The Department of Transportation and other departments of the federal and state governments have been working towards greater safety in the trucking industry, including hot shot trucking and other freight services in the US, for decades. The biggest improvements have been seen in recent years due to improvements in existing safety technology and the introduction of new innovative safety devices.
In 2009, fatal crashes involving large trucks were reduced to 1.04 per 100 million vehicles miles travelled, which is down from 1.21 in 2008 and 2.2 in the early 2000s. Even 2.2 is a great improvement over 1975, when the rate was 4.58 fatal crashes for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. To give another perspective, the fatal crashes involving large trucks decreased by 36 percent, from 1989 to 2009.
The technologies responsible for these improvements range from on-board safety systems, to speed-limiting technology. Here are a few of the main technologies.
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS): These systems were designed to alert the driver when their car leaves the lane, thus preventing crashes, due to drivers falling asleep or not paying attention to the road. While the system doesn’t correct the car’s path, it wakes the driver or draws their attention to the shift. The return on every dollar spent is estimated to be more than 100% for carriers who purchase such systems.
- Forward Collision Warning Systems (FCWS): These systems are designed to help drivers improve their driving by offering audible tips and feedback on safe following distances. The systems also give visual warnings when vehicles and other items come too close to the front of the vehicle, giving the driver time to brake and avoid a collision.
- Speed Limiting Technology: This technology is often used by truck carriers to decrease the top speed that their truckers may drive while on the job. The devices do this by preventing the vehicle from passing a certain speed, through communicating with the engine.
- Roll Stability Control Systems (RSC): These systems monitor the truck’s dynamics to provide an estimate of its stability, based on mass and velocity. The system automatically slows the truck, if it detects a risk of rollover, preventing harm to the truck driver and other drivers nearby.
While these technologies have been helping large trucks to become safer, for years, Hot Shot Trucking is a relatively new industry. The same technologies are applicable, though, and even though there are fewer statistics, the ones that do exist reflect similarly positive safety trends.