When commercial carriers veer off course in an attempt to bypass a traffic collision, increase their speed of travel or by accident, they run the risk of turning onto roads they're not permitted to drive on. Others may wind up driving on these less-than-ideal routes because the GPS software they use is insufficient for their needs or is actually intended for passenger vehicles.
Drivers run the huge risk of colliding with bridges when they take routes that aren't intended to support larger vehicles, and this startlingly common occurrence poses threats to drivers, road safety and the ability of a company to handle deliveries and pickups in a timely manner. Whatever the cause, getting onto these roads can be dangerous and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking the initiative to stop it.
Bridge collisions the common result of faulty GPS directions
United States Senator Charles Schumer has led the battle to get drivers more training in commercial GPS and vehicle routing software systems use, and he recently revealed the FMCSA will mandate GPS training and provide increased guidelines to keep truck drivers from hitting bridges in the future.
Schumer made the announcement at a Southern State Parkway bridge in New York that has been hit 27 times in the past several years by trucks too large for the road. He cited a 2009 study that concluded 80 percent of bridge strikes in New York are the result of drivers using insufficient GPS devices that direct them to turn onto roads they shouldn't use.
Committing to safety and reliable routes
Transportation companies concerned about the safety of the routes their drivers take and adamant about complying with FMCSA requirements may want to ensure they are using routing software that is designed to direct truck drivers and meet their commercial needs. Failure to confirm this could result in a fleet's drivers hitting bridges, taking roads meant only for passenger vehicles and putting other drivers at risk. These can all have a negative impact on a company's Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores, which could in turn limit its ability to bring in new business and retain clients in the future.
Transportation companies that use the most accurate route optimization software will find it allows their drivers to do more than stay safe on the road and avoid striking low bridges. Using such a program also allows drivers to ensure their shipments and pickups will be made on time, guaranteeing client satisfaction and increasing the chances a business will hire the transportation company in the future. Vehicle routing software can also help enterprises cut down on the amount of diesel or gas they use, as the programs allow them to plan the most direct and fuel-efficient paths to their destinations. This can assist businesses looking to limit costs and use the fuel savings achieved with route software to reinvest into their companies and enhance operations.