Rising insurance costs in the trucking industry are putting many fleets in financial hardship. One fleet — Carney Trucking — is the latest example of what can happen when these costs are too much to bear. After one fatal crash this August, a spike in insurance rates left their fleet with no other choice than to shut down after 36 years on the road.
The leading indicators were all there: preventable accidents, inspections with high out of service rates, and other concerning FMCSA data. It’s easy to look back at these incidents in hindsight and reflect on what could have been done differently, however, leading up to the accident these issues were either underestimated, overlooked, or simply unknown.
At Idelic, we believe in the proactive approach to accident prevention. Identifying at-risk behavior by using the data already being collected from each fleet system (telematics, CSA violations, camera alerts, learning and asset management, HR and accident records, background checks, and performance plans) enables safety teams to put preventative measures into place and get drivers the help they need before it’s too late.
John Simms, Vice President of Risk and Business Solutions at HNI, who regularly shares his standpoint on fleet liability and risk through his blog posts and speaking engagements (see: How To Reduce Insurance Premiums with Safety), explained the importance of proactively understanding trends in data:
“High out of service rates is a disturbing trend, and shows the fleet may not be taking care of their equipment. It’s alarming to any insurance company and the public as a whole if you don’t have a culture of safety in your fleet. You achieve this by being proactive and having a good safety program that identifies defects before an officer pulls a driver over.”
— John Simms
Not having insight into fleet safety operations before an accident is alarmingly common, meaning fleets without the proper risk management tools face the same fate as Carney Trucking. Looking specifically at the tragedy surrounding Carney Trucking, Simms explained:
“This fleet has 28 registered vehicles, which means that 28 trucks were operating on the street each day. If you’re carrying a million dollars in liability insurance, which is typically the minimum, your fleet is risking $28 million each day. So that’s why understanding your fleet data is so important, a lot of your fleet’s money is at stake.”
— John Simms
Carney Trucking’s story isn’t unique. Trucking shutdowns have spiked this year, and understanding your fleet’s data is vital from both a safety and financial standpoint. Using the Idelic Safety Suite, the industry-leading comprehensive driver management platform, fleets gain a 360-degree understanding of each drivers’ behavior. By proactively assigning targeted training and professional development plans, fleets have seen reductions in claims of over 55%.