How new technology can contribute to safer driving
Speed cameras and telematics demonstrate they make a difference
On average, nearly 40,000 people die in the U.S. from driver-related accidents. Although the figure has slightly decreased since 2016, which still holds the all-time high of 37,806 deaths, the country remains a world leader in this morbid category with numbers that are roughly 50 percent higher than each of the rest of the world’s developed nations.
But recent developments in play globally can go a long way towards mitigating these fatalities. Tougher traffic laws, especially those related to speeding have long proven to cut down on accidents, although they are tough to enforce, especially in a geographically large nation like the U.S. However, countries like the U.K., Brazil and Russia have installed speed cameras within their boundaries at particularly vulnerable urban and rural roadways to reduce accidental motorist deaths.
Reports from the Redex Research advisory indicated the UK has nearly 7,000 of these safety cameras operating in the country, compared to barely 6,000 set up in the U.S. “Here in Britain, we’re fortunate to have the safest roads of any country in Europe,” claimed one study. “The prevalence of speed cameras and tough penalties for speeding have a part to play in maintaining road safety.”
Telematics can play a key factor
Another development, telematics−a feature that allows online communication and data transfer between different electronic devices−is being considered as another way to boost traffic safety. Telematics is already being used to improve car rental fleet management and customer service, but it’s increasingly being used to tackle the ongoing issue of road collisions.
Fleet managers for delivery companies are currently examining the amenities offered by telematics, such as the use of data collected from its vehicles to track performance and look for problem driver behaviors like vehicular impact, speeding, heavy braking and taking corners aggressively, which are detected by on-board sensors and transmitted to management for perusal.
Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that 94 percent of all accidents are attributable to driver error, the data can provide management with a wide array of options to decrease such erratic performances. Performance evaluations can be more precise with more accurate information and can prompt decision makers to pursue such solutions as disciplinary action, more driver training, or creating incentive programs to encourage safer driving.
Similar data can be used to grade car rental clients on the type of rates a company can offer as well as benefits to regular customers who demonstrate safe driving on the very vehicles they book.
So far telematics is so new, that statistics to reflect the extent to which the technology can be used for the purposes of driver safety are hard to come by. Still, that’s not stopping telematics proponents from insisting that it’s a solution that’s been long overdue.