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To many outside observers, leaders in safety for trucking companies are often seen as laser-focused on Federal Regulations from the FMCSA. This is true. As leaders, they spend a great deal of time ensuring their organizations are compliant with regulations. This has been a process for many years and has naturally attracted great third party providers that developd tools to help manage these requirements.

However, in recent years much more time has been focused on litigation instead of just regulation. Huge increases in lawsuit abuse by plaintiff’s attorneys have increased the amount of time, energy and resources needed to defend an already challenged industry that is focused on keeping America moving. 

Fleets have been taking defensive steps to avoid nuclear verdicts. The most common and logical include tightening hiring standards and improving safety management controls like maintenance practices and hours of service audits. But some fleets might be missing the most effective tool: proactive advocacy of unmandated safety initiatives, a.k.a. being safety progressive.

Juries issue large awards because plaintiffs’ attorneys are able to convince them that irresponsible fleets should be punished. Nuclear verdicts and reptile attacks both rely on juror anger. A nuclear verdict doesn’t occur without evidence that a plaintiff can wave to fuel the jury’s ire. The reptile theory is based upon engendering jury fear for which they feel a need for action to protect the community. That theory fails when a company deficiency that poses a threat is absent.

Fleets that are proactive practitioners of non-mandatory safety initiatives enjoy some protection. Imagine how difficult it would be for a plaintiff attorney to contend that the same fleet that had just deployed millions in unmandated safety technology was guilty of lacking a safety conscience. And if they required all applicants to be hair tested for drugs or assessed for sleep apnea? Not only would the jury just not buy it, but some plaintiff attorneys would think twice about their appeal.

While tactics to defend against these are important, a strategic defense to deprive the plaintiffs of their needed evidence is markedly better.

That is Bluewire’s mission. Bluewire does this by analyzing, repairing, monitoring and maintaining a company’s reputation. 

In trucking, “reputation” is defined by a company’s safety culture. It is reflected in FMCSA data, internal documentation and the completeness of practices. It is established by driver records and performance, hiring practices, social media chatter and media coverage. And much more.

Reputational vulnerabilities are the fuel for both nuclear verdicts and the reptile theory. Moreover, they are the basis for claims of punitive damages whose purpose is to punish past conduct and deter it in the future.

In short, reputational vulnerabilities are what create the jury anger that poses a trucking company’s greatest risk.

Bluewire will deprive plaintiffs of their needed fuel and secure your company’s reputation by analyzing, addressing, monitoring and supporting it.

First, Bluewire will apply advanced technology, including AI and text mining, to analyze the elements that comprise a company’s reputation. DQ files complete? Would current drivers meet you hiring standards? Does your dispatcher chatter provide PowerPoint material for a Plaintiff’s attorney? What do your FMCSA scores say about your compliance culture? 

Second, having identified reputational vulnerabilities, Bluewire will recommend repairs, including leading edge experts to assist in remedying any deficiencies. Not only is any reputational issue addressed, it is done with the assistance of an expert based on data drawn from the analysis.

This pre-accident reputational analysis and repair is crucial. It shows that a company has taken action BEFORE the accident. Anything after would be viewed as backfill.

Third, ongoing monitoring by Bluewire’s technology will identify new reputational threats. This provides continuing protection.

Fourth, after the accident, Bluewire provides the foundation of the defense. It allows a company to control its own story by analyzing and correcting reputational deficiencies pre-accident.

Further, the company is associated with an expert to vouch for that reputation based upon first hand knowledge, applied expertise and supported by data. This is in stark contrast to the plaintiffs’ “Casablanca” experts (“round up the usual suspects”) whose reports are a well worn template with a few case-specific facts and anecdotal opinions without data or even familiarity with the company’s processes.

Bluewire makes a difference.

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