With an industry as fast-paced as freight, there is consistent movement toward efficiency, productivity, innovation and safety.
In recent years, there has been significant emphasis on technology and innovation within the freight industry. In order to keep your fleet as safe as possible, it is important to know what is available to minimize risk and potential danger.
Some of the important elements that impact driver safety are driver visibility, lighting, collision avoidance and maintenance diagnostics. This article will cover some of the industry’s most recent additions to support the safety of you and your fleet.
Visibility is vital when it comes to driver safety, and many Class 8 models are designed with visibility in mind. Freightliner, especially, has created several features to enhance driver visibility, such as its standard one-piece windshield and one-piece side glass. This feature increases wiper coverage by more than 12% and provides the driver with an improved view of the side mirror.
Another Freightliner visibility feature is its standard heated exterior mirrors, which improve visibility in the winter months. Freightliner also incorporated remote adjustability to ensure a clear view of the road ahead.
In addition to the windows and mirrors, the hood slope comes into play in maximizing visibility. Freightliner offers increased hood slope to provide greater forward visibility.
One key aspect when it comes to visibility is lighting. Peterbilt offers headlamp technology with its high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps that provide an evenly distributed beam pattern as well as longer bulb life.
Volvo also provides features to improve visibility and reduce maintenance by employing LED bulbs for all exterior and interior lighting. All Volvo models feature LED high/low-beam headlights as well as LED turn, marker and parking lamps.
Not only is lighting essential to safety on the road but to entering and exiting the Class 8 vehicle safely. Freightliner incorporates step lighting as well to ensure that the driver is able to enter and exit the vehicle with clear visibility in order to avoid injury.
It goes without saying that a collision can be the largest risk to safety in the freight industry. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have improved and will continue to improve collision safety and avoidance for their vehicles.
For example, Peterbilt has incorporated collision mitigation systems that, through advanced radar and camera technology, provide protection in dangerous conditions. Lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and stationary object braking are all features included in the collision-mitigation system.
A safety device only manufactured by Volvo is the driver-side airbag. Volvo has since added side-impact airbags for rollover protection and forward collision warning for situations involving emergency brakes.
Outside of the dangers of low visibility and collision risks, there is also danger in breakdowns and malfunctioning vehicle parts. To reduce the risk of breakdowns, Peterbilt has incorporated a diagnostics and repair platform called SmartLINQ Remote Diagnostics. This system provides real-time service alerts and maintenance recommendations as well as connectivity to the three nearest dealer locations.