Tackling the Trucking Safety Challenge: Insights from the NHTSA Motor Vehicle Crashes Report and Cover Whale’s Commitment

man standing in front of semi on an open highway in the evening

A recent NHTSA report highlights the staggering impact of traffic crashes on society and the economy, estimating the costs at $340 billion in the U.S. in 2019 alone.

What’s even more alarming is that in 2020, motor vehicle fatalities rose by 7.2% compared to 2019, totaling 38,824 deaths. And of those crash fatalities, an increasing number are truck drivers. Large truck occupant fatalities in 2020 were up an astounding 38.2% over the prior year.

The NHTSA report again brings attention to two major concerns affecting road safety: distracted driving and speeding.

In 2019, distracted-driving crashes resulted in 10,546 fatalities, 1.3 million nonfatal injuries, and a cost to our economy of $98.2 billion.

Speeding created similarly concerning statistics. It was cited in 29% of crashes, accounting for $46 billion in economic costs, and was a factor in more than 10,192 fatalities and 498,000 nonfatal injuries. Speeding-related fatalities increased by 10% in 2020, emphasizing the need for more advanced speed management, especially as it relates to large trucks.

There is reason to believe these figures could even be low, as both are generated from self-reporting, judgment calls by responding officers, and documentation at the scene.

A more accurate approach to track this data could involve using telematics systems in vehicles to monitor and record speed information. Ideally this would be a requirement of insurance companies and would aid in creating a clearer understanding of the role of speed in traffic accidents.

But in any case, the data alone demonstrate the urgent need to promote safe driving practices and reduce accident rates.

Playing Our Part: The Cover Whale Driver Safety Program

What may surprise you is how powerful technology can be in transforming driver behavior and skills, and in the process creating safer highways. By monitoring driving patterns and providing real-time feedback, telematics helps drivers become more aware of their actions and address them promptly. Empowering truck drivers with these insights not only enhances safety but can contribute to significantly reduced accident rates and reveal latent savings on insurance premiums. The integration of advanced telematics in the trucking industry is not just a progressive leap but a game-changer that redefines the standards of road safety.

Cover Whale’s Driver Safety Program is strategically designed to tackle risky driving by promoting safer driving practices among truck drivers. One of the program’s key components is the use of dual-facing dashcams, which serve as an indispensable tool for monitoring aggressive and otherwise unsafe driving behaviors. 

The program goes beyond technology solutions by providing personalized coaching through text, email, and phone calls. By boosting drivers’ awareness and instilling safer driving habits, the program contributes to reducing the risks associated with distracted driving, speeding and other unsafe practices. And the program gets results. We’ve seen a decrease in unsafe driving in 71% of our drivers following coaching — including a 35% reduction in speeding incidents, and a 50% reduction among the riskiest drivers for all unsafe driving actions.

We’re proud of these outcomes, but we’re far from ready to declare victory. Cover Whale’s Driver Safety Program doesn’t stop there. We take it a step further by encouraging continued safe driving with competitive insurance rates and rewards. Drivers who maintain a good safety record and successfully avoid dangerous driving behaviors can benefit from up to 30% off their insurance upon policy renewal.

By combining state-of-the-art AI-based camera technology, telematics, personalized safe-driving coaching and premium discounts, the program establishes a powerful defense against high-risk driving behaviors.


The NHTSA Motor Vehicle Crashes report highlights the critical need for concerted efforts to address trucking safety. Cover Whale is determined to tackle this challenge head-on, leveraging industry expertise and analytics-driven solutions to contribute to a safer trucking environment.

We believe that through collaborative efforts and innovative approaches, we can significantly reduce truck-related accidents and fatalities on the road. By promoting best practices that empower truck drivers, fleets, and businesses to prioritize road safety, we can create a lasting, positive impact on the well-being of our trucking community.

Let's grow together.