Getting lost is a major source of stress and anxiety for truck drivers and, intuitively, the more stress a driver has, the more likely he could be involved in an accident.
“We definitely know that when drivers are lost they make bad decisions,” says Don Osterberg, senior vice president of safety at Schneider National in Green Bay, Wis.
Schneider National has taken several steps to address the risk of drivers getting lost. The company designed a simulation training program for drivers to learn how to get “unlost” while keeping their composure or “situational awareness.” Experiences in the real world and in the simulator have proven that drivers are less safe when trying to reorient themselves, Osterberg says.
Recently, the company implemented an in-cab navigation service called Maptuit NaviGo. The NaviGo service integrates with the company’s operations software and onboard computing and communications system to provide drivers with turn-by-turn, spoken directions.
When a truck is in motion, a driver sees a block arrow indicating the next turn and distance to next turn on the screen of his in-cab computer, the Qualcomm MCP200, Osterberg says.
“We believe that being able to provide better, more granular directions will reduce anxiety,” he says. “Less anxiety means fewer crashes.”
Osterberg says NaviGo will also reduce driver distractions in the cab such as maps, text or handwritten directions and looking for road signs. “All of those become tertiary tasks that are not related to driving.”