Solera Holdings, LLC, the global provider of vehicle lifecycle management, released new research underscoring the importance of safety-based technologies in commercial fleets.
To uncover insights on the perceptions around safety in the fleet industry, Solera conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults in August 2022. The survey was conducted by Dynata on behalf of Solera in August 2022.
The findings show that despite safety efforts deployed by many fleets, Americans feel greatly impacted by unsafe fleet driving behaviors – and there’s a clear opportunity for technology to play a role in making drivers safer.
“The industry has come a long way in improving driver safety standards, and it’s important that we continue on this journey collectively – especially as there are public perceptions to overcome,” said Michal Yariv, VP and GM of Strategic Initiatives at Solera. “First and foremost, driver safety needs to be a top priority for fleet managers to ensure drivers can do their job and get home safely at the end of the day, and video technology with built-in driver coaching is the key to achieving optimum safety.”
Motoring Public Feels Unsafe
With 88% of Americans noting they have driven next to or near a commercial truck driver in the past year, it’s clear that fleet safety affects almost everyone. More than half of all respondents (56%) said they’ve felt unsafe driving near a commercial truck driver in this timeframe, with 64% saying they have witnessed unsafe driving behaviors in commercial truck drivers.
Video-based safety and AI technology can help overcome these negative perceptions by identifying distracted driving and coaching drivers out of unsafe behaviors and aggressive driving – a top unsafe behavior witnessed by respondents (37%) – ultimately helping to prevent the risk of accidents.
According to Solera, in addition to improving driver safety, another added benefit of technology is the added protection for a fleet’s reputation through exoneration measures. Solutions such as SmartDrive Protect for example provide undisputable documentation of incidents, providing a full picture of who is really at fault, and often helping fleets avoid the costs associated with accident settlements. Having video record of driving events is essential for exoneration as well as commendation when commercial drivers drive defensively and save lives.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- Cell phone usage while driving is a concern for respondents. Almost one-third (31%) say avoiding tech distractions while driving should be the first course of action for commercial truck drivers to become safer on the roads. As fleet managers and drivers know, cell phones can be an invaluable tool to map routes, log information and more – but it’s crucial to support hands-free route management and navigation to ensure safer driving.
- Safety training is perceived to help improve conditions. The vast majority of respondents (89%) believe commercial truck drivers could benefit from further safety training. In addition, two-thirds believe video-based safety systems would have a positive effect on commercial truck drivers’ ability to drive safely.
- Safety perceptions affect interest in becoming a fleet driver. Almost half (44%) of respondents think the addition of more safety-based technologies – such as in-cab video, road-facing video and AI driving tools – in commercial fleets would lead to more people wanting to become a commercial truck driver.
Solera has been a company on the move. In May 2021, Solera acquired Omnitracs and in June 2021, the company acquired eDriving, which identifies and remediates risky commercial driver behavior. The Omnitracs One platform was updated in May 2022 with the integration of several fleet applications into a singular platform, reducing the time needed for customers to learn and maintain new software.