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How Technology Leads to Safer Transit



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In the world of trucking, safety is fundamental to the reputation and overall success of a fleet’s operations, from protecting the well-being of employees and others on the road to keeping shippers’ freight intact and on time. Taking advantage of the benefits technology offers will result in safer practices and better overall performance — outcomes Saia continuously strives to achieve.

There are a number of leading edge technologies today that help to lower accident ratios and impact driver behaviors. In 2012, Saia made the decision to put Bendix Wingman® units on its trucks and has projected that all of the trucks in its fleet will be equipped with this technology within the next 3-5 years. This system offers the capability to prevent driver accidents through the use of a proactive cruise control system, accompanied by audible alerts and video, as well as driver training.

Bendix Wingman® brings innovation and accountability to Saia’s safety initiatives through monitoring various factors during transit, such as:

  • Lane deviation
  • Qualifying events, such as a hard braking
  • Distracted or drowsy driving evidenced through swerving
  • Accident-prone behaviors, such as following too closely
  • Vehicle vicinity when changing lanes

Beyond seeing an improvement in overall safety performance, Saia has also been able to leverage the gathered information for driver training. By initiating a partnership between Bendix Wingman® and Vnomics, a software provider that offers additional telematics, Saia is able to transmit this data wirelessly. The frequency and details of a driver incident can now be recorded and reviewed easily. Saia is able to analyze the videos captured from a qualifying event — looking for trends and triggers — and use them for coaching opportunities.

As Saia has seen, teaching safe driver habits is a proactive approach to lessening the probability of an accident in transit. A shipper’s freight remains intact and in good condition, and there are no added costs associated to an accident when safety protocol is established and followed.

Director of Safety Karla Staver sums up Saia’s perspective on safety technology: “From lane deviation technology to electronic logging, Saia has always been ahead of the curve on what is required in the industry. We want to assure our customers that we will do the necessary things that will take us to the next level in accomplishing safe operations – such as we did with the implementation of Bendix Wingman® – and that is a commitment we will continue to pursue.”

Training is a key part of all drivers’ roles, but it is never more important than with a new driver. Learn more about Saia’s safety training for new hires by reading this recent blog post.

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