Distracted driving is the most impactful danger on the road today. With all of the various distractions that our drivers face, like cell phones, navigation systems, fast food, and even passengers, it is easy to see how a driver can become distracted if they are not committed to focusing on the road. Distracted driving is such a significant issue that it has been studied and broken down into three distinct categories. This article will discuss the three categories of distracted driving and what they mean for your fleet.
The Three Main Categories of Distracted Driving
The CDC defines three categories of distracted driving:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road (ex: looking at a text, fiddling with GPS, adjusting mirrors)
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel (ex: eating, drinking, reaching for something in the back seat)
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving (ex: driving while angry, zoning out, driving while tired)
Who is at Risk for Distracted Driving?
Young adult and teen drivers are the most likely to engage in distracted driving. Over the course of a month, a Youth Risk Behavior Study found that 39% of high school students who drove had texted or emailed while driving. Drivers in this age range have a higher rate of crashes due to distracted driving than older drivers.
How to Limit Distracted Driving for Fleets
You can use many techniques to limit distractions for your drivers and keep them safe on the road. Here are a few of those techniques.
- Hands-Free Calls and Apps: Invest in apps and calls that drivers can use without their hands, so they can still work on the road while being safe and undistracted. These apps need intuitive, easy-to-use voice commands; if they are frustrating, drivers will use their hands instead.
- Block Calls While Driving: Another option is simply blocking calls while driving. Phones can detect when the car is in motion and use that information to block incoming calls, so they do not distract your drivers.
- Route Calls to HQ Instead of Drivers: Have calls go to your HQ instead of drivers to avoid them being distracted. Someone at HQ can let a caller know where the driver is and give them any updates they need.
- Use Telematics to Detect When the Vehicle is in Motion: Telematics is a technology that can read all kinds of information about your vehicles, including speed, velocity, and when their positions change. Use this data to determine when the vehicle is moving and only contact your drivers when the vehicle is stopped.
- Set Up Motion-Based Availability Status: Use telematics to create a motion-based availability status that sets the driver’s availability to “busy” if they are on the road. It can even be more robust with status notifications like “busy driving,” “cruising slowly,” and “parked with brakes.”
- Use Audio Cues for Navigation: Ensure that your navigation programs feature clear audio cues, so drivers do not have to look at a map while driving.
- Schedule Timely Breaks for Drivers: Make sure drivers have the time to do what they need to do when they’re off the road. You don’t want them eating or trying to get to their items while driving. Give them the time they need with plenty of breaks.
Learn More About Driver Safety
At Azuga, we aim to help keep your drivers safe and your fleet productive. That’s why we created our range of state-of-the-art fleet management products, and that’s why our blog seeks to inform on all things fleet safety. Check out a demo of our products to see what we’re capable of together.