How Technology Can Help Tackle Distracted Driving

It seems simple: pay full attention to the road when you’re behind the wheel. Yet, according to one independent study, a staggering 78% of Australian drivers admit to multitasking while in control of a car.

As a fleet manager, keeping drivers and other road users safe is a necessity. Aside from endangering individuals and putting vehicles at risk of damage, distracted driving also has the potential to damage your reputation as a carrier.

In this article, we’ll look further into the risks associated with distracted driving and how technology can help eliminate them, helping to ensure everyone stays safe on the road.

What Causes Distracted Driving and What It Looks Like

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes: anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road counts.

An infographic showing statistics on the percentage of people who have reported doing certain distracting or dangerous tasks while driving.

(Image Source).

This study found that while just 8% of motorists admitted to using a mobile device while driving, nearly a quarter said they pick up their device when stopped at a traffic signal or in stationary traffic.

Around 36% of distractions are what’s known as secondary tasks, which include quick things that take five seconds or less. These include, for example, reaching for something on the back seat, adjusting seat belts, or pressing buttons on the dashboard. Other distractions include eating or drinking and personal hygiene tasks like applying makeup.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

From road accidents to increased insurance premiums, distracted driving is bad news for your fleet. In fact, a driver using their phone behind the wheel quadruples their risk of crashing.

An infographic showing how many metres your car moves at certain speeds after just 2 seconds of driving.

A lot can happen on a 56m stretch of road. Just a two-second distraction could mean life or death (Image Source).

In the event of a collision, the worst outcome isn’t the damage to the vehicle, but rather potentially life-altering or fatal injuries for the driver and other road users. Yet, drivers still allow themselves to become distracted.

Part of the reason for this is thinking, “This will not happen to me.” However, driver distraction is one of the ‘fatal five’ causes of road deaths in Australia. Moreover, large vehicles are particularly hazardous because of their weight, size, and the amount of time it takes for them to stop. Therefore, it’s crucial that fleet managers make safety a priority.

As well as potentially causing physical harm, road accidents leave your business vulnerable to costly lawsuits, property damage, higher insurance premiums, inconveniences, and the possibility of a damaged reputation – causing serious harm to your bottom line.

The estimated cost of work-related traffic accidents.

Using Technology to Reduce Driver Distraction

Some distractions are unavoidable – but technology can help offer a solution to mitigate those that aren’t.

Specifically, fleet management software offers many safety benefits, including limiting distracted driving. In fact, a survey showed that improving driver behaviour was the biggest benefit fleet managers saw after implementing telematics into their fleet.

A bar graph showing what fleets reported to be the biggest benefit of using telematics technology.

Image Source

Let’s look at some ways that fleet management software helps tackle distracted driving.

Monitor Driver Behaviour

With Fleet Complete’s Fleet Tracker, you can be notified when there are events of unsafe driving – including harsh braking and acceleration, tailgating, cornering, and speeding. These can all be telltale signs of distracted driving.

Having this data then allows managers to assess a driver’s performance and see where there’s room for improvement. The data can be used for training, or, if you’re using in-cabin audible alerts, immediately speak to the driver while they’re on the road. This means they can adjust their behaviour in real time, helping to keep their focus on the road and potentially avoid an accident.

Enforce Driving Best Practices

The easiest and most effective way to curb distracted driving is to instill best practices in your drivers. Telematics helps accomplish this by using technology to better understand driver habits, spot risks, and pinpoint areas for improvement.

This allows managers to use data-driven insights to implement effective training measures based on areas that drivers need to improve.

Help Keep Your Fleet Safe

Although there may be slip-ups from time to time, with coaching and training, drivers can better identify when they’re distracted and take corrective action to keep themselves and everyone around them safe.

Fleet management software can help managers track behaviour and provide the necessary tools, information, and insight to improve driver safety in their fleets. Utilising the full scope of fleet management capabilities can unlock the potential to track vehicles, improve driver performance, and stay safe on the road.

Take our fleet management system for a spin to see how it can help you increase driver safety. Get started today by trying our Fleet Complete demo.

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Date published.   May 09, 2021  |  Author: Marketing FC