Bettaway Beverage Distributors, a four-decade-old, family-owned trucking company located in New Jersey, advises other fleets to embrace safety technology. It urges them to implement a rigorous driver training and risk prevention program that consists of in-cab cameras, safety culture, and collision avoidance system.
President John Vaccaro of Bettaway Beverage Distributors recounts a crash that was a turning point for him, his family, and his trucking business. Vaccaro admits that regardless of the company’s focus on technology, fender-benders, merge accidents, bumper thumpers, and blind-spot crashes occurred occasionally. This particular crash, however, was different. One of his truck drivers got into a crash that left the occupants of the other car severely injured.
The attorney hired by Bettaway’s insurance estimated the plaintiff’s claim could be anywhere from $20 million to $40 million. At the time, the company’s coverage was worth $5 million. After three years of what Vaccaro describes as “a nightmare,” a settlement was reached through court-ordered mediation.
Since then, Vaccaro’s trucking company has invested heavily in safety technologies. The following are safety technologies he urges other fleets to adopt:
In-cab cameras capture clear and detailed videos of incidents to ensure the safety of drivers while lowering risk and related costs. These cameras can benefit fleets in numerous ways, including:
- Protecting them from false claims and expensive lawsuits
- Reducing liability risk
- Detecting hard stops and accelerations
- Automatically registering crashes, collisions, and rolls
- Reducing risky driver behavior, such as distracted driving
Collision Avoidance System
A collision avoidance system, also called a driver assistance system, is an innovative safety technology that helps drivers avoid a collision or reduce its severity before it happens. Some systems utilize AI machine vision technology and others use dashcams or GPS to detect an impending collision. After detecting a collision, these systems can notify the driver through light or audio to help him or her stop the collision from happening. In case a collision happens and the truck driver believes that he or she isn’t at fault, a truck crash lawyer can review footage recorded by dashcams and build a strong case in favor of the truck driver.
Cultivating a Culture of Safety
On top of adopting the latest safety technologies, trucking companies should also nurture a culture of safety among their drivers. They can develop a reward system that recognizes and rewards drivers who always practice safe driving habits.