Courier work can be a dangerous business, and accidents on the roads are still happening frequently despite efforts to increase the safety of newly manufactured vehicles and the roads themselves. However, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has started installing Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and it could be a game-changer.
Starting a Trend
If you are a delivery driver and have had dangerous experiences on the road, or know of a close friend or colleague who has, you will understand the effects that road accidents can have on someone’s life. With courier work, risks are somewhat increased because of long hours on the roads resulting in fatigue. Could AEB be the solution?
Currently, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the only manufacturer offering AEB as standard across their van range, so for those driving one of these vans, courier work has already become safer. The range includes Volkswagen Caddys, Transporters and Crafters, and the manufacturers have said that each vehicle is designed with the braking system to make the driving experience safer for both the main driver and others around them.
Particularly among commercial vehicles, road accidents are extremely common. In fact, in 2017 the number of road-related deaths was the highest it had been in five years. Thatcham Research has worked out that AEB could save 1,000 lives and 120,000 casualties across the car industry over the next ten years, so it’s no wonder that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is encouraging other manufacturers to follow its lead.
The Department of Transport agreed that fitting AEB on all commercial vehicles could save hundreds of lives, with the potential of stopping almost 2,500 crashes every year. Thatcham Research has also shown that this may eventually lead to a real-world accident reduction of 38%; certainly not a figure to be overlooked.
As well as the evident positive effect that AEB has on the safety of the vehicles, this new system could also lead to fewer outgoings for delivery drivers. Courier work often goes hand in hand with some unavoidable expenses, however reducing accidents by having an AEB system in your vehicle could eventually result in less downtime for drivers, as well as fewer third-party insurance claims (these could be reduced by up to 45%).
There are a few other ways that this could work out well for your business, such as lower costs for fleets due to the drivers being ultimately safer on the roads (fewer minor accidents will mean fewer repair costs). Plus, the vehicle could benefit from an average premium saving of 10% compared to cars and vans without the new braking system.
All in all, AEB has a whole host of advantages that definitely make it worth considering. If AEB were to be installed in all commercial vehicles, courier work would be safer, cheaper and above all, lifesaving.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.