3 min read

How To Manage Speeding when It’s a Systemic Problem

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Just how important is it to not speed as a commercial driver?

While up to 33% of all crashes are caused by speeding, it goes much deeper than that. Getting pulled over for a speeding violation might expose a myriad of other violations that would’ve gone by unnoticed if only the driver slowed down.

But is speeding always the driver’s fault?

We speak with Samuel Tucker, CEO of Carrier Risk Solutions, about his passion for speeding: the hidden costs of it, and why it may be only a symptom of a greater systemic issue. 

Join us as we discuss:

  • A passion for speeding
  • Why carriers don’t focus on speeding & how to manage it
  • What’s next for Sam over the next 12 months

A passion for speeding

It’s a well-known fact: speeding kills. Approximately 33% of all crashes are a result of speeding. But what’s not as well known is just how detrimental speeding can be to trucking companies. And no, that doesn’t start and end with a speeding ticket. It goes much deeper than that. 

 

Pandora’s speeding ticket

85 to 90% of all roadside inspection violations are caused by speeding, or lighting violations.”

— Samuel Tucker

A speeding ticket alone is bad; accounting for around 14% of all trucking violations. But when it opens a driver up to other potential violations, that speeding ticket just got a lot more costly. 

Think of a driver who’s just been pulled over for speeding or a lighting violation. The police officer conducting the inspection finds issues with hours of service, tire violations, brake violations, and more. 

Police are making it a priority to pull drivers over for speeding violations and other minor traffic infractions as a way to conduct a more thorough inspection for further issues. Don’t let a small issue turn into something more. 

 

Don’t get BUSST-ED

To help drivers avoid these minor issues that lead to bigger ones, Samuel shares his 5-step motto to help remember everything: 

  • B is for burnt light bulbs
  • U is for unrestrained drivers
  • S is for speeding
  • S is for sign violations
  • T is for texting while driving

Why carriers don’t focus on speeding & how to manage it

Some advice for carriers who still haven’t put an emphasis on avoiding speeding violations: you’re losing money. Not just on the tickets and crashes, but fuel efficiency as well. The biggest cost of all, however, comes down to the increased insurance premiums because you failed to keep your basic scores down. 

So, for those carriers set on improving their basic scores, where’s the best place to start? For most, they’re still hesitating because they’re unaware of where to start. 

For Samuel, it’s with your top speeding offenders. There’s a direct correlation between these top offenders and other violations — If they’re speeding, odds are that they’re the ones committing the most other infractions. 

Another potential way that the government thinks will help lower the violations is to place truck governors. While a good idea, in theory, the reality is that most speeding occurs on rural roads where governors become obsolete. 

 

Only a symptom of the disease

“Speeding is a symptom of the disease, it's not the whole disease.”

— Samuel Tucker

But is the fault really with the driver for speeding? While it may be easier to blame those top offenders for speeding, Samuel suggests that even the best drivers can find themselves speeding if the system forces them into impossible situations:

  1. Is the driver feeling pressure from the dispatcher to get the job done faster?
  2. Are they financially incentivized to drive faster because they’re either paid by the load or by the mile?

Finding the source of issues such as these can stomp out speeding before it occurs. 

 

What’s next for Sam over the next 12 months

While growing and scaling is always top of mind, Samuel’s biggest concern right now is what’s coming out of the legal and regulatory environment. 

During the Trump administration, from a regulatory perspective, everything was very quiet. But as we continue with the Biden administration, we’re seeing an increase in activity again. 

Reasons for the increase may be due to the spotlight on the trucking industry in the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move back to a new kind of normalcy, we’ll see if the attention stays on the industry or slows down again. 


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