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Why Building Your Own Safety System is Putting You At Risk for a Nuclear Verdict

Est. 4 min read

With nuclear verdicts and insurance costs on the rise, fleets are looking for technology solutions that can reduce their liability through crash prevention and data organization. If your fleet is in this situation, you need to answer a big question: Build a safety system or buy one? Fortunately, the answer is easy: Buy.

Building your own safety software puts your fleet at-risk for shutting down as a result of a nuclear verdict. On top of the massive risk associated with taking sole responsibility for every piece of data collected by your fleet, there are other issues most fleets who build in-house solutions recognize. Building in-house oftentimes:

  • Becomes more expensive than purchasing an existing solution
  • Takes more time to build than you have
  • Requires experience your fleet doesn’t have

Building Software is Expensive

Building a safety software that meets the needs of your fleet is a time-intensive, difficult task. Your fleet will need to hire new software engineers or pull your existing team away from their work to start a project that takes months or even years to complete. You’ll need to pull top management and safety team members away from their work to design it. Some fleets will hire a consultant to assist in the design, but this is also very expensive and often doesn’t result in the tool your team truly needs.

Either way, the opportunity cost of spending your fleet’s valuable time and resources building a system from scratch is unjustifiably high. You would be better off saving that money for legal fees.

Building Software Takes Time You Don’t Have

Insurance costs have been rising by double digits year-over-year, largely because the number of nuclear verdicts has too. Your fleet needs a solution right now, because each day that passes without one drastically increases your liability, raising your premiums and increasing your odds of facing a nuclear verdict. 

Building a safety system from the ground up requires time to do it right, and that’s time your fleet doesn’t have. After designing your safety system, writing the software, launching it, and training your staff, months to years will have passed. At the same time, if you don’t meticulously execute these steps, your system won’t be comprehensive and your fleet will be just as liable as before.

In short: Any in-house safety software that’s good takes too long to build, meanwhile, safety software that’s built fast isn’t good enough to use.

Building Software is Difficult

Even if you have the time and money to afford to build a safety system, it’s still too difficult to do. If you want to avoid a nuclear verdict, you have to move beyond scorecarding. It’s not enough to give drivers points for infractions and only assign training to those who hit a certain score—plaintiffs’ attorneys will call that negligence. After all, how can you argue in court that you did everything you could to prevent an accident when software like Safety Suite exists and can identify your at-risk drivers with artificial intelligence (AI)?

Building a safety software like that requires expertise: It takes recruiting the top graduates of world-class universities to work for your company over Google. You’re much better off purchasing software from a provider that already has done this legwork. 

Additionally, all but the largest fleets in the country don’t have access to the sheer amount of data required to build a comprehensive risk model. Safety Suite uses data from more than tens of thousands of drivers from over 20 years of driving records to refine its crash prediction models, and that’s something you can’t build.

In today’s world, it’s not enough to just build a safety system that works, you have to build a safety system that people want to use. When software is clunky or unintuitive, people avoid using it when they don’t feel they have to. In a legal system where plaintiff’s attorneys are incentivized to point to any inconsistency in a fleet’s data they can find and someone didn’t use the tool you built, this will kill your defense during a trial.

Dedicated software providers like Idelic employ User Experience (UX) Designers whose primary role is to make their software easy-to-use for everyone in a fleet. They also have Customer Success teams that provide training and dedicated support to both new and veteran customers, treating them as more than just customers, but partners.

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