What fleet managers need to know about collision avoidance

What fleet managers need to know about collision avoidance

As the fleet manager of your company, it’s your responsibility to minimize the costs incurred by collisions and in horrific situations – to save lives. 

As you already know, the costs of accidents for a commercial fleet management business can be multifold, including:

  • vehicle downtime 
  • increased maintenance costs 
  • injured drivers 
  • liability lawsuits and reputation damage
  • greater insurance premiums 

Let’s pull over to think about each, and how to avoid them

Vehicle downtime

If one of your vehicles has been involved in a collision, this usually means it will have to be grounded for some time until it is repaired or a new one is purchased, inevitably resulting in:

  • unforeseen expenses for repairs or new purchases
  • loss of profits during the vehicle’s downtime

It’s your job to avoid this downtime – effectively preventing collisions is one of the more obvious ways to achieve this.

Increased maintenance costs

For your business to be profitable, it is also imperative that you ensure your vehicles are properly maintained and functioning efficiently at all times. Each new collision reduces your vehicles’ lifespan and hikes up maintenance expenses. 

Therefore, it makes sense to actively look for ways in which you can avoid unnecessary repairs altogether – such as preventing accidents from happening in the first place.

Injured drivers

Your drivers can get injured (or worse) during a collision. Not only is this a terrible thing to happen to your employee, it also means the company will have to:

  • pay for their hospital bills
  • train their (temporary or permanent) replacement

Additionally, your business will inevitably lose profits due to the resulting downtime or may even face lawsuits from the driver and/or their family. 

Transportation truck driver dashboard
Your drivers are valuable – protect them from getting hurt in a collision by implementing a powerful warning system (Source: Pexels.com)

Liability lawsuits and reputation damage

Human error is responsible for more than 90% of collisions. They often lead to lawsuits and hefty damages, especially when casualties are involved. If that’s not bad enough, legal liabilities put the reputation of your business on a collision course with its demise.

In 2016, a notorious case in which a 24-year-old pedestrian who suffered brain injuries after being hit by a company-owned car ended in a record-breaking settlement amounting to $13.5 million

Sadly, there isn’t a lack of similar situations, and the struggle to minimize the chance of them happening, is met with a varying degree of success. 

Judge John GIF by alixmcalpine
Safe Drive Systems’ collision avoidance platform prevents collisions and hefty legal costs (Source: Giphy)

However, despite best efforts at preventing collisions, sometimes they will happen due to other traffic participants’ errors or force majeure. In this case, it’s important to be able to clear your drivers, as well as your company, of liability.

Increasing insurance premiums

Did you know that the US vehicle insurance rates have grown consistently over the past decade and that in 2019 they are 23% higher than in 2011? This growth is the result of increasing vehicle repair costs and a growing number of collision-related injuries.

In light of the ever-higher insurance premiums, you don’t need your own company’s insurance rates rising any further due to repeated collisions involving your fleet. 

GIF by 9-1-1 on FOX
Deploying a capable collision avoidance system will prevent your insurance rates from growing due to accident claims (Source: Giphy)

Put the brakes on collision-related expenses with a proactive approach

Traditionally, fleet managers have typically focused on collision management instead of collision avoidance, trying to mitigate the consequences and gather as much data as they can after the collision has already happened so they can try and prevent them from happening in the future. 

While there is value in such a strategy, it is still less than ideal as it is only reactive, as opposed to a proactive approach – which is not getting into a collision in the first place.

One of the common attempts at proactive collision avoidance includes the deployment of automatic emergency braking that activates whenever the system senses an impending accident. However, this takes away the control of the vehicle from your drivers and doesn’t allow them to take the most appropriate evasive action. 

The alternative includes a system that alerts the drivers whenever it senses an impending danger, allowing them to react in a timely manner and/or correct their behavior. 

The alternative = Safe Drive Systems.

A REAL TIME collision avoidance system that is miles from the mere accident management approach. 

  • It allows your drivers to stay alert at all times to ANY potential hazards and react properly to avoid collisions. 
  • It detects distracted, drowsy, and unsafe driving behaviors
  • It empowers you to correct risky driving behaviors with real time audio alerts and warnings

With us, you’re getting a full fleet management platform that monitors your vehicles’ position at all times and creates a body of valuable data you can analyze to avoid problems such as fuel siphoning, and inefficient routes, as well as improper driving behavior that might cause accidents to begin with.

