In 2010 there were more than 500,000 accidents involving large truck and commercial vehicles on U.S. roadways; more than 100,000 resulted in a serious injury and over 5,000 caused a fatality. Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP (Air Liquide) has always been committed to safety, and now the company is taking additional measures to improve the safety of its fleet and encourage safe driving practices.
Beginning last summer and continuing through the end of 2011, Air Liquide will take delivery of 133 new delivery trucks equipped with advanced safety technology. These new features are not only intended to promote safe driving habits, they can also help drivers better react to unexpected road conditions. Each of the new trucks, which transport products like oxygen, nitrogen and argon, is equipped with the following:
- DriveCam Video Event Recorder: Proactive, behavioral safety monitoring system that allows the company to see how drivers respond during unusual or unexpected events so managers can provide feedback and coaching. This technology will be installed on all trucks in the existing fleet as well.
- Meritor WABCO OnGuard Collision Safety System: Uses forward-looking radar sensor technology to monitor the distance of the moving vehicle ahead. The system assists the driver in maintaining a safe following distance, and can help avoid and reduce the impact of rear-end collisions by braking as needed.
- Iteris AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System: Warning device that alerts the driver if the truck has drifted across the lane divider strips.
Each truck is also equipped with Meritor WABCO Roll Stability Control. This technology, in conjunction with the Meritor WABCO 6S/6M Anti-Lock Braking System, helps prevent rollovers by applying each wheel’s brakes in the correct sequence. The installation of this ABS technology comes in advance of a federal regulation requiring disc brakes that will take effect in 2013. Air Liquide was among the first in its industry to utilize this technology.
"We are very excited to add these new trucks to our fleet," said Steve Bellis, Vice President Supply Chain. "This major investment reflects Air Liquide’s dedication to safety and reinforces our commitment to our drivers and the communities we serve. We will continue to maintain high safety standards and look forward to this new technology contributing to our safety goal of zero accidents and injuries."
In addition to these vehicle safety features, all new Air Liquide drivers are required to participate in safety "boot camp." Another valuable program provided to drivers is fatigue management training, which includes involvement from drivers’ families to promote safe habits at home.
Air Liquide also hosts an annual driving competition in Houston, Texas to recognize drivers for superior skills and safety performance. The event, called the National Field Championship, includes a series of written exams and behind-the-wheel challenges. The event will take place at the Sam Houston Racetrack on November 7-10.