As a business leader, if your company is engaged in shipping, transportation, or even employee commuting, you need to be vigilant.
It's essential to safeguard both yourself and your employees from the potential dangers posed by distracted drivers.
Every time a carrier or employee gets behind the wheel in the name of your company, they’re putting themselves at risk. Investing in training for those employees to ensure they are as safe as possible on the road is a worthwhile endeavor. However, you could have the safest drivers in the world working for you, and it only takes one distracted driver to cause an accident.
With that in mind, shielding your carriers and employees from distracted driving risks should become a top priority for guarding your business. Thankfully, implementing distracted driving strategies is easier than you might think. Let’s take a closer look at how you can equip your business to navigate the roads with enhanced safety and preparedness. In doing so, you can set the standard for transportation safety in your industry.
Most people have a basic understanding of what distracted driving is, though it might be limited in the scope of the average driver’s mind. For example, many people recognize that someone who is texting while driving is likely to be distracted and not focused on the road. But, there are so many other types of distracted driving that can negatively impact both professional and civilian drivers and put everyone at risk. Some of the common causes of distracted driving – aside from texting – include:
Talking on the phone;
Eating or drinking;
Fixing hair or applying makeup;
Using electronics on the dashboard;
Reaching for something in a different seat.
It only takes a moment of distraction for an accident to occur — that explains why there were over 46,000 motor-vehicle deaths in 2021.
Many states are adopting certain bans on cell phones while driving. Texting while driving is currently banned in 48 states. But, as you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to be distracted elsewhere on the road. Commercial drivers are restricted from reaching for or holding a mobile phone while behind the wheel. If caught, that driver could face multiple fines, or even end up disqualified from their license. That can wreak havoc on your business, your employee morale, and even your company’s reputation.
One of the best ways to keep your drivers and your business safe is to invest in dashcams for all of your carriers. Dashcams are very popular in other parts of the world. They’re even required in Russia to record any traffic incidents. In the U.S., fewer people tend to use dashcams, but it should become a prioritized practice for professional drivers and businesses.
Dashcams should be utilized in the cab of a truck for a variety of reasons. First, they’ll offer your drivers peace of mind. With a dashcam in place, they’ll have exact proof of who is at fault if an accident occurs. This can protect your company when it comes to insurance issues and can help every driver maintain a clean record without question.
Dashcams also help to protect drivers against hit and runs. If someone hits their truck when they’re getting fuel or food, they won’t have to worry about who will pay for the damages. The dashcam will record exactly what happened – including the perpetrator’s vehicle.
When it comes to distracted driving, dashcams can help drivers be more aware of their surroundings. They make it easier to see what kind of traffic is flowing around them, and even easier to monitor the behavior of other drivers.
Dashcams aren’t necessarily a new technological innovation, but they are a piece of technology that benefits civilians and truck drivers alike. Thanks to advancements like AI and IoT, some of today’s dashcams can be monitored remotely from a central location, so anyone can see what the carrier sees and can offer a second set of eyes to help them monitor the road.
With more businesses automating their fleet management — whether it be using route planning apps or smart technology — there are plenty of distractions in vehicles that may unintentionally cause accidents. One AAA study found that participants were more likely to take their eyes off of the road with more car “infotainment” systems or other dashboard distractions.
As a business owner, you must find a balance between using technology that may help your drivers’ efficiency without sacrificing their safety at the same time. This should also include maintaining vehicles so dashboard warnings aren’t consistently popping up and distracting from the road ahead. If drivers are mainly concerned about whether they need to pull over for low air tire pressure or other warnings, they’re less likely to be concerned about what’s happening on the road.
In addition to installing dashcams in your fleet, it’s important to remind your employees consistently of the best safety practices for the road. When a driver has been in the industry for a long time, it’s very easy to become complacent. They might start to lose focus or not pay close attention the way they used to because they’re so familiar with the road.
Regular training and safety tips can go a long way in keeping your business and your drivers protected from distracted driving. Some of the easiest (but best) tips for them to use every time they get behind the wheel include:
Inspecting their vehicle before leaving;
Taking note of weather conditions;
Making sure they’re not fatigued;
Avoiding distractions like using the phone and eating.
Distracted driving can be a huge problem, even for professional drivers. Your carriers must know not only how to stay focused on the road, but how to drive defensively to reduce the risks of other distracted drivers causing an accident. Use these methods to guard your business and protect your fleet, and you’ll gain a positive reputation for road safety and employee well-being.