April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and for commercial vehicle drivers, it’s an especially important time to reflect on the impact of distracted driving on safety.
As a fleet manager, you know it’s essential to educate your drivers on the dangers of distracted driving and instruct them on how to avoid it.
To combat distracted driving within your fleet of drivers, it’s best to start with awareness. This means understanding the various types of distractions that can impact your driver’s ability to drive safely and how to avoid these behaviors.
Here are some practices that fleet managers can encourage their drivers to follow to avoid distracted driving and combat other distracted drivers on the road:
- Put the phone away: Encourage drivers to put their phones away while driving, especially in busy areas or during rush hour. If they need to use their phone, suggest they pull over to a safe location and park before using their phone.
- Avoid multitasking: Encourage drivers to focus on driving and avoid multitasking. Eating, drinking, or adjusting the radio while driving can be dangerous and lead to accidents.
- Take breaks: Encourage drivers to take breaks when they feel tired or drowsy. Fatigue can be a major cause of distracted driving and lead to accidents.
- Stay alert: It’s not just our drivers that need to be reminded about distractions. It’s also important to remind professional drivers about other distracted drivers on the road. Among drivers aged 15-20 involved in fatal crashes, 9% were distracted at the time of the crash. Encourage drivers to stay alert and aware of their surroundings. This includes keeping an eye out for other distracted drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- Use technology: While it sounds counterintuitive, advancements in in-cab technology are beneficial for fleet managers and drivers. If you haven’t already, consider investing in safety cameras, which can help monitor driver behavior and identify distracted driving. Our fleet services team uses insights from telematics to provide actionable steps for fleets to improve safety, reduce distracted driving, and save on insurance premiums.
- Set expectations: Set clear expectations for your drivers and communicate the consequences of distracted driving. Ensure that your drivers understand the importance of safe driving practices and the impact it has on the fleet and the company as a whole.
Distracted driving can cost you more than a fine
In the event of an accident caused by distracted driving, companies may be held liable for damages or injuries. This means additional time fighting legal battles and more money out of your pocket. Here are a few ways that distracted driving can harm a fleet financially:
- Increased insurance premiums: If a driver causes an accident due to distracted driving, the fleet’s insurance premiums may increase. This can have a significant impact on the fleet’s budget.
- Vehicle repairs: Accidents caused by distracted driving can result in costly vehicle repairs. The fleet may need to pay for repairs or even replace the vehicle if the damage is severe enough.
- Downtime: If a vehicle is damaged in an accident, it may be out of commission for a while, causing downtime and lost revenue. The fleet may need to rent a replacement vehicle or reschedule deliveries, which can be costly.
- Legal fees: If a driver causes an accident due to distracted driving, the fleet may face legal action. This can result in expensive legal fees and potentially costly settlements.
- Reputational damage: Accidents caused by distracted driving can damage a fleet’s reputation, leading to a loss of business and revenue.
By taking proactive steps to prevent distracted driving and promote safety, commercial vehicle companies can reduce their risk of legal liability and potential financial losses.
Encouraging safe driving practices, educating drivers on the dangers of distracted driving, and implementing technology to monitor driver behavior can all help reduce the risk of distracted driving and protect the fleet’s financial well-being. Overall promoting distracted driving awareness is an important step toward reducing insurance costs for commercial vehicles.
We’re here to help
At HDVI, our dedicated fleet services team provide fleet managers with valuable insights and tools for promoting safe driving practices and reducing the risk of accidents caused by distractions. By leveraging technology and analytics we can help you improve driver behavior, keep drivers safe on the road, while also potentially reducing your insurance costs.