Drivewyze launches severe weather alerts on Safety+ platform

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Drivewyze Severe Weather Alerts
Drivewyze launches severe weather alerts on Safety+ platform.

One of North America’s largest weigh station bypass services is now offering an additional safety feature to help drivers prepare for inclement weather events and prevent weather-related accidents.

Drivewyze has integrated its technology with the National Weather Service to provide almost real-time severe weather heads-up alerts on impending dangerous driving conditions via its Safety+ driver notification platform.

The feature, which employs geofencing technology to pinpoint extreme or severe weather occurrences up to 50 miles away, gives drivers time to slow down, alter routes or pull over.

C.R. England and Western Express’s use of Drivewyze’s geofencing function prompted the software provider to develop the new service across the U.S.

Western Express created its own weather alerts around major interstates using Drivewyze’s geofencing capabilities to give its drivers a heads up on incoming snow, chain requirements, when states aren't allowing empty trailers to be transported due to weather conditions and heat advisories for flatbed drivers so they would be reminded to hydrate.

“We invest heavily in technology, and we know the alerts we put out there worked,” said Western Express Director of Safety Daniel Patterson. “We saw a reduction in our accident rates. That’s why we were involved in the beta test, providing feedback to Drivewyze. Now that testing is complete, we’re excited about Drivewyze going live with the severe weather alerts; it takes what we and others were doing manually and builds it out exponentially. It’s something that’s going to have an impact on reducing accidents, while making life easier for drivers behind the wheel.”

According to data from the FMCSA, weather is a factor in 20% of truck crashes that result in death and 12% that result in injuries.

“Every year we hear of cars and trucks that hit a wall of fog or an area where an ice storm made the interstate an ice rink, causing a major pileup. Tornados, extreme high winds, and wildfires – causing dense smoke -- are occurring more frequently. And, earlier this summer, a dust storm in Montana caused virtually zero visibility -- killing several people who couldn’t see cars or trucks that were stopped ahead,” said Drivewyze CEO Brian Heath. “We collect critical risk information from our data partners and use it to warn our subscribers before they get caught in a serious situation.”

The tool, which is being rolled out to all compatible electronic logging devices, provides in-cab alerts displayed on the ELD. Safety+ is an always-on service and does not require third-party navigation services to be running, meaning the weather alert feature is always on, though alerts discontinue when the weather threat passes.

Severe weather alerts is one of several proactive alerts on the Drivewyze Safety+ platform, which also offers alerts for high rollover areas, low bridges, steep grades/runaway ramps, real-time congestion, areas known for high speed citations, high-alert areas for cargo theft and parking availability at rest areas.

“While all the alerts we offer are designed around driver safety, we feel the severe weather alerts are extremely important since weather is often a contributing factor in an accident; it’s why it was something fleets and drivers requested from Drivewyze,” Heath said. “These alerts give drivers ‘eyes’ to something they can’t see ahead. They’re a way to protect drivers, the motoring public and the cargo and company they work for. It’s a critical component to making a fleet safer.”

Angel Coker Jones is a senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal, covering the technology, safety and business segments. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and kayaking, horseback riding, foraging for medicinal plants and napping. She also enjoys traveling to new places to try local food, beer and wine. Reach her at [email protected].