There are 400,000 accidents involving commercial trucks every year. Think about it. Nearly every physical commercial product that is bought, sold, built or stored in this country spends time on or in a truck.
On every single route you’ve got 40 tons of expensive and in some cases fantastically expensive cargo and fuel going 60 miles an hour surrounded by hundreds of other cars and depending on one driver to avoid disaster. Truck drivers are superhuman in their ability to get the goods through, but they aren’t perfect. That’s where we come in. We’re commercial truck insurers, and we can help you avoid losses from some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
As every shipping executive, driver and insurance agent knows, trucks must be kept in good working order. Everything from the windshield wipers to the tires must be regularly inspected and repaired as necessary. The amount of stress, wear and tear that affects truck components, both mechanical and electronic, is considerable, and there are more than just efficiency reasons to make sure they are all in good condition.
The leading cause of truck accidents, by a significant margin, is mechanical failure, and specifically mechanical brake failure. Considering the truck is the only thing protecting the cargo, it is likely in any shipping company’s interests to make sure that 40 ton monster with 18 tires and ten gears can actually stop when it needs to. Even the world’s greatest truck driver can’t bring the vehicle to a stop on his or her own.
Mechanical and vehicle related failures are not just limited to brakes. One need not point out the enormous efforts invested in making sure commercial aircraft are airworthy before they take on passengers or cargo. Regular inspections are mandated in many jurisdictions and drivers naturally insist on making certain their vehicles are in proper working order, as they should. This is something good practices encourage and something an experienced insurance company can help establish for your company and your team.
Second only to brake and mechanical failure is road conditions. Like many of the reasons for truck accidents, the state of the highway is out of your control. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare and it also doesn’t mean you must resign yourself to absorbing losses.
Technology is making it possible to not only track traffic, but predict delays. It won’t be long before it will be possible for drivers to alert each other to road condition danger in advance. These are the kinds of advances we not only support, but seek, since they make it possible for all our various businesses to improve. The one thing we can all agree on is that safety should be our top priority.
Third on the list of potential causes of accidents is weather. Like road conditions and traffic, it is becoming much easier to predict and gauge the effects of various kinds of weather. Some mobile devices are now equipped with software that can track weather conditions in near real time and provide up-to-the-minute imagery for nearly any region of the country.
How weather will affect road conditions, how wind and rain might affect the stability of a vehicle and how heat and humidity might not only damage cargo but also put tremendous strain on mechanical components are subjects we take very seriously, because they can all put a driver, a truck and its cargo at risk.
If road conditions inspire us to seek a safer industry, weather should as well. As insurers, we believe technology will be one of the answers to this problem, and we think if we make them a priority, the risk from weather and road conditions will diminish over time.
The one thing we know can have an immediate impact is better and more consistent driver training. This combined with the safety features that are continually being added to commercial vehicles can dramatically reduce the risks of even short-route commercial trucking for all concerned parties.
But accidents are not the only cause for claims against a commercial truck policy. Mechanical failure is also not limited to those parts of a vehicle that keep it on the road and in one piece. Leaving aside the obvious hazards involved in taking valuable property from one place and getting it to the next, there is the matter of enterprising criminals who see a commercial vehicle and hatch plans to borrow whatever it might be hauling.
The stories even a moderately experienced insurance agent can tell with regard to what ambitious thieves will endure to get their hands on even a modest quantity of goods is both unbelievable and highly entertaining. Every shipping company has to be prepared for these eventualities, and so do their drivers.
A commercial truck insurance company can help you address these problems in one very important and very simple way: We can help you prepare for these hazards well in advance. Preparation is the key to dealing with any emergency, and we know that if you can be prepared in advance to face the rigors of mechanical upkeep, proper road conditions and inclement or dangerous weather, you will be in a position to avoid more than half of the causes of major commercial vehicle accidents. If you don’t know there’s a problem, it’s going to make it hard to avoid. That kind of reduction in risk is worth every minute you invest in preparing, and we will be right there with you every step of the way.
We’d like you to consider letting us show you what a motivated and experienced truck insurance company can do. We think you’ll agree that some of our suggestions will address areas you might not have considered, and we also know your drivers and your clients will be relieved and encouraged by your forward-thinking approach to protecting their safety and their property. We know how important commercial trucking is to the economy, and we know how important your success is to you and your stakeholders. We’re ready to help you deliver the freight.