Product Update

Transportation Risk—Fleet Safety for Large Commercial Vehicles Discussed in Practical Risk Management

This release of Practical Risk Management adds a new topic—"Transportation Risk: Fleet Safety for Large Commercial Vehicles."

"Trucking Moves America Forward" is the name of an American Trucking Association (ATA) program established to promote the image of the trucking industry. The ATA will have no trouble convincing anyone who has been on a highway in the United States that trucking is indeed moving America forward and it is a 24-hour-per-day, 365-days-per-year job. Perhaps what the ATA can help America understand is that trucking is a highly complex industry whose operators face existential risk every minute a truck is on the road.

Many trucking companies have trucks on the road every hour of every day. Larger companies may have dozens or even hundreds of trucks on the road. The owner of the company must live with the knowledge that a momentary loss of concentration by the driver behind the wheel of any one of its trucks can destroy lives and create a liability that spells the end of the entire company. The owner also knows that the company is at risk from a momentary loss of concentration by the driver of another vehicle that collides with one of the company's trucks. Often such a crash is blamed on the trucker, even if there is little evidence that the trucker did anything to cause the accident and no indication that the trucker could have done anything to prevent the crash. That is just the nature of the business.

Challenges facing the trucking company go well beyond fear of an accident. They include finding, retaining, and managing professional and safe drivers amid a severe talent shortage; keeping equipment up to date and making sure it is safe when placed into service; mastering rapidly advancing technology; dealing with the legal aspects of a highly litigious and highly regulated industry; and purchasing insurance in an increasingly difficult market.

This topic will provide an overview and identify some best practices used by trucking companies to manage drivers, equipment, technology, the legal-regulatory environment, and insurance.