How many times have you driven down the road and been passed by a speeder, only to meet him or her at the next traffic light? Or driven down the highway and you’re the person passing everyone else? Does speeding really get drivers to their destination faster? More importantly, does it get them there safer?
This fun interactive infographic lets you know if speeding really saves time. It also provides helpful tips regarding crash severity, fuel efficiency and more. But, what it doesn’t tell you is that speeding kills. In fact, on average, speeding kills 10,219 people each year – that’s 28 people per day.
During the recent Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week, speeding was the most-ticketed traffic offense. CVSA selected speeding as the emphasis of the blitz for officers, which resulted in 1,454 tickets and 2,126 warnings issued to truck drivers for speeding, and 16,102 citations and 21,001 warnings to passenger car drivers for the same offense.
As most readers know, speeding becomes even more dangerous for truck drivers who can’t stop as quickly as a passenger car.
Of course, many fleets have speed governors and speeding policies. But, how effective are they? According to Terry McAdams, vice president of safety at Bulkmatic Transport:
“Many companies have policies concerning speeding, following distance, etc., but unless you have something in place to actually assess how you’re doing, the effectiveness of the policy can’t easily be evaluated. For example, we have a prohibition on texting or dialing when driving. Cameras allow us to monitor actual behavior and confirm the many behaviors our drivers are doing right, and work with them on correcting any behaviors that pose a risk.”
That’s why it’s important to change driver behavior before speeding becomes a habit. Or, modify dispatch policies so drivers can get to their destinations without having to speed.
Unfortunately, speeding wasn’t the only unsafe driving behavior captured by CVSA. In addition to speeding, other unsafe practices included failure to wear a seat belt (954 tickets and 586 warnings), failure to obey a traffic control device (426 citations and 871 warnings), using a handheld phone/texting (249 tickets and 170 warnings), and improper lane change (92 tickets and 194 warnings) – all behaviors that can be corrected and measured over time using a video-based safety program.
“With telematics, we know if a driver has a hard brake, lane departure or is speeding, but this doesn’t provide a complete picture of what has transpired. Only with video and analytics do we have a comprehensive view of fleet safety—this allows us to understand why the driver took an action and informs how we can correct it in the future.”
– Jeff Bronson, director of transportation, Atlas Trucking
In addition to driver behaviors that led to a traffic stop, officers also issued citations and warnings based on vehicle-related issues during traffic stops. During the blitz, officers issued 6,170 citations and 27,163 warnings to truck drivers for issues such as mirror equipment violations, expired tags, non-working lamps and more.
Operation Safe Driver Week will occur next July but don’t wait until then to ensure you have a safe fleet. Now is the time to assess how your fleet is doing, how your drivers are driving and how you can help improve risky behaviors that will save lives, money and your company’s reputation.