The World Resources Institute has found that South Africa ranks 42nd in the world, in terms of road fatalities, where Arrive Alive figures suggest that 27.5% of accidents on our roads are caused by trucks and light delivery vehicles.
Although relatively few in number, some truck accidents have made headlines because of the high number of fatalities when a large vehicle loses control.
“Heavy vehicles are integral to efficient supply chains. Without them, the supply chain would be compromised as goods would not reach their markets timeously. Improving the safety record of this vital industry is clearly important,” said Arnoux Maré, Managing Director of Innovative Staffing Solutions.
“In essence, having trucks on the road will always be beneficial to the country’s economy. The large number of heavy vehicles on our roads makes it therefore imperative that measures are put in place to reduce the number of accidents involving trucks.”
Ensuring safety on roads
Although road freight remains the preferred method of transportation for many South African companies, the direct cost of truck accidents to the economy was recently estimated at R306 billion. According to Maré, this figure includes clearing accident scenes, hospital care and police time.
Maré also highlighted the variety of indirect costs, which include work hours lost, delayed delivery and damaged cargos.
“This cost is materialising in higher vehicle insurance premiums charged by insurance companies,” he added.
Maré added that while no single approach can improve truck driver competency, there are solutions to reducing the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles. He said this includes a combination of regular driver evaluation and corrective training, fleet technology monitoring systems and close management of driver schedules to prevent fatigue and negligence.
“The safety of our employees and our clients’ equipment is of the utmost importance to Innovative Staffing Solutions, which is why we constantly find new and innovative ways to improve driver competences. It is for this reason that our holding company, Innovative Solutions Group, recently invested in a Renault Kerax truck to conduct truck driver training for our own drivers and that of our clients.
“Our process allows us to train a driver every one and a half hours. Not only does our on-site dedicated truck benefit our clients by significantly reducing downtime for their trucks, but it ensures all drivers are properly trained in safety regulations and provided with measures to guarantee their own and others’ safety on the roads.”