By: Kevin Aries, Global Product Success Lead for Verizon Connect
With distracted driving rapidly becoming one of the biggest reasons for accidents on the road today, it’s important to arm fleet managers with the tools to manage and mitigate these factors effectively. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about nine people die each day as a result of distracted driving, and another 1,000 injuries occur daily in accidents that reportedly involve a distracted driver. As fleet managers look to minimize distracted driving incidents and the costs that come with them, fleet management technology has proven to be an important tool for managers to better address the safety of drivers.
As distracted driving continues to be a priority for fleet managers today, finding solutions that help curb distracted driving and allow for training on safe driving practices is essential. A vehicle accident could significantly impact a business, costing on average around $21,000. According to a recent fleet manager survey, the “failure of a driver to acknowledge/respond to traffic signals” and the use of “a phone/mobile device while driving” are top reasons for fleet vehicle accidents. With the potential monetary and human costs of distracted driving-related incidents, fleet managers should make minimizing distractions a key priority.
Recent fleet management advancements can provide a valuable tool for mitigating and reducing distracted driving incidents. For example, video footage pulled from solutions like road-facing and driver-facing dash cameras can provide greater context and insight into the behaviors of drivers, allowing fleet managers to pinpoint distracted driving and empower them with empirical data to work with drivers to reduce future instances. Data can be a fleet manager’s best friend as it helps to tell a story of the vehicle’s movements on the road and what may have caused incidents that could have been avoided.
And at its core, fleet management technology includes GPS tracking and integration with a vehicle’s control module that provides fleet managers with data on dangerous driving behaviors, like hard braking, quick starts, and harsh cornerings. With both video and driving data, managers can have more context than ever before on what happened on the road and in the cab to help keep drivers safe and even help protect a business from false claims.
Driving behavior data, paired with near real-time video recordings, can even help a company tailor its own safety program aimed at curbing future instances. Fleet managers should learn how to effectively leverage the technology as a coaching solution to better manage their drivers and address situations potentially caused by distracted driving. The technology can also help fleet managers identify risks impacting public safety and perception that could be caused by their drivers. Overall, fleet management technology and the data that it tracks is a valuable asset to help understand reactively what led to an accident, but when used proactively as a coaching tool, fleet managers can help curb distracted driving before it even happens.
Distracted driving continues to be a pressing issue for fleet managers and the safety of their drivers. As fleet managers attempt to combat distracted driving and the potential costs that come with it, fleet management technology can provide help. Fleet managers who coach their drivers in coordination with fleet technologies have the potential to promote the safety of their drivers and help protect the business from distracted driving-related incidents. Whether actively or passively seeking out a solution, fleet management technology allows for increased insight into the cab and provides valuable data and information to quickly identify, train drivers and help correct dangerous driving behaviors to curb future instances of distracted driving.
Kevin Aries is the head of Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that enhance the way people, vehicles and things move through the world. Working with transportation, field service and other fleet-based businesses, Kevin spends his time understanding the problems and solutions of the service industry improving customer experiences, productivity, efficiency, and safety.