Consistent truck drivers avoid crashes, research finds

by Today's Trucking

University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers have confirmed that consistent truck drivers are less likely to be involved in a crash – and the nature of that consistency is not limited to speed alone.

The team of graduate students focused on more than five years of telematics data from two national Canadian fleets and one regional U.S. fleet, and found that measurable “off normal” driving behavior helped to predict the likelihood of collisions.

Vancouver container chassis
(File photo: Ryan Ng)

Work was conducted on behalf of Fleetmetrica, a business that focuses on trucking-related analytics.

“From a previous study we were already able to model additional risk of accidents based on the amount of speeding,” says Fleetmetrica CEO Ward Warkentin. “Inconsistent driving behavior … turned out to be significant, and not just on speeding but other behaviors as well – including harsh braking and fuel-efficiency.”

The researchers also found that a predictive model developed for one business could be applied to another operation.

While most companies establish general policies for various driving metrics, the UBC research also suggests thresholds should be established for each metric, to help identify uncharacteristic driving behavior.

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  • I’m sure many of us “safety” people had suspected this. It is a HUGE Confirmation. As suggested we need to add thresholds to each of the driving metrics and then take action. Thanks, Fleetmetrica

  • Thank-you for publishing this interesting article. Do you have a link to the original research paper?