The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for a rule that would require all commercial vehicles to be installed with event data recorders (EDRs). This push was instigated by a vehicle crash that killed ten people – a truck crossed the highway median and struck both a passenger car and a motor coach, killing ten and injuring 37. According to the NTSB’s investigation, the probable cause of the crash was the driver’s inability to maintain control of the vehicle due to unresponsiveness for reasons that could not be established from available information. With no other leads, data from an EDR could assist investigators in determining the root cause of the accident.
EDRs are already widely used by companies that have deployed telematics software in their business. An EDR, or a black box, is a computer that is hardwired to the vehicle’s engine. Based on the type of EDR and configuration, vehicle owners are able to examine a large amount of data surrounding their vehicles, including speeding events, harsh breaking, sharp cornering, and other safety violations. In the world of fleet management, EDRs are often one component of a comprehensive analytical software suite that gives managers a deep view into driver and vehicle behavior. EDRs can even generate safety reports that replay unsafe driving instances, giving fleet managers an unparalleled view of dangerous driving behavior so that they can take corrective action. Should the NTSB’s push for mandated EDRs prove successful, businesses will need to choose the device that best suits their fleet’s needs. Without the right software to manage the incoming data, EDRs can be overwhelming.
Teletrac’s EDR unit, the Prism TM470, makes it easy for fleet managers to make data-backed decisions. All information from vehicles connected to the Prism TM470 unit feeds directly into Fleet Director, the company’s fleet management software. From here, fleet managers can generate safety reports and watch replays of unsafe driving, identifying risky behavior before it escalates to collisions. From the hardware unit to the software interface, Teletrac’s system is designed to promote road safety. The information generated from EDR units can give businesses crucial insight into the events that led up to a collision. Should the NTSB’s proposed rule become a law, businesses across the nation will be able to investigate crashes and take steps to prevent them reoccurring.