Safety by definition is protecting yourself from danger, risk or injury. Most fleet managers share the basic philosophy and goal: “We want to ensure that our drivers return safely”. Current statistics show that dangers and accidents continue to increase, particularly when related to mobile phone distractions.
Everyone thinks they can dial a call or send or read a text. It’s the “I can manage this, and an accident won’t happen to me” syndrome. Until it’s too late, and there is an accident. Not everyone is lucky enough to walk away. 27% of all accidents occur when drivers are paying attention to their phone, instead of to the road. Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to get in an accident.
There are consequences to driving distracted. Accident rates are up, and over the past two years, fatalities are up 14%. Insurance premiums continue to rise due to an increase in accidents and their related costs. And costs are more than just insurance. Corporate fleet costs include driver and vehicle downtime, medical costs, vehicle replacement, and personal costs to drivers if they are unable to work.
Staying safe requires avoiding distracting activities. There are many distractions and many ways to stay safe. Keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, and their attention on the road. In terms of mobile phones it specifically means:
No Reaching. No Holding. No Dialing. No Texting. No Reading.
Most fleets are already using a telematics platform for driving and vehicle information. Telematics providers, such as Geotab, also integrate technology like FleetGuardian to improve safety by removing distractions while driving. In the spirit of “April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month”, take some time to think about what affects the safety of your drivers. Then think about what can be done to reduce risk, physical harm, vehicle downtime, and increasing related costs. And help ensure your drivers return safely.
Ellen Diamond is Chief Executive Officer for FleetGuardian, and wants everyone to get home safe.