Distracted driving remains one of the chief safety concerns on today’s roadways. When you’re running a fleet management business, you need to know that your drivers are at the top of their game and are taking their responsibilities seriously.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
“Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
The NHTSA also reports that nearly 3,500 people were killed and another 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. However, this number is thought to be significantly underreported.
No fleet manager wants their drivers to become part of those statistics. Not only does it mean that the safety of your drivers and the public would be at risk, it also means that your business could be held liable in the case of a lawsuit. Some good news is that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are prohibited by law from texting and driving. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still engaging in those activities while operating your fleet vehicles.
Fatal accidents involving buses and large trucks, which the NHTSA defines in its Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) as those involving vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds, have been increasing overall since its 21st century low in 2009. In 2015 alone, 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, an increase of 8% over 2014.
According to a report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the two leading factors recorded in fatal accidents involving large truck drivers in 2015 were speeding and distraction/inattention.
A moment of carelessness can literally cost your company millions of dollars and cost people their lives.
How can you know if your drivers are engaging in distracted driving? And, as an engaged fleet manager, what can you do to stop distracted driving from occurring within your fleet? A small GPS tracking device may be part of your answer.
A Small Tracker That’s Capable of Big Things
Rastrac has many powerful and small portable tracking solutions that meets the needs of fleet management companies around the U.S.
Because it uses GPS technology, your device is trackable anytime, anywhere. Your device will also integrate with your Rastrac live tracking software. This means that in addition to tracking a vehicle’s location, you may also be provided with data about several other important factors, including:
- Pressure and motion
- Vehicle acceleration and deceleration
- Travel speeds
- Odometer readings
- Light, humidity, and temperature
- Device battery life
All these features help you track where and when your vehicle is being driven, how safely it is being handled, and the types of ambient environmental conditions exist in the area surrounding the device. Furthermore, addressing any concerns in these areas also can help to increase the efficiency of your individual fleet vehicles.
How Rastrac Can Help Cut Down on Distracted Driving
Although it isn’t possible for you to sit in the passenger seat of every vehicle in your fleet, you can remotely be with your drivers by monitoring some of these types of data.
By being able to track how quickly a vehicle is traveling, braking, and how rapidly it is accelerating, you’ll be able to gain a better idea of how safely your vehicle is being operated daily. While the occasional hard braking can be expected, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you see this kind of behavior occurring regularly, it means that your fleet drivers are not following safety guidelines and may be distracted while driving.
Once you have this information, then you can address these behaviors to ensure that they are practicing safe driving techniques that keep them, their vehicles and cargo, and other motorists safe.
Furthermore, by using Rastrac’s live tracking software, you can monitor the location of your vehicles to know whether your drivers have stuck to their assigned route. If they’re on a route that they’re already familiar with ahead of time, your drivers are less likely to need to keep looking at the GPS to see where they’re headed — meaning they can keep their eyes on the road more often.
If drivers know you’re watching, then they will be less likely to engage in risky behaviors that they know would draw concern or create alarm.
There are many other ways you can work to combat distracted driving within your fleet, such as educating drivers, creating surprise inspections, ensuring that they are taking appropriate breaks, and setting distracted driving policies. Rastrac’s team of fleet management experts understand that this information is of value to you and will help you to reduce or eliminate distracted driving within your organization.
If you’re interested in learning how Rastrac can help to make your fleet more efficient, click on the banner below to download our new free eBook.
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