August 23, 2011

Have you looked at how slamming on a truck’s brakes could impact your business?

Hard-brake events are a leading indicator of potentially unsafe driving behavior. These events could be the near-miss of an accident, the result of dangerous or slippery roads, a driver getting cut off in traffic, or an accident itself—all things that a driver safety team should review with the driver.

XataNet and Xata Turnpike offer hard-braking and black-box reporting, which triggers in-depth reporting before and after the event. For XataNet, black-box reports show rapid acceleration and deceleration, driver panic events where a driver sends a signal to record data and management-requested snapshots for a specific vehicle. The report details the event time and the number of feet the vehicle traveled in that second. It also includes speed in MPH, RPM, fuel consumption rate, and the position of throttle, brakes, cruise control, and clutch – the data needed to dig into what may have been going on (in the case of an accident).

Here are some questions you’d want to consider—especially in light of CSA—after a hard-brake event:

  1. What happens to my Unsafe Driving CSA score? If a number of hard brakes occur in a short amount of time, a driver may be following too closely. This could also lead to reckless driving citations. Insight into braking can be vital in identifying drivers that may be unsafe.
  2. What happened to my Cargo Related score? The load you were carrying likely shifted. If carrying fragile cargo, let’s say a case of vintage wine, the loss of the cargo can be significant.  Beyond the loss, Cargo-related CSA scores may be impacted (they are not ranked, but violations are still tracked).  Leaking/spilling/blowing/falling cargo has a 10-point modifier! Failure to prevent cargo shifting, failure to secure cargo, and damaged securement system/tiedowns – are all things that can happen from an extreme brake event… and they all have a high CSA-point potential.
  3. What’s happening to the maintenance of my truck? Locking up brakes is simply hard on trucks.  Tires can be damaged, engine wear is hard and the overall life of a truck can be shortened.
  4. If I were in an accident, what can I learn? Dealing with injuries, claims and potential lawsuits are huge problems. Black-box reporting can give you proof of a driver’s safe driving before an accident (e.g. braking, speed, RPM, throttle position).
  5. Am I dispatching in unsafe environments? Rapid accelerations can mean a truck is in wet, snowy, or muddy conditions.

We have clients who use hard-brake reports to work with drivers that are aggressive with their use of brakes.  We have also seen incentives given to drivers who have the fewest of these types of events.

What do you do with your hard-brake reports? How do they impact your business today?