Avoid costly bridge strikes with static hazard alerts
Low bridges are one of the costliest road hazards a transport operator has to account for. With the ever increasing likelihood of being found liable for passenger compensation and bridge repairs, even a single serious bridge strike could mean bankruptcy for an operator – and that’s without factoring in the cost of repairing (or replacing) the damaged vehicle involved.
In a survey of drivers by Network Rail, 32% of drivers admitted to not being aware of the height of their vehicle, making these costly bridge strikes much more likely. The Flare Aware app offers a comprehensive solution to managing road hazards, alerting drivers to low bridges, potholes, and width and weight restrictions, helping to avoid the twin post-incident productivity drains of taking vehicles off road for maintenance and completing extra administrative tasks as part of any necessary investigations.
Connected & Protected
Low bridges are not the only maintenance-intensive and financially costly type of incident that drivers may frequently encounter – with the increasing use of bicycles and e-scooters in busy urbanised environments, collisions with vulnerable road users (VRU’s) are another particular concern for transport operators.
VRU’s are up to 15 times more likely to lose their life in a collision with an HGV than with a car, and each fatality impacts the lives of the victim’s friends and family (and the driver) forever. It also means a massive ripple effect for the transport operator involved – each incident doesn’t just have a financial impact (due to the cost of compensation, repairs, and rising insurance premiums) it also damages your brand reputation, and risks the safety and wellbeing of your drivers.
Flare Aware has a dedicated partner app for pedestrians, e-scooter riders, and cyclists, supported by some of the biggest names associated with VRU’s like JustEat and Deliveroo and urban mobility providers Tier, Lime, and Beryl. This makes the app act as an HGV driver’s first notification of risk, allowing them to connect with the largest database of VRU’s in the UK.
With active proximity detection, the app makes VRU’s visible to drivers in real time alongside other hazards such as potholes and road debris, ensuring that VRU’s are protected even when not visible from a driver’s cab. Drivers are empowered to change course before a hazard becomes an incident, lowering the risk of having to take a damaged vehicle off road for repairs and making sharing the road safer for everyone.
The Flare Aware app operates in the background as a driver goes about their day, providing visual and audio alerts on their device when a hazard arises. These alerts can come in many shapes and sizes.
Alongside alerting the driver to incoming low bridges, the app will also provide alerts when a driver has a difficult road environment ahead. This includes flagging up known high-risk areas, inclement weather, and debris on the road surface, to ensure that drivers receive a warning of what to expect with enough time to adjust. Potholes and static obstructions are displayed through the app right alongside the presence of any VRU’s that the driver may not be aware of, providing the driver with heightened visibility of their environment for a safer journey.
Flare Aware also has a number of additional features to safeguard HGV drivers and vulnerable road users alike, helping operators and their drivers take a more proactive approach against roadside hazards:
- Flare Aware predicts the driver’s most probable path, minimising unwanted alerts by only responding to the hazards the driver is the most likely to encounter on their route.
- Volume restriction prevents active avoidance of hazard alerts – if the app detects that the device volume has decreased to less than 25%, all hazard alerts are read aloud at 100% to ensure drivers remain aware of the hazards on their route.
- Drivers do not need to worry about maintaining a completely stable connection to the internet – with offline support, Flare Aware will continue to alert the driver to static hazards (i.e. potholes, low bridges) and notify the driver when they are back online and VRU alerts are active again.
- Data reports generated by Flare Aware can be exported and dissected alongside the other powerful analysis reports that Microlise already provides, helping operators remain confident that their decisions are backed by hard evidence.
Limit the cost of bridge strikes
Bridge strikes alone can cost operators as much as £800,000 in repairs and passenger compensation. With recent court decisions making hauliers increasingly liable for these expenses, it is critical that drivers are aware of the dimensions of their vehicle.
Early warnings for low bridges can be doubly important on UK roads, where ordinary signage may be unclear or obscured by the environment, and there is no guarantee that the driver will have space to turn their vehicle around – often leaving them with no option but to just risk it, to sometimes disastrous results. Flare Aware makes sure that drivers are warned about low bridges well in advance, ensuring they have the opportunity to prevent bridge strikes.
Receive first notification of risk
Historically, operators have relied on technology to make them aware of incidents as they occur, so that they can react accordingly… and in some cases, pick up the pieces (and costs!) after an incident. This ‘first notification of loss’ has increased visibility for staff at the transport office, but technology is now advancing to allow them to protect their drivers out on the roads and not just in their own yard.
The Flare Aware app feeds hazard data back into their online platform, giving the transport office that extra edge that comes with knowing when and where their drivers are first encountering risks. ‘First notification of risk’ technology presents a huge step forward in driver safety, allowing operators to manage their route planning around hazards more proactively without having to wait for an incident to have already occurred.
A hardware free end-to-end solution
The Flare Aware app is available to download from the Google Playstore and Apple Appstore and requires no additional hardware to use – whether you strictly employ your own fleet of drivers and provide them with mobile devices, or choose to bring in subcontractors who will supply their own devices, protecting them with useful, timely hazard alerts is as simple as tapping a download link and waiting for the app installation to complete.
Over the coming months Flare Aware and Microlise will become more closely integrated – ROI and usage tracking are already available to Flare Aware users, and a Microlise dashboard containing this information will make it quick and simple to review new hazard data.
Future enhancements will allow customers more specialised control over hazard alerts, resulting in hazard detection that is more closely tailored to their organisation. This will help limit false positives and allow drivers to report any hazards they encounter, expanding the available pool of hazard information on the map and potentially introducing new types of hazard alerts like common harsh braking spots.