a black and yellow themed construction image that says Work Truck 2024 Fleet Safety Study, a growing focus on technology.

The 2024 Work Truck Fleet Safety Study shows a growing focus on fleet safety technologies to help enhance safety and crash-reduction efforts.

Photo: Work Truck

Work Truck's latest fleet safety study, conducted in partnership with sister publication Heavy Duty Trucking, examines the top findings we heard from our light- and medium-duty truck fleet respondents.

Of the 94 fleet respondents, just over 45% said they operated Class 1-6 light- and medium-duty trucks in their fleet operations. 

Responses feature private, government, and for-hire fleets, including construction, mining, utilities, agriculture, refuse and recycling, HVAC and plumbing, and more.

When respondents were grouped by fleet size, 40% operated mid-size fleets of 100-499 vehicles, 52% operated smaller fleets under 99 units, and 9% operated fleets with more than 500 vehicles.

A focus on fleet safety is a core component to ensuring fleet drivers return home to their families everyday. Safer vehicles stay on the road, working for your operation. And a focus on safety prevents unnecessary breakdowns, incidents, and headaches.  

Increasing Insurance Costs

How did vehicle liability and insurance costs change in 2023 compared with the year prior?

Only 2% of light—and medium-duty fleets noted that they experienced a decrease in costs, with around 19% stating that costs were essentially unchanged. However, 58% of the respondents indicated costs increased anywhere from 1-10% to doubled.

A pie chart that shows changes in vehicle and liability insurance costs.

The majority of respondents noted they have seen an increase in vehicle and liability insurance costs. 

Source: Work Truck

Focusing on Work Truck Fleet Safety Strategies 

When digging into the top safety strategies light- and medium-duty truck fleets follow, well-maintained vehicles topped the list at 88% of fleets, noting it was a top strategy.

Rounding out the top five were written policies and procedures (66%), driver training (63%), emphasizing a culture of safety (61%), and strict driver-hiring standards (46%). Fleets were asked to select all strategies they currently use to increase fleet safety efforts.

A bar chart that shows the percentage of safety strategies fleets follow with well-maintained vehicles in the lead.

The majority of fleets (88%) found stated a well-maintained vehicle was an essential component of their fleet safety efforts. 

Source: Work Truck

Using Technology to Enhance Fleet Safety Efforts 

The top safety technologies that light- and medium-duty fleet respondents noted they utilize were back-up cameras (55%), air disc brakes (48%), speed limiters (40%), in-cab cameras - forward-facing only (33%), and lane-departure warnings (30%). Back-up cameras were the top safety tech utilized by these commercial fleets for two reports in a row. 

 Fleets are still considering dual-facing cameras (about 15%), as well as tech like see-through cameras that allow drivers to see through trailers (8%) and fatigue monitoring (10%).

A bar chart that shows the percentage of safety technologies fleets use with back-up cameras in the lead.

Back-up cameras are becoming a commonplace feature of many fleet vehicles and becoming a more depended on safety feature for fleet operators. 

Source: Work Truck

Work Truck asked our fleet survey respondents to consider the future of fleet safety and share what tech they plan to use. 

The top tech that light- and medium-duty fleets are looking to adopt in the future includes back-up cameras (23%), side blindspot warning (21%), air disk brakes (18%), and in-cab cameras – forward facing (18%). Additional tech fleets are looking to add in the future includes:

  • In-cab real-time driver coaching.
  • Rollover prevention.
  • In-cab alerts of upcoming hazards. 
A bar chart that shows the percentage of safety technologies fleets plan to use with back-up cameras in the lead.

Looking to the future of safer fleets, commercial operations are looking to continue to utilize back-up cameras as well as invest more in side blindspot warning systems. 

Source: Work Truck

Commercial Fleets Focus on Driver Safety Training 

There are several top ways to ensure drivers are trained for safety. Light- and medium-duty fleet drivers most-often use in-person/classroom training (74%), followed by hands-on/behind-the-wheel training (69%), and independent video/online training (44%). Fleets were asked to select all training options their fleets utilize.

