This Weather Problem is Costing Fleet Owners Thousands
We all know that planning a trip in the commercial vehicle industry is no small feat. However, the unpredictability of weather can disrupt even the best-laid plans. Now, when you hear “weather trouble,” you might picture snowy roads and icy storms. But with climate change in the mix, bad weather can hit anytime, anywhere. Think flooding, thunderstorms, and that spooky fog. You can’t control the weather, but you can get your drivers ready and plan for when things get dicey.
It’s a common idea that bad weather only comes in winter, but the evolving climate patterns reveal a new reality. In North America, severe weather events can surprise you all year round. And to add to this, weather-related vehicle incidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, are more disruptive than natural disasters. They mess up schedules, cost money, and, most importantly, put drivers at risk.
The Fiscal Implications of Weather-Related Challenges
Now, let’s talk money. The financial impact of severe weather is significant. Instances of snow, ice, and fog alone contribute to nearly a quarter of non-recurrent delays on U.S. highways, culminating in costs exceeding $25 per lost hour. But it’s not just about money; it’s your reputation too. Late or missed deliveries make customers unhappy and can hurt your business’s image.
Insurance, often the pillar of financial security, has witnessed a drastic shift. Premiums have escalated by 47% between 2011 and 2021, imposing a substantial burden. Carriers that experience weather-related damages are disproportionately affected, causing a pronounced surge in their insurance premiums.
Weigh station inspections, with an average duration of five minutes and a cost of approximately $8.68 per stop, serve as an additional expenditure. Weather-related incidents adversely impact safety scores, making these stops longer and more expensive.
A Duality of Challenges: Smaller vs. Larger Fleets
Smaller fleets, despite their resilience, often grapple with resource constraints within their safety departments. The lack of dedicated weather-monitoring personnel forces them to assume multiple roles, often leaving drivers without timely communications crucial for mitigating weather-related risks, thereby elevating the risk of accidents.
Conversely, larger fleets boast established safety departments; however, they sometimes grapple with old processes that impede the efficient delivery of weather warnings to drivers. Manual weather checks and slow communication can lead to delayed alerts, putting drivers in danger. Drivers, as a prevailing habit, tend to check their alerts during breaks, which can be too late when bad weather’s coming.
Almost like what happens when you receive multiple spam emails in your inbox, sometimes carriers send blanket alerts to drivers, regardless of severity or location. This leads to alert fatigue, and drivers start ignoring them.
The Genesis of Drivewyze Safety+
Enter Drivewyze Safety+: a contemporary solution to address the array of challenges posed by inclement weather. It uses real-time weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to send drivers in-cab alerts when bad weather is within 50 miles. The technology ensures that drivers are receiving high impact weather alerts out of its 62 different options, including blizzards and strong winds. In some places, it even tells drivers about local weather laws, like needing tire chains.
Concrete Results: The C.R. England Case Study
In the realm of tangible outcomes, consider the case of C.R. England, a distinguished trucking company based in Salt Lake City. Using Drivewyze Safety+ yielded substantial returns for the fleet, with incidents registering a notable reduction year-over-year. Drivers of C.R. England, on average, receive 18 alerts each month, a volume that strikes the ideal balance, preventing alert fatigue. Remarkably, the avoidance of a single jackknife incident more than justified the investment in Drivewyze Safety+, underscoring its value.
Cultivating a Culture of Safety
But it’s not just about avoiding bad weather. Drivewyze Safety+ helps build a safety culture. It keeps drivers prepared for all sorts of challenges, not just weather-related ones. This, in turn, fortifies safety scores, both in terms of Inspection Selection System (ISS) and Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) criteria. It also makes drivers feel safer, which helps you attract and keep them, making your business more stable.
By showcasing the commitment to diligence and safety, Drivewyze Safety+ not only garners favor with insurers but also fosters a sense of security among drivers. As an outcome, carriers are better positioned to attract and retain drivers, assuring the stability and continuity of their operations.