Information gathered from nine trucking industry focus groups and 198 long-haul drivers showed that it doesn’t matter whether drivers receive feedback from a ‘smart box’ in the cab or from a fleet manager directly, according to research from Occupationalhazards.com. What does matter, however, is how the information is delivered.
For drivers to accept the feedback, they must respect the person giving it and trust the system that delivers it. They recommend the feedback be specific and constructive, acknowledging that negative feedback is sometimes necessary.
Drivers feel that discussion should be limited to those things that they have the control to improve or alter, and should avoid focus of “good” or “bad” and concentrate on criteria, outcomes and improvement.
The study also suggested that drivers be allowed to pilot-test new in-cab technology and have greater involvement in program development. Training on all new technologies and procedures is also recommended.
Some of the in-vehicle technologies desired are: collision avoidance/warning system, adaptive cruise control, rollover protection and prevention, lane tracking, side sensing devices, and driver alertness monitors that actually keep track of blink rate, head movement and steering wheel movement.
The study shows drivers agree that in-vehicle technology can help improve safety performance and lower operational costs, and they are likely to accept the feedback it provides.