness and concentration with advanced in-cabin AI technology that detects distracted driving behaviour. By sending audible, real-time alerts to drivers for behaviours like yawning, smoking, phone use and more, so your drivers can rectify mistakes in real time to prevent accidents and boost overall fleet safety.
  3. Driver behaviour reports for effective, personalised driver trainingIdentify risky driver behaviour like speeding, harsh braking, cornering and more, and use these detailed driver behaviour reports to train drivers on where improvements need to be made, allowing you to instil a safer driving culture and boost fleet safety in your business.
  4. Driver ID tags so you’re sure the right person is behind the wheelBeing able to choose who can and cannot start your fleet vehicles helps put you in control of your fleet’s safety. You can stop unauthorised vehicle usage by giving each driver a unique driver tag, which they need to tap against a sensor to start their fleet vehicle, helping you increase driver safety and reduce the risk of accidents.

Discover how Cartrack empowers Diraro Group to minimise truck accidents

At Cartrack, we aim to take the guesswork out of long-distance commercial trip safety and help you reduce fleet incident rates.

Here’s how we helped Diraro Group reduce fleet accident risks and increase driver security:

Get Cartrack and boost truck driver safety in your business

Contact us today to discover how Cartrack puts you in control of your fleet’s safety.