UPS Pushes to Improve Safety of Its Trucks

July 30, 2015 by Seth Sparks, @sethbsparks

Collision mitigation technology will now be standard equipment on all UPS Class 8 tractors. The technology, which will be included on more than 2,600 trucks, alerts drivers to moving objects from all sides of the vehicle and both moving and stationary objects directly in front of the vehicle.

Collision mitigation technology, like the one being employed by UPS, is recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board for all commercial and passenger trucks. Anti-lock air disc brakes, lane departure warnings, and electronic stability control are all features of collision mitigation technology.

One of the major goals of collision avoidance systems is to reduce the occurrence of rear-end crashes, which cause 1,700 fatalities and approximately half a million injuries every year, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NTSB estimates that nearly 80 percent of these accidents could be prevented by the use of collision avoidance systems. Earlier this year, multiple highway safety groups urged the NHTSA to install collision-avoidance systems on all new trucks and buses weighing at least 10,000 pounds.

UPS has one of the best safety track records of all trucking fleets in the United States. Drivers are trained in defensive driving before and during their employment with UPS, who believe collision mitigation technology will augment the safety driving techniques that the company is known for.

In a press release from UPS, freight driver and captain of the American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road team, Paul Savill said, “Collision mitigation systems make good drivers even better,” and that these systems are “an excellent complement to safe driving techniques.”

UPS has approximately 102,000 drivers on the roads worldwide, 7,800 of which are part of their Circle of Honor program, which recognizes employees who have driven 25 years or more without the occurrence of a preventable crash. Drivers in the Circle of Honor program have travelled more than 5.3 billion miles and totaled more than 221,000 years of safe driving.

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