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How data can help mitigate a nuclear verdict

Last updated on June 6, 2023 in Marketplace by Christine Beaton |  2 minute read

Don’t let your fleet crumble due to safety concerns. Learn how to address risky driver behavior head-on with help from Predictive Coach, available through the Geotab Marketplace.

Did you know that between 2014 and 2019, trucking companies with litigation cases over $1 million USD increased more than 10-fold compared to the five years prior? The average jury verdict against trucking companies has also increased from $2.6 million in 2012 to $17 million in 2019 – a number that could do a lot of damage to many truck fleets in business today.


These cases are known as nuclear verdicts, which is defined as a disproportionately high jury award that surpasses what would generally be considered a reasonable or rational amount. In cases of potential nuclear verdicts, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) notes that “[t]he ultimate strategy-driving question internally posed by most plaintiff attorneys and successful defense attorneys is: ‘what operational, safety or training factors could have prevented the crash in the first place?’”

Nuclear verdicts aren’t only affecting trucking companies – recently, the city of San Diego was ordered to pay $31.2M over the course of five years to settle claims involving city-owned vehicles from six different government departments. A report from the investigation noted that “[t]he city isn’t adequately tracking unsafe driving before crashes happen and didn’t complete crash investigations after the fact. It also found the city didn’t require new hires to review all driving policies.”

So, it begs the question, could your safety or training programs save you from a potential nuclear verdict?

Data and safety: a perfect match

In order to help dramatically reduce risk and increase safety, fleets need to take a vested interest in driver management and behavior. Using data provided by a telematics device, fleet managers are able to paint a more accurate picture of what their drivers are doing on the road and can identify areas where drivers need more training or coaching. Not only does this show that they are routinely taking action on the safety data provided to them by their telematics device, they are also fostering an environment of learning and growth in their workforce. Telematics is much more than just reporting on driver behavior – it allows fleet managers to act on these challenges and implement training programs depending on performance.


Predictive Coach UI Screenshot

One of the ways fleet managers can use their telematics data to positively influence their drivers is by teaming up with a safety training partner that can help them automate the process and engage their employees along the way. Through the Geotab Marketplace, Predictive Coach is able to do just that.

What does Predictive Coach do?

Predictive Coach pulls driver information such as speed, hard braking, rapid acceleration, hard cornering and lack of seat belt use directly from the Geotab GO device (compatible with the GO6, GO7, GO8 and GO9), then automatically assigns training to the driver based on their specific driving behavior while documenting the corrective action for management. Drivers can then complete their assigned training on their smartphone or tablet and do not need to spend time going into the office to complete the courses. 


Predictive Coach can also help to reduce the workload that managers and administrators deal with when it comes to driver training. Sifting through driver data, creating training materials and monitoring results is a lot of work for fleet managers. Predictive Coach helps reduce some of that administrative burden and time commitment by automatically assigning short and effective driver training courses and monitoring completion to ensure your drivers are getting the necessary training to improve behaviors - across all vehicle types.

Features include:

  • Fun, interactive materials with knowledge checks to verify that drivers are absorbing the training information.
  • Short training materials, normally three to five minutes in length, to hold trainee attention.
  • Timely training that is assigned to drivers the same day as an event occurs, not days or weeks after the fact.
  • Automated training delivery, meaning no need for management involvement.
  • Documentation of any training that is assigned, past-due or completed is stored for managers.

Minimize your risk of a nuclear verdict

Being proactive in your safety approach can help protect your company from nuclear verdicts, minimize liability, manage insurance premiums and assure that you keep drivers secure on the road. Visit the Geotab Marketplace to learn more about how Predictive Coach can help your drivers – and fleet managers – protect your business.

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Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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