By Lillian Holder, Marketing Manager, NoCell Technologies, LLC
It’s no secret that distracted driving is deadly. Every day, about eight people in the United States are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. That’s 2,920 lives lost each year. Startling numbers, and yet cell phone use continues to be one of the leading causes of distracted driving.
And truck drivers are not exempt. Research commissioned by FMCSA shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are six times greater for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who engage in dialing a mobile phone while driving than for those who do not.
And yet, so many drivers continue to chance fate, recklessly navigating our nation’s highways while checking emails, responding to texts, and checking their social media, all while risking their own lives, as well as the lives of countless others. It’s become an epidemic; too many drivers simply aren’t able to resist the temptation of their cellphones.
Aside from the many lives tragically lost are the steep fines drivers and carriers can face if a driver is found to be driving distracted. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving. Multiple violations of the prohibition of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in a driver disqualification by the FMCSA.
Insurance rates have also skyrocketed, the already expensive costs are expected to increase. Further to this, drivers with any cell phone violations could become uninsurable. And in a market that’s already short of qualified drivers, this cuts down the number of candidates significantly. Driver disqualification aside, fleet owners themselves can face crippling fines, find themselves in court battling a nuclear verdict, or even be forced to shut down altogether.
While most of today’s fleets recognize the dangers of cellphones and prohibit the use of them while behind the wheel, it can be difficult to manage without proactive measures in place. It’s akin to playing a game of chance, but with no winners. There is no better time for fleets to consider how they can improve their overall operations and ensure the safety of their company drivers and/or owner-operators, as well as other motorists on the road.
There’s no doubt safety training can help, but oftentimes, any lessons learned are short-lived, forgotten, or altogether dismissed the moment drivers see an incoming text.
Pro-Active Anti-Distracted Driving Technology, such as that created by NoCell Technologies LLC, offers fleets peace of mind. It guarantees the control that’s required in order to completely erase the dangers of distracted driving by enabling the removal of texting and social media apps and providing a phone-handling detection feature with alerting capabilities.
Fleets are able to enforce their safety policy by choosing which apps are allowed on either Apple or Android devices; unauthorized apps are disabled completely when a vehicle is in motion. The solution also provides advanced data reporting and analysis tools, as well as driver tamper alerts.
It makes enforcing your fleet’s safety policy both simple and effective and can save lives.
In this day and age, when technology has become such an integral part of our lives, proactively managing cell phone use with Pro-Active Anti-Distracted Driving Technology is something fleets need to be paying attention to. Because let’s face it: 2,920 lives lost each year is 2,920 lives too many. We can do better in 2022.