Keeping Your Fleet Safe: National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and its Importance for the Trucking Industry
Distracted driving is very common among drivers in the US. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) every day eight people are killed and 100 people are injured as a result of distracted driving crashes. Distracted driving is classified as any behavior that takes your attention away from driving. Examples include using cell phones, changing the radio, eating/drinking, looking at billboards, using dispatching technology, etc. All of these behaviors can result in a crash within seconds.
Distracted driving presents a direct threat to the trucking industry above all others. A report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that commercial truck drivers were 23 times more likely to cause an accident while texting and driving compared to regular passenger vehicles. Semi-trucks are massive vehicles that have large blind spots, take more time to stop, and require a lot of space to maneuver. All that combined with distracted driving means your drivers might not be able to react quickly enough to avoid an accident.
What Can You Do This Distracted Driving Awareness Month?
Have Open Dialogue
As a fleet manager, it is important to remind your drivers of the dangers of distracted driving. With thousands of hours spent on the road each year, it can be easy for drivers to get complacent and feel comfortable picking up their phones or having a bite to eat while driving. Discuss with your drivers the risk that distracted driving presents to not only the company but the drivers themselves.
Implement A Company Policy
It is not enough to rely on state and federal laws to enforce safe driving practices. Implement a company policy that outlines direct guidelines your company has for phone usage, eating, and drinking, interacting with electronic devices, etc. If you already have a company policy in place relating to distracted driving ensure that it is being executed. Continue to review the policy with your drivers, and edit them as needed. Dash cameras are a great way to get evidence that your drivers are complying with the policy. Check out live dash cameras and SD-Card based cameras that can be used to review driver behavior as needed.
Holding frequent driver training can be a good way to promote safe driving practices within your company. Consistent safety training can help keep safe driving practices top of mind for your drivers. The National Safety Council has resources that can be used to structure driver training and can be shared with your drivers are reminders. Additionally, reviewing statistics regarding individual driver behavior can help improve safety scores and driving practices.
Use AI Technology
Avoid collisions before they happen with AI-based technology. Dash cameras with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can detect dangerous driving behavior to help your drivers avoid accidents. AI & ADAS can provide audio notifications to help you and your drivers when there are: lane departures, proximity warnings, harsh braking, sharp turns, and more. These cameras are great products to invest in to help avoid costly collisions.
This Distracted Driving Awareness Month, give your drivers the tools and support they need to improve their driving habits to foster a safer environment for everyone on the road. Take the pledge today and commit to “Just Drive!”
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This April it is important to take the time to assess your own driving habits and take responsibility for behavior while behind the wheel. It is especially important for fleets to do the same as distracted driving poses extreme safety and financial risks for trucking companies.