Drivewyze announced a major update to its mobile app, which includes free in-cab safety notifications to alert drivers as they approach hazards along their routes. The updated mobile app is available to drivers and owner-operators through the app store for Android and is coming soon for iOS.
The safety notifications are being offered as an unlimited free service — no subscription or trial is required. It runs on the same app used by drivers to access Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service.
Free safety notifications are just a tap away on a tablet or smartphone and provide alerts for drivers prior to dangerous curves, low bridges, steep mountain grades, as well as sudden slowdowns, and upcoming work zones in select states. Visual messages, such as “high rollover,” and “sudden slowdown ahead,” are displayed in conjunction with an audible chime.
These notifications are also available to subscribers of Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass and for those using Drivewyze Safety+.
“We wanted to expand the use of safety notifications, especially with owner-operators and smaller fleets,” said Martin Murtland, vice president of product at Drivewyze. “Drivers operate on unfamiliar roads all the time and we’re giving them added vision as to what’s ahead. With state agencies collaborating with us to provide real-time alerts on hazardous areas and dangerous traffic conditions, the added visibility in-cab continues to grow.”
Murtland said Drivewyze was built around providing technology that improves truck safety.
“The response we’ve received from fleets and drivers, and vitally the documented benefits of proactive in-cab alerts, inspired us to offer these alerts to all drivers, free of charge. Our alerts will benefit truckers, other motorists, and those working in construction zones through safer roadways,” he added.
Dangerous Curve Alert
One of the most important times to alert drivers, according to Drivewyze, is when a vehicle is approaching a known dangerous curve.
The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that there were more than 19,000 rollovers involving heavy trucks in 2020. Nearly 600 fatalities resulted.
“Drivers receiving our alerts on dangerous on/off ramp curves have slowed down, on average, by 4 mph,” said Murtland. “That’s significant and has helped numerous truckers avoid a rollover.”
More than 630 dangerous curves have been geofenced by Drivewyze in the U.S. and Canada.
Low Bridge Alert
In 2020 NHTSA reported nearly 15,000 bridge strikes by vehicles. Drivewyze also provides alerts on upcoming low bridges.
“Data we’ve gathered shows that 65% of drivers turn off their navigation after the first mile of their route and don’t turn it back on until the final mile,” said Murtland. “That can lead to a drive down an unfamiliar street and ultimately a low bridge strike. But our app, running in the background, can help a driver avoid that possibility by notifying the driver to any of the 1,616 low bridges we’ve identified as too low for trucks.”
Traffic Slowdown Alert
When it comes to sudden slowdowns on interstates and highways, Drivewyze said its Smart Roadways program works with participating states to provide additional free in-cab alerts.
Seven state agencies are involved in the program with more states to be added soon. Fully automated messages such as “sudden slowdown ahead,” and “congestion ahead” are displayed two to three miles in advance.
The company reported a study in North Carolina on I-95 found that commercial truck drivers receiving Drivewyze in-cab notification reduced speed by an average of 11 mph after drivers were alerted of a sudden slowdown, and by an average of 8 mph reduction when alerted about a congestion event.
“According to the FMCSA, 30% of all crashes are on interstates — and many are secondary incidents where a truck or car rear-ended a vehicle that was in queue from the initial crash — it highlights the importance of these alerts that give earlier warning to drivers," Murtland said. "For example, a study by PennDOT on secondary crashes found that nearly half of secondary crashes happened in traffic queues of 60 minutes or longer."
Weigh Station Bypass Trial
In addition to accessing the free safety notifications, new users using the Drivewyze app qualify for a free 30-day trial of PreClear, the company announced.
Drivewyze uses a carrier’s safety record and other screening rules to determine if a truck is eligible to receive a bypass. If the carrier and vehicle pass the criteria, at 1 mile out, the driver receives permission to bypass the site. The better the carrier’s safety score, the more bypasses typically granted, according to the company.
PreClear is available at more than 840 sites in 46 states and provinces. Activation of Drivewyze PreClear can be done in minutes since no transponders are required, according to the company.