2021 Inroads in Road Safety

We at Together at Safer Roads (TSR), along with our members and partners, are reimaging safer cities for all.

All citizens—especially those that have historically been marginalized—deserve safe roads. Without them, they can’t access public healthcare, attend school, get to their jobs, or even to public parks to enjoy nature.

Even during a pandemic, roadway fatalities in America rose 18.4% in the first half of 2021, hitting a 15-year high. The need for safer roads has never been greater. And that is why our 2021 key programming elements focused on— and achieved—the following.

FOCUS on Fleet Safety

FOCUS, our Fleet Safety training program, helps companies build safe and efficient operations through a combination of safety training, leadership development, and technology. Key highlights of 2021 included:

  • The Houston mayor’s Vision Zero Action Plan incorporated FOCUS into its planning
  • Sixteen small and mid-sized businesses and non-profit organizations participated in the program in 2021 with more than 210 vehicles and 600 employees involved in the program in New York and 119 vehicles and 333 employees in Houston
  • Partnering with Fort Collins, CO’s mayor to start training ten more companies in January 2022

Direct Vision (High Vision Cab Design)

In 2021, we made the case for Direct Vision in the U.S. by introducing the concept of high vision (or direct vision) cab design to North American fleets.

Trucks designed with poor visibility are a problem the world over but they shouldn’t be — as cab designs that reduce driver blind zones exist in Europe. If private and public sector fleet leaders come together, we could make direct vision cab design the universal standard. How municipalities can work together to create market demand and leverage it to transform trucks was our main focus in 2021.

We planned a campaign and associated PR effort, to begin in 2022, to make high vision cabs the fleet industry standard around the world.

Driver Attitudes Towards Vehicle Safety Technology White Paper

We are leading this first-of-its-kind research to learn how to better understand what makes drivers reluctant to adopt in-cab camera technology and identify what can be done to positively influence perceptions. Over 500 professional drivers were surveyed and questions focused on basic perceptions of, and implementation of, technology as well as actions by management. Sign up to be notified when the white paper is released in Q1 2022.

National Distracted Driving Coalition

Distracted Driving

Launched in September 2021 by National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg, the National Distracted Driving Coalition is accelerating national efforts to eliminate distracted driving fatalities and injuries.

A first-of-its-kind in the United States, the coalition combines leadership from the private and public sectors with the goal of developing a national strategy to combat distracted driving.

TSR,  a steering committee member, also led the business engagement committee of the coalition, participated in the communication committee and compiled mobile device best practices from TSR members and partners. Learn more about TSR’s overall distracted driving efforts.

Transformational Analytics

New technology and data provide leading indicators to city road safety professionals so they can improve roads before people are seriously injured or killed in traffic. We dedicate resources to help cities engage the community and test new analytics systems to monitor near misses, a proven leading indicator of crashes, injuries and fatalities. 2021 highlights include:

  • A partnership with the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) to mainstream near-miss data analytics
  • Our award-winning work in Bellevue, WA and Houston will be included in ITE’s upcoming “60 / 60” report consisting of content for ITE members created within 60 days of the topic making news and that can be consumed in 60 minutes
  • Hillcroft Avenue’s near-miss “before and after” analysis will be completed in Q1 2022

Truck of the Future (TOF): Safer Roads Studio Pilot

Our Global Leadership Council for Fleet Safety, a braintrust of the best and brightest fleet operators committed to helping small and midsize fleets, defined a shared problem—vulnerable road users in driver blind zones. We then sourced an innovative technology solution known as “Truck of the Future” through our Safer Roads Studio.

Drivers of large vehicles have limited visibility, making it difficult to make the safest choices. One commercially viable emerging technology that could be tested for scaling in the Americas (NY Metro, El Paso, TX & Guadalajara, Mexico) was selected. The winning solution was Humanising Autonomy’s 360 Driver Visibility products, in collaboration with VisionTrack (Telematics) and StreamMax (Hardware). Humanising Autonomy’s Behaviour AI platform will be deployed on fleet vehicles to alert drivers of vulnerable road user’s behavior and intent predictions in real-time.

Key TOF highlights of 2021 include:

  • Members and partners identified markets to test the new technology stack
  • Baseline data was collected in Guadalajara, MX and New York, NY
  • Phase 2 technology testing set to start in Q1 2022

Vision Zero Fleet Forum

While public sector fleets are not a naturally-organized group, our fleet forum brings them together virtually. In 2021, we had over 500 participants from a mix of the public and private sectors. Scheduled to coincide with the UN Global Road Safety Week in early May, our Vision Zero-focused convening maximizes global learning and impact for participants and sponsors.

If you make, build, use, or share the roads with a fleet of vehicles; or if you use the roads as emergency, essential, or shared micromobility services; or if you are a Vision Zero practitioner; or represent a municipality, this event is for you. We look forward to Fleet Forum 2022.

Vision Zero Partnerships

We develop strategic partnerships with municipalities to make fleets and businesses active partners in their plans to reach Vision Zero, an international movement that aims to reduce traffic deaths and life-changing injuries to zero, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.  In 2021, we continued our work with the Vision Zero Network and showed dozens of city leaders how fleets can be incorporated into their Vision Zero action plans.

A major achievement is that the Hillcroft Avenue project in Houston’s Gulfton neighborhood is under construction and will have a groundbreaking in Q1 2022. Hillcroft Avenue, once considered one of the most dangerous roads in Houston, will be turned into a safer and more equitable road inspiring Vision Zero improvements around the city of Houston and bicycle improvements in adjacent neighborhoods.

Vision Zero Technology Fund

A first-of-its-kind grantmaking program to help purpose-based organizations build data-driven fleet safety cultures, the fund underwrites fleets’ adoption of lifesaving vehicle technologies like telematics, backup and side view cameras, collision avoidance systems, side guards and more. Rosev Dairy was the recipient of this year’s second grant cycle, funded by UPS and CalAmp, and City Harvest, NYC’s largest food rescue organization, was the winner of the first grant cycle.