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May 20, 2019 12:00 AM, EDT

Safety Leaders Go the Distance

Gemini Motor Transport, a subsidiary of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, never loses sight of what matters most: their drivers. “I never want to make that phone call. It's hard enough when a driver gets hurt. I don't want to go that next step where I have to attend a funeral, or see a husband, or a wife and kids devastated because of something that happened on the road in an accident,” said Brent Bergevin, Gemini’s Vice President of Transportation. “I've never made that call, and hopefully I never will.”

Recognized as a leader in safety, Gemini was honored by the National Tank Truck Carriers as a 2018 North American Safety Champion in their mileage division. Gemini is known for going the distance when it comes to investing in their drivers’ safety, and that investment has paid off in countless ways. “We just constantly spend more on our trucks than most competitors do because it's safer, and it's the right thing to do for our employees. People want to come to work for us. We really don't have a problem hiring drivers,” Brent said.

One of the safety features which has put Gemini in the driver’s seat as a leader in safety is IMMI’s RollTek.  RollTek is the only side-roll airbag protection system designed to protect the driver. More than half of heavy truck driver deaths happen in a rollover. It’s the single deadliest kind of accident a truck driver can face. That’s why Brent says Gemini won’t buy a truck without RollTek onboard. “It saves lives. I can think off the top of my head five guys that are here today that wouldn’t have been without RollTek.”

Reiff Simmons, Gemini’s Regional Manager agrees. “When you have a bad accident, and the driver walks away from it with something as simple as a scratch. Then you look at the condition of the truck, you look at the seat that they were in, and you know all those things played a factor into that driver walking away. You're like, why in the world aren't other companies you know installing this kind of technology in their new equipment?”

RollTek combines side airbag protection with the latest advances in seat belt technology. Custom engineered for every OEM, RollTek deploys within a quarter of a second to significantly reduce the potential for serious injury or death in a rollover.

By helping reduce the severity of personal injuries that can occur in these kinds of crashes, RollTek can dramatically improve a driver’s chances of survival, as well as make a significant impact on a fleet’s bottom line.

“If you have a fatality accident, you're looking at two or three million dollars. I can buy a whole bunch of RollTeks for two to three million dollars for the next 10 years and probably still save money,” Brent explained. “So, you've got to look at it. What's the cost if you don't have it?”

As word of RollTek’s benefits spreads, Brent says drivers from other fleets are taking note. “They say, ‘Wow. Wonder why we don’t have that in our trucks?’ It’s definitely a huge, huge selling point for us.”  More importantly, RollTek helps make sure drivers get back home to their families.  And that should be the first priority in our industry:  protecting our drivers.

 

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IMMI® is the trusted, global leader of safety solutions, helping to protect millions of lives every day. For almost sixty years, IMMI has led the way in developing, designing, testing and manufacturing innovative safety restraints and systems. IMMI’s safety products are found worldwide on car seats, heavy trucks, school buses, recreational/off road, military, fire/EMS, motor coach, and construction vehicles. Privately owned, headquartered in Westfield, Indiana and operating seven additional global facilities, IMMI is also home to CAPE®, the world’s leading state-of-the-art testing facility.   www.imminet.com 

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