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The Public Thinks Your Drivers Need Safety Monitoring

October 17, 2019
An on-road dump truck releases a load.
The average driver does not believe commercial drivers operate safely.

Does the average driver believe your pickups, service trucks, flat beds, and dump trucks are operating safely?

Not really—especially if they have a schedule to keep—according to the results of a new survey by Wakefield Research and Verizon Connect with assists from official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data.

Some 83 percent of American drivers believe they are safer drivers than most drivers of commercial vehicles, despite the fact that only 3 percent of all severe crashes in the U.S. involve commercial trucks.

On top of the misperception of the level of danger posed by commercial drivers, Verizon Connect says 67 percent of the people surveyed insist commercial drivers are more focused on their schedule than safety.

Dangerous driving

An overwhelming majority of American drivers, 81 percent, say they have witnessed a commercial vehicle driving dangerously.

And drivers claim to have seen all sorts of dangerous behavior, including speeding (69 percent), driving erratically such as swerving in and out of lanes (46 percent), and running or nearly running off the road (38 percent).

Forty-one percent of those who have witnessed dangerous driving have reported the incident, but many who did not report what they saw (37 percent) did not do so because they could not capture evidence of the dangerous behavior.

Calls for video monitoring

City residents are particularly concerned about commercial vehicle drivers, with 84 percent of adults living in cities agreeing that commercial drivers should not be allowed on the road without video monitoring of their driving habits, and 69 percent of those polled in the suburbs back them up.

Overall, 74 percent of adults agree that commercial vehicle drivers shouldn’t be allowed on the road without a dashboard camera or some sort of video monitoring of their driving habits, and 42 percent believe installing a dashboard camera is the number one way to reduce accidents involving commercial vehicles.

While consumer perceptions around the level of danger posed by commercial drivers may not be fully accurate, they persist.

Telematics to the rescue

Verizon Connect says video monitoring and other emerging AI and IoT technologies in telematics are helping commercial drivers stay safe on the road and protect themselves in the event of any incident—or unsubstantiated claim.

And they may help shift negative public perceptions.

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