Trucking companies in Ohio and around the country could reduce the frequency and severity of accidents by embracing technology and nurturing corporate cultures that focus on safety, according to a study published recently by National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence. The research group reached its conclusions after looking at how nine carriers that were once designated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as high risk had improved their safety records.

Six of the nine fleets studied put programs into place that encouraged drivers and dispatch workers as well as managers to focus on improving truck safety. These programs influenced all aspects of logistics fulfillment from hiring criteria and training methods to day-to-day operations. All of these carriers also took a firm position on drowsy driving and instituted zero-tolerance policies for drivers who violated federal hours-of-service regulations.

Most of the carriers reported that adopting advanced safety technology had reduced truck accidents significantly. Installing automatic emergency braking systems helped one carrier to reduce rear-end collisions by more than 50%, and several others said that the information gathered by advanced crash-prevention systems helped them to make decisions that further improved safety. Other technologies that were used to prevent crashes included video cameras mounted inside cabs to monitor drivers, blind spot detectors and lane-departure warning systems.

In addition to preventing catastrophic accidents, the information stored on semi-tractor trailer data recorders can help investigators understand what happened when trucks did crash. Experienced personal injury attorneys may also use this data to establish negligence in lawsuits filed on behalf of truck accident victims. Electronic information may reveal how fast tractor-trailers were traveling when they were involved in an accident and what kind of actions their drivers took to avoid a collision, which could be compelling evidence if distraction, fatigue or excessive speed may have played a role.

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