It’s been a busy week in trucking safety. A new report shows that the US trucking industry spends almost $10 billion a year in safety advancements and improvements.
According to an ATA spokesperson, “We know this industry prioritizes and invests in improving safety on our nation’s highways. With the results of this survey, we now can put a dollar figure on that investment and that figure is significant.”
The $10 billion figure breaks down into four components:
- Technology: Fleets increasingly turn to collision avoidance and mitigation systems, stability control, blind spot systems and more.
- Truck Driver Training: From safety training to event video recorders, wages, retraining, coaching and more – truck driver training is key to better over-the-road safety.
- Pay: Are you recognizing your truck drivers with awards and bonuses when they operate safely?
- Regulations: Compliance is part of our industry today. From motor vehicle and truck driver checks to drug and alcohol testing, there are a lot of ways to not be compliant.
What the $10 billion figure does not include is routine maintenance costs related to things like new brake purchases, drug and alcohol testing for your truck drivers, tires and other items related to routine repairs or replacement.
This number represents a large rise in safety technology adoption over the past decade. In the past two to three years specifically, trucking has seen advanced new systems come online that allow them to enhance safety measures the likes of which had never happened before.
It looks like truck driver safety is going to stay a key part of how the trucking industry operates and we couldn’t be happier about that.
Trucking Gets a Mascot
How can you represent an entire industry as its mascot and have people referring to you as “what’s-its-name” or the “truck mascot.”
Fortunately, Trucking Moves America Forward’s (TMAF) mascot finally can shed those unfortunate labels and go by an actual name: Safety Sammy.
TMAF was conceived of three years ago. The group is designed to promote an image of the trucking industry as one that is safe and necessary for a healthy economy.
TMAF has also been designed to be a continuous movement, rather than a one-time campaign.
Newly-named Safety Sammy was debuted in May and was designed to embody TMAF’s mission, which is to promote and enhance the image of the trucking industry. The group wants to use the mascot at trucking industry events. Safety Sammy has appeared at the Trucker’s Jamboree and to the National Truck Driving Championships.
During the first two days at the Great American Trucking Show, Safety Sammy moved among convention-goers nameless and unknown, even as he posed for pictures and break out into dance.
Then, on day three of the show, the chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) took to the stage just off the convention floor to reintroduce Safety Sammy. TMAF hopes that Safety Sammy will help amplify trucking’s safety message, especially to those outside the industry.
How They Got the Name
When it was announced that their mascot needed a name, TMAF set out taking suggestions from the public. This social interaction by itself increased engagement with the organization, especially considering the large response they got in return.
In one month alone, the group received nearly 2,000 entries that were sent into TMAF. Out of all the entries they chose five finalists. The other four finalists were:
- Bob Tail
- Seymour S. Miles
Which one is your favorite?
Right after they announced the new name, Safety Sammy was given a nice, new shiny licence plate with his new name on it. With a mascot like Safety Sammy at work on behalf of trucking, surely our industry’s image is in safe hands.