How to Make Automatic Emergency Braking Right For Your Fleet

The Dangers of Ignoring Emerging Safety Technology

In the trucking industry, change is constant, but change can be difficult to accept. This has certainly been the case with technological advances in trucking as both drivers and fleet managers have been faced with new additions to rigs like automatic braking systems and collision avoidance technologies.

On the one hand, these technologies have the potential to save lives. On the other, they can also take away control from drivers who are used to having a great degree of freedom on the road. Early manifestations of technology in the cab have been prone to false alarms and glitches, but the latest versions of automatic braking software have proven to be more reliable. Is this enough to overcome resistance from drivers?

What Do the Numbers Say?

When weighing the pros and cons of automated technology in trucking, it helps to look at the numbers. Often, statistics paint a better picture of technology effectiveness rather than relying on anecdotal experience.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported that automatic braking systems have the potential to reduce rear-end collisions by truck drivers by almost half. Additionally, trucks equipped with forward-collision avoidance technologies were involved in 22% fewer crashes compared to trucks not equipped with this technology. The IIHS studied 2,000 crash incidents between 2017 and 2019 to arrive at its figures.

Overcoming Driver Concerns With Training

Of course, despite the numbers demonstrating that automated control and alert systems reduce accidents, driver concerns are still a thing. In order to address and overcome these concerns, many experts believe that training is the key.

When new technology is introduced in the trucking industry, some drivers feel that it’s just one more thing to make their jobs complicated. Fleet managers are encouraged to use training to help drivers see the value in these new technologies as opposed to telling drivers to simply use the new technologies. What’s more, training to demonstrate value can go on to have a positive influence on driver behavior behind the wheel as new technologies become a part of everyday life.


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