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Avoiding Nuclear Verdicts with Fleet Management Technology

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Managing a fleet is stressful enough without having to worry about a single accident closing your business for good. Nuclear verdicts—insurance jury awards that exceed $10 million—are growing at an alarming rate to the detriment of fleets. In fact, between 2010 and 2018, the average US trucking industry verdict increased 967% from $2.3 million to a whopping $22.3 million. This can spell ruin for many fleets, or at the very least it’s capital that would be better spent on procurement, hiring or maintenance

With accidents happening on the road every day, how can fleet managers dodge nuclear verdicts from impacting their bottom line? Technology such as in-cab cameras and fleet telematics can help to prevent some accidents from occurring in the first place, act as a tool to ensure accident reconstruction accuracy and aid in building a strong reputation for driver safety and performance that can attract new business. Plus, it can have an impact on CSA scores, which can lead to reduced insurance premiums, fewer DoT audits, fewer roadside inspections and more. 

Cutting Back on Accidents—and Premiums—with Proactive Data

One of the first steps fleet managers should take to avoid nuclear verdicts is to ensure they’re doing everything in their power to minimize the likelihood of an accident. This proactive approach includes using fleet maintenance solutions that can optimize truck health and performance before things go south.  

white truck on road during daytime

Driver performance data can also be harnessed to proactively identify drivers that are at risk of accidents so appropriate actions can be taken before an incident occurs. With this, fleet managers can conduct driver scoring to get a better grasp of the strengths and weaknesses of their roster, informing future coaching requirements. Plus, this data can be used to quickly diagnose problems with the vehicle itself through fault code analysis. 

Voice coaching can quickly alert drivers when they’re speeding, driving without a seat belt and more, acting as a second pair of eyes for fleet managers to ensure their vehicles are being used in a responsible way that doesn’t jeopardize safety.  

In-Cab Cameras Paint a Picture for Insurance Verdicts 

Preventing accidents is top of mind for fleet managers, but it’s important to be protected when these situations do occur. Using in-cab cameras in combination with fleet telematics for accident reconstruction can show how the incident developed, helping with insurance claim accuracy and protecting drivers as well as fleet reputation.  

Plus, the data collected at accident sites can also help inform fleet managers of risky driver behavior that can be addressed through in-cab coaching. This works to help prevent future accidents while also improving driver performance and safety, leading to a stronger roster overall. 

Staying Clear of Nuclear Verdicts 

aerial photography of concrete roads

Nuclear verdicts can be scary, but there are steps that can be taken to minimize risk. By using fleet telematics in tandem with in-cab cameras, fleet managers can take a two-pronged approach to fleet safety: ensuring proper fleet maintenance and driver performance with truck data to prevent accidents, while also securing video footage that can inform driver coaching, reduce insurance claims and protect fleets from nuclear verdicts. 

Is your fleet leveraging technology to stay safe on the road? Learn how Queen Transportation used ORBCOMM fleet safety and management solutions to help them reduce insurance claims and improve driver performance. 

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Cody Lirette is Content Marketing Manager at ORBCOMM. With over seven years of marketing and communications experience for both the public and private sector, he uses his passion for innovative technology and plain language to help companies find the right solutions for their needs.

Posted in 6. IoT Trends

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