While Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a prime opportunity to discuss fleet safety, it goes beyond simple rules against texting and driving. Organizations that have implemented a proper road safety culture start by screening drivers in the hiring process and then provide ongoing training and support throughout an employee’s career.
Unfortunately, many companies may not adhere to the rules of road safety as well as they should. In the last eight years, insurance companies have been losing money on auto premiums, and premium rates are increasing as a result. To counteract that trend, safe driving must be top of mind for everyone in an organization.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 people were killed because of distracted driving in 2017, with mobile phones as the cause of most of these accidents.
But fleet safety is about more than the cost of insurance. It’s also about ensuring that your employees and crews remain alert and injury-free on the roads. It’s about creating a culture of safety that protects your most valuable asset—your people.
Elements of Fleet Safety
Only qualified drivers should be allowed behind the wheel, which means properly evaluating the driving record of everyone operating a vehicle for company business. More than three moving vehicle violations in a five-year time frame should draw red flags, as should even one DUI in the same timeframe.
For many organizations, the vehicle and equipment used depend on the scope of the job or project. If this is the case, all employees should receive safety training on the vehicles they may drive for work before being designated a company driver and should attend regular classes throughout their employment. This includes training on routine maintenance checks, adjustment of mirrors, and other actions to ensure safe vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 people were killed because of distracted driving in 2017, with mobile phones as the cause of most of these accidents. Even with more and more states passing legislation to outlaw the use of cell phones without a hands-free device, drivers are still texting, sending emails, or engaging with social media apps on the highways.
Distracted driving courses and lessons are a vital pillar of road safety culture. Encouraging drivers to be patient and wait until after they’ve turned the car off to answer a call, email or text may help prevent collisions, injuries or death.
Telematic systems like installed GPS systems allow drivers to rely less on their phones and pay more attention to the road. No one needs to take their eyes off the road to learn where their next turn will be.
Consider April’s Distracted Driving Awareness campaign as a kickstart to a safer organizational culture. Whether that means training your staff or implementing ways to keep drivers off their phone, every company can make healthy changes to make the roads safer.
For more information about distracted driving, contact us today.