Top 10 Current Safety Technologies
In HDT’s August Fact Book, we reported results from our second annual safety survey, conducted jointly with our sister fleet brand, Work Truck. There we looked at the adoption and implementation plans of various safety technologies, analyzing the results by fleet size.
For this issue we’re looking at the results considering a couple of other factors:
- vehicle size operated by the fleet.
- Whether a fleet is for-hire or private.
The median number of vehicles in fleets surveyed was 75, while 20% had fleets between 100 and 259.
Among the respondents, 81% said they have Class 8 trucks in their fleet. About 40% operate Class 7 and 41% Class 6 trucks.
Among survey respondents, 40% were in private fleets and 37% were in for-hire fleets. (The remainder were primarily government fleets.)
Some respondents operate more than one class of truck. (Which is why we see air disc brakes showing up as a safety tech used by fleets with Class 3-5 trucks when those trucks don’t use air brakes.)
Looking at vehicle size, safety technologies that our respondents said were currently in use show a big difference when it comes to backup cameras, with 55% of fleets with Class 3-6 using them but 23% of fleets with Class 8 trucks.
Speed limiters (53%) and air disc brakes (59%) were most commonly used among fleets with Class 8 trucks.
While air disc brakes topped the list of current safety technologies used by respondents both this year and last year, compared to the 2021 survey, speed limiters jumped from fourth to second place, driven primarily by fleets with 50 to 249 vehicles.
When asked which safety technologies the fleet’s surveyed plan to implement within the next year, looking at total numbers, backup cameras were the top choice.
In last year’s survey, forward-facing in-cab cameras were the most commonly cited technology fleets planned to adopt in the coming year, followed by backup cameras and dual-facing in-cab cameras.
Looking more closely, fleets with Class 3-6 trucks in their fleet, at 31%, were more likely to be planning to implement backup cameras than those with Class 8 at 21%.
Side blindspot monitoring appeared to be more important for those with lighter-duty trucks in their fleets, 19-20% among those with Class 3-6, but only 15% for those with Class 8.
Considering that fleets with smaller vehicles are probably more likely to be operating in more congested urban areas, that’s not surprising.
Top 10 Safety Technology Plans for the Next Year
HDT also looked at some questions based on whether the fleet was for-hire or private.
Private fleets almost always were more likely to be planning to implement additional safety technologies in the next year, with the top ones being:
- Backup cameras, 31%, compared to 8% by for-hire fleets.
- Air disc brakes, 26%, compared to 8% by for-hire fleets.
- Forward-facing cameras, 20%, compared to 16% among for-hire fleets.
- Side blindspot monitoring, 17%, compared to 14% among for-hire fleets.
- Adaptive cruise control, 20%, compared to 8% for for-hire fleets.
- Dual-facing in-cab cameras, 14%, vs. 8% of for-hire respondents.
The only safety technologies that for-hire fleets were more likely to plan to implement than private fleets were fatigue monitoring, 11%, compared to 6% among private fleets, and rollover prevention, 5% versus 3%.
This article appeared in the October 2022 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.