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Study finds technology, attitude effective in safety gains

A study by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence indicates that trucking companies can improve performance by prioritizing safety. Management strategies and the implementation of advanced safety technologies can greatly improve the safety of trucks operating in Kentucky and across the country, according to the study. The research was a joint effort by the NSTSCE, the National Safety Council, state trucking organizations, and commercial insurer Travelers. All of the fleets studied experienced fewer crashes and less severe crashes, along with better safety scores.

The study began with the identification of nine companies that had significantly improved their safety records and continued on to examine what those companies did to improve. Six of the nine carriers said that the development of a strong culture of safety improved safety outcomes. An especially important factor was the level to which drivers and management bought in to the safety programs. Trucking companies that established well-rounded cultures of safety saw significant reductions in crashes reportable to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Six out of the nine trucking companies said that implementing at least one type of advanced safety technology helped improve outcomes. One carrier saw a drop of 56% in rear-end preventable crashes once its fleet was equipped with automatic emergency brake systems. Other safety technologies cited as helpful included lane-departure warning systems, stability control systems and blind spot detection systems.

Implementation of these and other strategies could work over time to reduce the number and severity of large truck crashes in Kentucky. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured in truck accidents that have been caused by truck driver fatigue or negligent truck maintenance might want to have a lawyer's assistance when seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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