SafeDriveSystems fleet platform dashboard
In addition to the most efficient collision avoidance system, Safe Drive Systems will provide an overview of your entire fleet with detailed data and customized reports

Thanks to our hardware and software that actively alert your drivers of various hazards on the road and their own improper behavior, your costs of maintenance will be dramatically reduced as fewer collisions (if any) take place.

On top of this, your insurance costs will drop.

Case in point: upon implementing our collision avoidance platform in a pilot, fleet managers working with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies observed some incredible results. Specifically, 92% of their drivers immediately reduced their speed whenever the radar-based collision warning system alerted them of a potentially high-risk situation that could have caused an accident on the road.

Radar unit
Our radar unit sends real-time alerts to your driver about various potential hazards such as the proximity of the vehicle in front of them

Preventing collisions with our powerful system will increase your drivers’ response time in unexpected situations and improve their driving skills, inevitably reducing the risk of them (or other traffic participants) getting hurt.

Relying on the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), our advanced solution analyzes data, identifies patterns, and adapts to new information to provide you with the best possible collision avoidance system and prevent the loss of life, profits, and reputation.

What about protecting your drivers in court? 

This can be done by making sure you’re armed with reports created after every accident. 

Our reports will provide you with details such as:

  • the location of the event
  • vehicle information
  • the speed at the moment of impact
  • impact direction
  • damage on the vehicle
Accident Report
If you fail fails to prevent an accident due to force majeure, an accident report can help exonerate your driver

Optic Sensors VS. Radar

Our collision avoidance system integrates:

  • Optic sensors (dash camera)
  • an RD-140 radar unit

Most “collision avoidance systems” are based on optic sensors alone. That’s not enough.

Optics are useful to some degree in collision avoidance and other areas of fleet management.
You’ll be able to:

  • receive visual feedback and alert distracted drivers
  • provide real-time visibility of the road and your driver
  • identify sudden acceleration, sharp turns, harsh braking and lane deviations
  • allow you to gather valuable data in retrospect
  • exonerate your drivers of culpability
Analyze data from dash camera
Analyzing data from the dash camera can help with collision avoidance in the future

That said, such technology alone still has certain drawbacks. A camera has a hard time detecting objects or vehicles in less than ideal weather and visibility conditions, rendering it less efficient during night-time driving, snow, fog, or glaring sun. 

Moreover, a maximum range for cameras is only around 165 feet, which gives you, in ideal conditions, only about 2.5 seconds to react in sudden situations

The radar, on the other hand, is a sensor system that:

  • provides visibility when the camera sensors are jeopardized by extreme weather conditions
  • uses reflection to see behind obstacles
  • helps with blind spot detection
  • utilizes radio waves to determine the velocity, range, and angle of objects

Our RD-140 radar unit has an industry-leading range of up to 460 feet, which gives your drivers up to 5 seconds to react and avoid a potentially fatal collision with a vehicle in front of them or any other obstacle on the road.

RD-140 radar alerts
Our RD-140 radar alerts of situations like lane swerving and the risk of a forward collision

This unparalleled warning system will provide visual and audio alerts for the driver, with the option for you, the fleet manager, to receive those same alerts in real-time – something no other fleet management software can provide. These alerts include: 

  • safe-stopping/braking distance (measured in seconds)
  • visual alerts in three colors (green, yellow, red)
  • three levels of increasingly severe auditory alerts
  • forward collision warning
  • detected and identified road signs
  • posted speed limits
  • traffic lights
  • lane deviation
  • pedestrian detection

Thanks to the integration with our Fleet Management Software (FMS), this platform is the only one that gives you access to a dashboard where you can observe and analyze the above-mentioned events in real-time, as well as create customized reports on it.

Advanced Driver Assistance System ADAS Report
Using our platform, you can generate Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) reports analyzing events such as pedestrian detection and forward collision warnings

Start your journey with the most efficient collision avoidance system in the world 

If you’re ready to level up your collision avoidance game, save lives and money on unnecessary lawsuits and vehicle maintenance, you’ve arrived at the right destination. Book a free consultation with one of our advisors to receive a customized analysis of your needs, along with a recommendation for the most appropriate solution for your business.