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3 Tips to Improve Fleet Driver Safety

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Distracted driving is a big problem — especially for commercial drivers who are on the road for long stretches of time. Accidents cost fleets in the United States about $2 billion annually, and insurance penalties for distracted driving have risen more than 10,000% over the past decade. Additionally, in the U.S. in 2019 alone, more than 3,000 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers with hundreds of thousands more people sustaining injuries. 

The National Safety Council, the National Highway Transportation Association, and others highlight the disastrous impacts of distracted and dangerous driving behaviors. Distracted driving behaviors include using a mobile device, mentally zoning out, or physically reaching for something while driving. Cutting back on distracted driving would help fleets save money and keep more people safe on the roads. 

Here, Motion Intelligence is sharing three tips to help improve driver safety from our recent guide 3 Keys to Improving Drivers’ Safety Practices. Share your email with us below to access the full guide and other resources.

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1. Enable Safe Driver Connectivity

Drivers want to stay in touch while on the road. Naturally, while they are driving, they may feel disconnected and lonely. But obviously, allowing drivers to use their mobile devices without safety parameters can have devastating consequences, especially considering drivers can be distracted for up to 27 seconds after accessing their devices, meaning its not safe to interact with a device even at a traffic stop. 

On the flip side, policies that require drivers to eliminate all phone calls, not listen to podcasts or use needed apps, such as navigation apps, can feel too limiting. Policies that include practices and tools with the ability to prevent texting, watching videos and using distracting apps, like our Evvy App, while also giving some drivers the option to use navigation apps and make calls — such as Bluetooth/hands-free calling — can be better received. These policies also strike a better balance between no precautions and total bans that still ensures drivers are safe and distraction free.

2. Create a Clear Cell Phone Policy Backed by Smart Solutions

Every fleet should have a clear cell phone policy. Defining a policy is the most important step in getting your entire fleet on the same page about safe driving behaviors. While a policy alone is not always a deterrent, having a clear mobile device and cell phone policy in place helps set expectations for driver behavior on the job and ensures drivers understand the consequences they will face if they do not adhere to safe driving practices.

Written policies, clear consequences, and even in-cab cameras and similar monitoring mechanisms are helpful, but they can’t stop distracted driving before it happens. A better goal is to implement tools to move your fleet from responsive — as with enforcing a policy and watching through cameras — to preventative and even predictive tools, which help to change driver behaviour.

A comprehensive mobile device policy should include statements about all the various mobile devices a driver could pack, such as smart watches, cell phones, tablets, Bluetooth communication devices, and even wearables. Without a seamless, comprehensive system for monitoring and reporting behavior, policies and tools can be informative but not actionable. What does your fleet have in place to prevent unauthorized, or “rogue,” devices from being used in the vehicle, effectively working around policies or other tools in place?

Our distracted-driving prevention app, the Evvy App, has patent-pending rogue device detection capabilities to detect and report rogue devices in the vehicle, such as the driver’s unauthorized personal cell phone, which could pose a distraction while driving. The app has a built-in, foolproof system that prevents drivers’ attempts to compromise it. The app’s monitoring and reporting dashboard, MotionIQ Evvy Manager Dashboard, even includes dynamic, real-time alerts and “rogue” reporting that provide full visibility to fleet managers.

3. Respect Driver Privacy

Even with smart solutions integrated into drivers’ devices, driver privacy must be respected. Any policy or set of tools used to address dangerous driving behaviors that oversteps and accesses drivers’ personal data will risk relationships between fleet managers and their drivers. Drivers who use their personal phones on the job are especially worried about privacy risks with adding an app on their phones. 

Any app product you choose must come from a business that is committed to driver privacy protection. For example, our Evvy App does not activate or collect any data until drivers put the fleet vehicle in motion. Evvy does not require a driver’s personal phone number or name for the app to work on their phones. Our app does not have access to a user’s text messages, photos, or any other personal files or content on a driver’s device. We can’t see anything that is on the phone — we can only detect whether the app is running in the foreground of the phone while the vehicle is in motion. 

Customizable, Preventative Technology Supports and Enhances These 3 Keys

App-based systems, like Evvy, are uniquely designed to prevent dangerous mobile device behavior and detect when drivers try to outsmart the system. Other solutions, like cameras and policies, are only reactionary, not preventative. 

Along with the aforementioned tips for driver safety and benefits of an app-based system, Evvy is not a one size fits all solution. Evvy is customizable, allowing you to set up policies that apply to the full fleet or specific drivers depending on their behavior, cargo load and substance, or any other number of factors that you consider important. Additionally, the app allows you to identify particularly safe drivers and reward them for their good behavior.

Please contact Motion Intelligence’s CRO CJ Meurell directly at cjmeurell@motionintelligence.com today for a free ROI analysis for your fleet or fill in the contact form below to access the full guide, 3 Keys to Improving Drivers’ Safety Practices, and other resources.

_________________________________

Read “3 Keys to Improving Drivers’ Safety Practices”

Please share your email address and we’ll send you the full resource.

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