A bar chart that shows the formats fleet driver safety training occurs with in-person/classroom training in the lead.

The most popular format for driver safety training continues to be in-person/classroom training, although the use of technology in this space is also growing with online and virtual options. 

Source: Work Truck

When do fleets make safety-related training happen? Most of this occurs when first onboarding (79%), when new technology or equipment is introduced (67%), and after there is an incident (56%). About 41% of fleets do regular annual training, while 21% do something on a monthly rhythm.

A bar chart that shows when driver safety-related training occurs with driver onboarding in the lead.

Most fleets surveyed stated that driver safety training occurs during the onboarding process and at least once a year. 

Source: Work Truck

Speed Limiting Efforts for Safety 

Speed limiter use is a hot topic in commercial fleets, but they are available and used for safety and crash-reduction efforts. 

There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for commercial fleets that utilize speed limiters. The numbers depend on factors such as top speed, use of cruise control, and when additional safety systems such as automatic braking are available. The 68-70 mph speed range was the most popular limit when looking at top speeds and during manual operation. 

A stacked bar chart that shows rthe average miles per hour fleets set speed limiters to under varying conditions including stop speeds.

For fleets that utilize speed limiters for increased safety efforts, we broke out the top speeds in a variety of conditions. 

Source: Work Truck

Fleet managers were also asked for their opinion on federal maximums for mandatory speed limiters, with the majority (36%) stating they need to be above 70 mph and the smallest percentage (3%) noting it should be below 60 mph. This is one area where a group consensus will take more work to reach. 

A bubble chart that shows what speed fleets believe speed limiters should be set if a federal maximum is enacted.

For light- and medium-duty fleets that operate heavy-duty vehicles as well, the upcoming mandatory speed limiter rule has a wide variety of opinions on what the top speed should be limited to. 

Source: Work Truck

Federal Help for Crash Evaluations 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) allows drivers and motor carriers to request a review of crash details to determine if a crash was preventable. The program is available for crashes on or after August 1, 2019.

Our survey asked fleets if they had taken advantage of this program yet. The large majority (77%) have not.

A bar chart that shows the majority of fleets surveyed have not taken advantage of the FMCSA's crash preventability program.

Since May 2020, FMCSA has been operating the Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) and reviewing 16 specific crash types. But most of our surveyed fleets have not taken advantage of the program. 

Source: Work Truck

Where Do Crashes Occur?

Our light- and medium-duty fleet manager respondents were asked to rank where their crashes occur most often.

Most respondents ranked urban streets as their top location for accidents (43%), followed by parking lots as the second most popular location (36%), followed by limited access or interstate highways, then other highways.

Four stacked bar charts that show the ranked location by each crash occurrence.

Knowing where crashes occur is an important factor in working to reduce them. Right now, urban streets are the current fleet danger zone. 

Source: Work Truck

Speaking of parking lots, one of the big topics of conversation lately is the overall parking shortage for trucks.

We asked our survey respondents if this parking shortage was impacting their driver safety, and 67% of our light- and medium-duty fleets were not feeling the impact their heavy-duty counterparts were experiencing.

A gas guage type chart that shows whether the shortage of parking is adversely impacting driver safety (67% say no).

More of a concern for heavy-duty fleet operators, ongoing parking shortages are not impacting safety for the majority of our light- and medium-duty fleet operators. 

Source: Work Truck

Keeping Up with Safety Regulations and Solutions

Staying on top of the changing regulations, new solutions, and safety technologies can be overwhelming.

Most of our light- and medium-duty fleet survey respondents reported sometimes feeling overwhelmed by these regulations and solutions, with 29% admitting it's becoming a bit much.

Two stacked bar charts that show fleet manager feelings about keeping up with safety regulations and technology.

There is a lot to learn and a lot is changing when it comes to fleet safety, and most of our respondents noted they sometimes or do feel overwhelmed by it all.  

Source: Work Truck

To stay informed about the latest news, solutions, tips, and more, subscribe to the Work Truck newsletter and bookmark our website so you never miss an update that will help keep your fleet drivers safer and returning home to their families every day.

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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