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What is Vision Zero and How Does Data Reduce Traffic Incidents?

By Verizon ConnectOctober 14, 2020

Vision Zero is a program geared toward eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries related to all modes of ground travel on city streets (i.e., driving, walking, biking, bus riding and train riding), based on the use of data to transform public policy and city planning. The program was first implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, where traffic deaths have dropped 30% since 1997.  Since then it has been successful in many other European countries, and has begun to gain momentum in the U.S. with 40 plus cities now working towards Vision Zero goals.

How transportation and logistics can lead the way with Vision Zero

Transportation, logistics and freight industries are uniquely positioned to make an impact with Vision Zero by utilizing technology—and data—to improve driving safety and behaviors. Here are 4 ways these industries (together with public agencies) can have a positive impact:

  1. Reducing driver speed

In 2018, speeding caused 9,378 traffic deaths  (NHTSA)1. By using  automated driver safety software, fleet managers can leverage a range of metrics to coach drivers on following posted speed limits and avoiding other adverse driving behaviors (e.g. hard braking, harsh acceleration, not wearing a seat belt). 

  1. Thwarting impaired driving

Reducing impaired driving is a core element of Vision Zero and of fleet safety programs.  By using data from PSP reports and the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, fleet managers can more effectively keep unsafe drivers off the road.   

A PSP report captures individual commercial drivers’ safety performance history including five years of traffic crash data and three years of roadside inspection data. Hiring managers can access a driver’s PSP report to better determine who to bring on staff. 

The CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database that helps keep drivers with drug and alcohol related violations off the road by requiring them to register in it.  Carriers are required to query the system during the pre-employment screening process and update the database if any drug- and alcohol-related staff incidents occur.   

  1. Prioritizing safety initiatives 

Improving city planning, street designs, transportation systems, and infrastructure upgrades are all part of the long-term goals of Vision Zero task forces. Ensuring proper physical separation between cyclists  and car traffic, lowering speed limits, and adding safe pedestrian zones, are just a couple of examples of smarter street design that can help improve traffic safety and reduce loss of life.

When it comes to transportation, sometimes the shortest route isn’t the safest. While we talk a lot about ensuring deliveries are made on time, it’s important to note that sometimes getting a delivery made on time is not worth the risk of taking a dangerous or restricted route. But any guesswork drivers would have had to make in the past is now eliminated thanks to route optimization technology and intelligent GPS. Route optimization software guides drivers down safe routes, helping to keep them off roads and out of areas that aren’t safe. Drivers are rerouted away from dangerous or impassable roads, restricted areas, low underpasses, old bridges, and more.  

  1. Sharing data insights 

Transportation agencies and carriers have the opportunity to take the data they glean from safe driving technology and share it with the communities they serve. Specifically, data from driver management software can be used to identify trends around what time of day or location drivers typically engage in aggressive driving behavior. While GPS and route optimization software data can be used by city planners to create roadways dedicated to trucking, helping to separate public traffic from large trucks. 

Find out how GPS fleet tracking provides you with visibility into your drivers habits on the road. Download this free ebook.

A “vision” of the future 

The future of Vision Zero will likely include autonomous driving vehicles, IoT for infrastructure, V2X communication, artificial intelligence, improvements to public transportation and more. This will help drive down traffic related deaths and promote a road system of safer streets that values human life first and foremost. 

To find out how you can leverage data today to transform the safety of your fleet to meet this future vision, download the 2020 Fleet Tracking Trends Report. 

 Sources:

1 https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding


Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.


Tags: Data & Analytics

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