Bendix telematics help fleet honor driver

An onboard Bendix safety technology, SafetyDirect from Bendix CVS, helped PITT OHIO identify a lifesaving maneuver by one of its drivers, who received a Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel award for his actions. Harry Cogswell, a 25-year driver for the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based carrier, was honored in May for his alertness and reflexes during the incident last year.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems says SafetyDirect is a user-friendly Web portal that provides fleet operators with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and the performance of each driver. The system wirelessly transmits real-time driver performance data, as well as event-based information – including video clips of severe occurrences – for analysis by fleet safety personnel and to aid fleets in developing targeted, ongoing driver education and training. SafetyDirect’s video-capture capability – unique in the industry – allowed PITT OHIO a clear view of what happened on the road that morning.

Cogswell was traveling on Interstate 94 near Ann Arbor, Mich., in the pre-dawn darkness of April 4, 2012, when he rounded a bend and saw an overturned car in his lane. With almost no time to respond, he steered and braked to avoid the wreck. As he did so, Cogswell spotted a man crawling from the car. While Cogswell pulled his truck to the side of the road and headed back to the scene on foot, a bus came around the same bend and made contact with the flipped vehicle just moments after the car’s driver had gotten free.

“Harry’s driving experience and trained response allowed him to avoid that accident, giving the other driver a crucial bit of extra time to escape safely,” said Jeff Mercadante, director of safety at PITT OHIO. “The SafetyDirect® video and data from that morning show that he had just two seconds to react before his truck would have hit the car. SafetyDirect told the story.”

Founded in 1979, PITT OHIO employs approximately 1,600 drivers and operates 1,000 tractors and 21 terminals. The company has received safety awards from the American Trucking Associations and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, and is consistently recognized as having one of the highest-rated safety departments in the industry.

“Safety is a core part of the PITT OHIO culture,” Mercadante said. “We hold regular safety meetings with our drivers, and we monitor performance in part through the video recording SafetyDirect offers. The video and accompanying information give us conclusive facts as to what is happening on the roads. This allows us to sit down with drivers and conduct very specific reviews, which enables much more effective coaching.”

“When it comes to safety, PITT OHIO is a leader in the field,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls group. “Bendix is proud to provide our safety technologies to support the fleet’s commitment. We share the same goal – safer trucks, drivers, and highways.”