Severe Weather Alerts now Part of Drivewyze Safety+
Provides Drivers with Heads Up Alerts on Impending Dangerous Driving Conditions
DALLAS, Aug. 15, 2022 — Drivewyze, the leader in connected truck services, is now providing real-time weather warnings as part of its Drivewyze Safety+ proactive driver notification platform. Drivewyze has integrated its technology with trusted weather data partners – to pinpoint extreme or severe weather occurrences in the U.S., giving drivers time to slow down, alter routes, or pull over in severe weather cases. Severe Weather Alerts start at up to 50 miles from the severe weather occurrence. Alerts are only delivered when and where drivers need them and are discontinued when the weather threat passes. Safety+ is an always-on service and does not require 3rd party navigation services to be running.
“Providing early warning for extreme and severe weather helps protect truck drivers and others on our roadways,” said Brian Heath, CEO of Drivewyze. “The latest FMCSA data showed that weather was a factor in 20% of truck crashes that resulted in death, and 12% that resulted in injuries. It also created 13% of property damage. It’s very clear that early warning can help prevent accidents involving trucks – we now have a tool that can deliver specific weather alerts to vehicles based on location and bearing.”
According to Heath, the alerts help drivers prepare for inclement weather, as well as high-risk weather events. “Every year we hear of cars and trucks that hit a wall of fog or an area where an ice storm made the interstate an ice rink, causing a major pileup. Tornados, extreme high winds, and wildfires – causing dense smoke — are occurring more frequently. And, earlier this summer, a dust storm in Montana caused virtually zero visibility — killing several people who couldn’t see cars or trucks that were stopped ahead. We collect critical risk information from our data partners and use it to warn our subscribers before they get caught in a serious situation.”
Since Drivewyze Safety+ is running in the background on supported ELD devices, the alerts are always on. Currently, the Severe Weather Alerts feature is rolling out to all compatible ELD devices.
In cab alerts with messages like “Snow Squall Warning, Drive for Conditions” are displayed on the ELD. “Weather can turn on a dime and we work with partners to utilize real-time, high-quality data that impacts real driving conditions,” said Heath. “Our platform allows us to take that critical information and immediately pass it along to drivers.”
Severe Weather Alerts is one of several pro-active alerts on the Drivewyze Safety+ platform. It also provides drivers with alerts for high rollover areas, low bridges, mountain corridors (steep grades/runaway ramps), real-time congestion, speed (areas known for high citations), cargo theft (high alert areas), and rest areas (parking availability). Drivewyze Safety+ also allows fleets to create their own custom geo-fencing and alert notifications. A web portal allows fleets to track the impact of the alerts for driver coaching.
“While all the alerts we offer are designed around driver safety, we feel the Severe Weather Alerts are extremely important since weather is often a contributing factor in an accident – it’s why it was something fleets and drivers requested from Drivewyze,” said Heath. “These alerts give drivers ‘eyes’ to something they can’t see ahead. They’re a way to protect drivers, the motoring public, and the cargo and company they work for. It’s a critical component to making a fleet safer.”
C.R. England and Western Express “Test Drive” Weather Alerts
Prior to Drivewyze’s launch of Severe Weather Alerts, C.R. England and Western Express had been using the “custom” geo-fencing function on Drivewyze Safety+ — to create their own, manually created driver weather alerts using existing geo-fencing capabilities in the Drivewyze platform. Both companies talked with Drivewyze about their experiences, which prompted Drivewyze to develop the new Severe Weather Alert warnings throughout the U.S.
“Drivewyze was awesome to work with and they were receptive to what we were doing,” said Gerardo Granados, who is part of C.R. England’s safety department management team. “When they said they’d move forward with the alerts, we volunteered to beta test the notifications with our drivers. We’re excited about the rollout.”
According to Granados, weather is every fleet’s enemy. “Safety is a core function and it’s engrained in C.R. England’s culture,” he said. “When we started using Safety+, we took advantage of geo-fencing for weather. We have a fleet of 4,000 trucks, so we began to identify our busiest lanes — providing our own weather alerts for our drivers, taking info from the National Weather Service, and other sources. In Texas, for example, we were providing heavy rain alerts to get our drivers ready for incoming weather. The alerts were well received, and the proactive alerts provided ‘foresight’ – minimizing risk for our drivers is something we’re always trying to do. Drivers have a tough job with traffic, weather, and delivery windows. Anything we can do to help them, we want to do. The Severe Weather Alerts Drivewyze is now offering is a great complimentary tool that we’re excited to use.”
Daniel Patterson, who serves as Western Express’ director of safety, said five of its regions geo-fenced the company’s own weather alerts. Western Express has more than 3,500 power units. “We had our regional teams put together alerts and we focused on the major interstates – giving our drivers a heads up on incoming snow for example, or where chains were being required. And we gave alerts on when states didn’t allow empty trailers to be transported due to weather conditions. All these winter weather alerts we put together helped our drivers – they appreciated the notifications. In the summer, we gave out heat advisories, which was really important for our flatbed drivers. We wanted them to stay hydrated and not have any heat related health incidents.”
“We invest heavily in technology,” continued Patterson. “And we know the alerts we put out there worked – we saw a reduction in our accident rates. That’s why we were involved in the beta test – providing feedback to Drivewyze. Now that testing is complete, we’re excited about Drivewyze going live with the Severe Weather Alerts – it takes what we and others were doing manually and builds it out exponentially. It’s something that’s going to have an impact on reducing accidents, while making life easier for drivers behind the wheel.”