Can Data Analysis Software Prevent Truck Accidents?
A recent article in Transport Topics discusses a new product designed to assist commercial truck fleets negotiate lower insurance rates. The program, by technology company Idelic, gathers and analyzes data output by its existing trucking safety software and identifies high-risk drivers. This gives fleet owners and supervisors an opportunity to provide intervention and training before a driver causes an accident.
While truck insurance is an important issue (especially for small transport businesses), it was the technology we found interesting. We believe a successful implementation of this type of program could result in a nationwide decrease of commercial trucking accidents, and we’re interested in hearing more.
How does Idelic’s software work?
Michael Gramm, Idelic’s senior vice president of insurance, tells Transport Topics:
We want to engage drivers in a proactive and predictive way. The most important part is the coaching and engagement with the drivers. You can have the most predictive analytics known to man, but it won’t do any good if you don’t know why you’re coaching these drivers.
We’re all about taking the data that comes off of today’s trucks and use that data to predict what drivers are at risk to having an accident in the next 90 days. The fleets look at this data to better understand the risk of their driver force. We help the companies identify those drivers.
The Idelic program offers a suite of analytics and safety software to help commercial fleets track driver activities, as well as predict future actions. The program features things like the Driver Watch List, which “helps fleets identify risky driver behavior at the most important time – before crashes and subsequent losses happen.” It also offers a Driver Safety Playbook, which provides managers instructions on how to coach drivers placed on the Driver Watch List.
Of course, Idelic isn’t selling this program to fleet companies out of the goodness of their hearts or because they want every fleet to have the best drivers in the world. Their selling point – and it’s a good one – is reducing insurance premiums. Idelic will use the data it compiles to offer lower rates to fleets who demonstrate loss reduction and savings from driver improvement and truck accident prevention.
Even if the ultimate goal is to sell insurance, the ripple effect could be quite positive for us here in Oklahoma, where traffic accident injuries and fatalities have been trending upward for the past three years. In 2021 alone, 762 Oklahomans lost their lives on our roads, and 11,619 more were injured.
Software and coaching tools like Idelic’s start the intervention and correction process before an accident happens, rather than after. The software analyzes a trucker’s behavior behind the wheel and assigns them a level of risk, which allows their fleet manager to intervene if necessary. Idelic claims “proven crash reduction” with a 20.3% decrease in accidents after fleets implement their Driver Watch List.
According to Idelic’s data, which looked at 215,000 accidents over the aggregate course of 5 million miles’ worth of driving, about “60% of preventable accidents involve drivers at the top of a company’s watch list.” What this says to us is that trucking companies which use these programs should have a better idea of who poses the greatest risk, and therefore requires additional training, to help keep everyone safer on the road.
And if the truck companies are saving money on insurance because of good behavior, we’re okay with that. To see how the software works, you can check out this YouTube video.
What the software might be looking for
Some of the risky behaviors in which truck drivers may engage, and which this type of software could detect and reduce, include:
- Driving while fatigued. Truckers who violate hours-of-service regulations risk falling asleep at the wheel and causing catastrophic accidents.
- Reckless driving. Road rage, speeding, or careless driving can cause loss of control of a commercial truck or even a multi-vehicle accident.
- Driving under the influence. Besides being against the law, driving a big rig while intoxicated is deadly.
- Improper maintenance. Skipping maintenance checks or scheduled weigh-ins can cause safety issues with tractor-trailers.
Our attorneys look for this information during our investigation of your accident to find out what caused it and who should be held liable.
How the team at Biby Law Firm can help
We understand that an accident with a large truck isn’t like a car accident. Collisions and crashes with these vehicles are typically devastating, resulting in massive and catastrophic injuries or even death. Our Tulsa attorneys know how to deal with trucking companies and their armies of lawyers and insurance companies. We understand the grievous nature of your injuries and that they’re likely going to affect you for a long, long time. The impact on your life didn’t end the day the truck hit you and we want to ensure you’re compensated for every day that you’ll be affected for the rest of your life.
When we take your case, we demand compensation for all of your:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost wages and decreased future earning potential
- Pain and suffering, past and future
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, we can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your family to also recoup funeral and burial expenses. We want to help.
The Tulsa attorneys at Biby Law represent those injured in car and truck accidents throughout Oklahoma. We know how to build a strong case and will be by your side every step of the way. Your fight is our fight and we have decades of experience helping people just like you. Call our offices today or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after an injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, and has limited his career to representing individuals and families who were injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Learn more about Jacob Biby.