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Distracted Driving and Million Dollar Lawsuits: Get your cell phone usage policies in place this year!

March 22, 2017

Ananth Rani, Azuga Co-Founder and CEO

April is the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and in case you’re not already clear on why this should be a top level priority for businesses that have drivers, here are a few eye-opening stats from the NSC:

The High Cost of Distracted Driving

Three recent legal proceedings involving distracted driving in commercial vehicles give an indication of the toll that cell phone use in a vehicle can have:

These startling numbers are a wake-up call for employers to take distracted driving prevention seriously. The level of cost and disruption to both the business and the people involved with vehicle collisions—and the increasing frequency of them due to cell phone use while driving—are putting many companies on a dangerous path.

Here are three steps every business with workers behind the wheel should take:

Establish a Cell Phone Usage Policy (but don’t stop here!)

It is not enough to tell your team not to use their cell phone while driving and to obey all laws. The pressures of work and life and the convenience of communicating on the fly are too great. In order to minimize risk, employers should create and have each worker sign a policy statement regarding cell phone use while driving. An effective policy:

Monitor Cell Phone Use by Workers in the Vehicle

New technologies, like the DriveSafe feature in Azuga Fleet, allow employers to monitor cell phone use in the vehicle. The Azuga Fleet Mobile App records drivers’ phone when the vehicle is in motion. A specific report in the administrative portal gives managers the data needed to understand who is in compliance and who isn’t.For Android devices, Azuga’s DriveSafe feature can be configured to block the use of the phone while the vehicle is moving (Apple doesn’t allow this).

Continually Discuss Driving Safety with Your Team to Build a Culture of Safety

As important as it is to have the right policies and tools in place, the most important thing is to make driving safety a key component of the way you manage your workforce behind the wheel. Frequent conversations about safety help set the tone. Azuga Fleet uses gamification, with driver scores and rewards to help make safety and compliance an engaging and mutually beneficial pursuit. When drivers compete, everyone wins!

At Azuga, we’re committed to empowering both drivers and fleet managers to practice and encourage safe driving. To learn how we can help your fleet prevent distracted driving, click here. Don’t forget to follow #JustDrive throughout April for more safe driving tips!