Cyndi Brandt's picture

Oct 5, 2015


Cyndi Brandt

Sr. Director of Product Marketing & Alliances

As cities and populations continue to grow, so does traffic congestion. Commutes are becoming longer and people often have to park far from their final destination. In attempt to offset the inconvenience of a lengthy commute, Ford has introduced the MoDe:Flex, a prototype electric bike aimed at making life easier for the everyday commuter.

But this isn’t just your ordinary e-bike—it includes features not found in conventional models and is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with a motor vehicle to make your commute as efficient as possible. The intention is for consumers to utilize their motor vehicles for the first part of the trip and, if forced to park a lengthy distance from “point B,” use the e-bike for the second leg. The bike, designed to easily fold into a trunk, enables the driver to utilize GPS navigation, warns of cars behind getting too close and assists in pedaling so that you don’t arrive at the office too sweaty.

Given all these features, the e-bike seems like a no-brainer for the daily commuter, but can it be equally beneficial for truck drivers?

Driver health and its relation to safety are frequently discussed topics in the industry. After sitting behind the wheel for an extended period of time with few opportunities to eat anywhere other than a truck stop, it’s easy to see how drivers’ health-related needs often go unmet. Paired with the prevalence of obesity, a lack of accessible nutrition and fitness programs have led to long-haul trucking becoming one of the unhealthiest professions. The average life expectancy of a U.S. citizen is 78.7 years, but the average age for union drivers is only 63 (also due in part to traffic accidents). Given this statistic and other data, many fleets and operators have taken notice and are implementing a variety of health-inspired programs into the typical workday with the goal of improving driver health. Healthier drivers are less fatigued drivers. With fatigue cited as the number one cause of collisions involving trucks, there is tangible benefit to promoting and supporting driver health and wellness.

Physical activity and fitness are crucial to improving driver health, so why not give drivers access to a portable and enjoyable way to exercise? Perhaps an e-bike would even enable them to access healthier food alternatives otherwise unattainable due to minimal parking access. Picture this: A truck driver is forced to stop at the nearest available parking spot—a truck stop where only unhealthy food options are available—but a few miles down the road is a healthier alternative. In this scenario, the driver can retrieve an e-bike from the cab to take advantage of the healthy option down the road, resulting in a happier, healthier, safer driver.

Seems like a win-win scenario for all parties involved, doesn’t it? What are some of the ways that your fleet is addressing driver health? We’d love to hear what’s working for you and your team!

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