Safety should be the number one priority for any carrier or owner-operator.

Improved fleet safety not only helps you increase profitability and reduce potential liability, but it also helps build a thriving trucking business that your customers can trust.

The best way to increase safety is by creating a robust driver training program, installing a front-facing dash cam, and promoting safe driving habits.

Poor driving practices, such as hard cornering, acceleration, and braking can increase the risk of road accidents.

To help fleets and truckers better understand which states have the highest number of driver incidents that could potentially cause accidents, we analyzed our data from 200,000 drivers and put together a list of top 10 states with the highest incidents of hard acceleration, hard braking, and hard cornering.

Top 10 states with the most hard brake incidents

Hard braking is a common symptom of aggressive driving. It’s also an indication that a driver may be distracted, leading to delayed reactions that account for 90% of all rear-end accidents.

Repetitive hard braking can also cause the vehicle’s brake system to overheat, which could severely reduce its lifespan and further increase the risk of accidents in the future.

Although it may be caused by sudden obstructions on the road, hard braking can generally be avoided by drivers who are constantly aware of the traffic conditions, their driving speed, and their surroundings.

Here is a list of top 10 states with the most number of hard braking incidents.

  1. Texas (45,277)
  2. California (31, 041)
  3. Illinois (20,922)
  4. Ohio (18,999)
  5. Pennsylvania (14,747)
  6. Georgia (14,260)
  7. Minnesota (13,818)
  8. Colorado (13,697)
  9. Florida (13,420)
  10. Connecticut (12,316)

Although hard braking may often be a result of a distracted driver or aggressive driving habits, it may also be intended as an evasive maneuver during or before an actual accident. However, it can be difficult to identify whether a driver used hard brakes because of distraction or to avoid an accident unless you have a front-facing dash cam.

The Motive Smart Dashcam, for instance, captures 10 seconds of HD video before and after a hard brake. It allows fleet managers to witness events from the driver’s perspective, which is important because, despite passenger vehicles being at fault in 85% of truck-passenger accidents, commercial drivers are more likely to be blamed when cases are litigated.

Videos recorded before and after the critical safety event can also protect your fleet from fraudulent claims made by third parties involved in the accident, also known as “cash for crash” scams.

Top 10 states with the highest number of hard cornering

Just like hard braking, hard cornering is also a sign that a driver may have aggressive driving habits and can result in the truck rolling over.

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration — which involved 239 rollover crashes — shows that nearly 50% of the accidents were caused by the driver’s failure to adjust their speed accordingly when navigating corners.

Here’s a list of the top 10 states with the highest number of hard cornering made from drivers.

  1. Texas (20,575)
  2. Minnesota (16,828)
  3. California (14,541)
  4. Indiana (8,049)
  5. Georgia (7,545)
  6. Washington (6,936)
  7. Ohio (6,402)
  8. Nevada (6,046)
  9. Connecticut (6,001)
  10. Illinois (5,278)

Top 10 states with the highest number of hard accelerations

A hard acceleration event is recorded when drivers floor it. An acceleration upwards of 7 mph per second is generally considered as hard acceleration. Hard acceleration is not only dangerous, but it also affects a vehicle’s fuel economy by a factor of up to three miles per gallon.

Following are the top 10 states with the most incidents of hard acceleration.

  1. California (6,092)
  2. Texas (4,893)
  3. Ohio (4,497)
  4. Colorado (4,155)
  5. Indiana (2,072)
  6. Connecticut (2,051)
  7. Minnesota (1,947)
  8. Pennsylvania (1,835)
  9. Utah (1,809)
  10. Illinois (1,754)

Hard acceleration and hard braking events are more prevalent in city driving vehicles are stopping and starting more frequently. Driver training plays a pivotal role in preventing these unsafe driver incidents.

As the data suggests, hard braking is the most common safety event that carriers must be aware of.

What’s next?

Critical safety events such as hard braking, acceleration, and cornering can decrease the safety of a fleet and may increase liabilities. Fleets can improve driver behavior by using the following tips:

  1. Creating a robust driver training program to iron out safety issues
  2. Closely monitoring driver behavior and driver scorecards to identify drivers who require immediate coaching
  3. Initiating a performance-based compensation and reward system to encourage safe driving practices
  4. Ensuring that the vehicles are in perfect condition

For more information and valuable insights, stay tuned.