Transportation risks affect just about every industry. Driver shortages are challenging supply chains, product delivery and availability of services, as 2018 experienced 20-year high freight demands.1 From distributors to manufacturers and last mile delivery consumers like Amazon, the need is expected to remain strong.

Issues like distracted driving continue to plague commercial fleets and substance abuse is an increasing issue with legalization of marijuana in a number of states. CDLdrivers - regardless of industry - are required to participate in substance abuse testing programs and their supervisors are required to have reasonable suspicion training. Transportation supervisors of business vehicle drivers in industries from healthcare to agriculture, construction and hospitality, are also now participating in similar training sessions to recognize signs of substance abuse as prevention is the best defense to this growing challenge.

Business and commercial vehicle insurers have seen success in improving safety performance with fleets that embrace telematics technologies. These include electronic logging devices (ELD’s), vehicle tracking systems that identify at risk driver behaviors and video event recorders. By identifying at-risk behaviors and intervening to reduce unsafe behaviors before a crash occurs, many fleets are reducing auto claim frequency and severity.

When it comes to construction, these issues and a few more will challenge the industry. Here’s a look at three construction transportation issues that you’ll want to keep on your radar:

  1. Construction drivers are busier and more distracted. Construction is booming – which means contractors are short on equipment and drivers. The result is an increase in claims involving vehicle incidents. We have seen a number of critical crashes involving less experienced drivers and/or distracted drivers that are trying to multitask behind the wheel. We have also witnessed an increase in load securement issues, including driver fatalities dues to drivers not taking the time to properly secure their loads.. Construction firms are turning to additional training on safe driving techniques, load securement and vehicle inspections to improve safety performance. They are requiring employees to be educated on loading their vehicles and having remedial training when deficiencies are identified.
  2. Contractors and DOT compliance. As the demand for construction continues to increase through 2019, contractors will widen their operations and look to once again increase the size of their commercial vehicle fleets. They need to consider how regulations such as the FMCSA’s ELD mandate and the upcoming changes in training requirements for new CDL holders will affect their operations. Additionally, many construction fleets are now realizing that a number of regulations they once thought only applied to traditional truck fleets also apply to their operations so they must either use their resources or outside vendors for compliance activities.
  3. Vehicle safety technologies. As construction fleets grow and need to purchase new vehicles, the opportunity exists to purchase new safety systems OEM from manufacturers. These include automatic braking, anti rollover technology and lane departure alert systems as well as air disc brakes. These safety tools are available individually or as part of a package that is very reasonable in cost when compared to average claim costs on commercial vehicles that are now in excess of $10,000.

Contact your HUB construction services specialist to find out how you can transfer your transportation risks to insurance.