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Driver Safety and How to Avoid Million Dollar Lawsuits

November 28, 2017

Drowsy driving is a serious concern not only in the blue-collar trucking verticals but in many other diverse industries such as home healthcare or even sales. Telematics solutions that measure driver behavior can help, and more usefully, distracted driving monitoring can be very revealing. While Telematics can appear intrusive, the simple truth is everyone wants to return safely to their families, every day. And if Telematics can add fun, rewards and gamification to the mix, even better.

Safe drivers are wide awake and improving their fleet’s score

Drowsy driving is not something that happens only to those who drive daily. If someone hasn’t had enough sleep in the previous 24 hours, it can tell on their driving reflexes and road judgement. Sleepiness doesn’t show up in a subsequent lab report, and fatigue or drowsiness do not usually get mentioned in accident reports as the cause.

When we look at the stats, tired drivers are involved in over 100,000 crashes annually in which about a thousand people lose their lives. 

When it happens to a business, lawsuits start appearing, with some getting settled in the millions. This is the reason why it has become imperative for businesses to draw up clear-cut policies on drowsy driving to prevent it from happening. They can refer to the resources made available at The National Sleep Foundation at a site dedicated to this issue–drowsydriving.org

The other issue that doesn’t get as much attention is that we are an over-medicated nation. Some of the after effects of such medication also play a role in accident risk.

Telematics boosts driver safety

Workers driving a considerable distance to and from home to worksites and are especially vulnerable as the commute home can add a few more hours. In fact, this is a danger that can befall any of about 600,000 full-time employees (as per the Census Bureau) who travel 50 miles or more to reach their workplace. Remoteness of the location is a factor, and this is why oil and gas sector employees are considered to be more at risk than others.

Sales fleets also with high on-the-job driving requirements have to be on guard against fatigued drivers. Both big and small fleets have benefited from fleet telematics solutions that stream information about vehicle health and driver behavior–their safety has significantly improved.

Employers need to be able to build rest breaks into the schedule.

Some can be done through mobile applications that force a break or report on employees that don’t take a break. Spreading awareness in their workplace about the likelihood and dangers of drowsy driving is a useful step. They have to keep an eye on the work logs and ensure that employees who have worked long hours or for consecutive weeks are given adequate time off to recuperate.

Invest to lower your risk and safeguard your business’s reputation

There are situations where a team of workers put in protracted hours to complete a project by the deadline, and then several of them leave for their homes driving on their own. Employers have to avoid such occurrences as it is safer to arrange their conveyance after a long work shift.

Where a worker is driving company equipment or vehicle, a fleet telematics solution that tracks the vehicle’s progress can help avert an accident in the making.

Azuga is the leader in driver-centric telematics applications for enterprise, state government and insurance. Our growing base of drivers and vehicles allows us to manage and analyze more telematics data than just about anyone. Our Data science team leverages this big data set to come up with predictions on future accident risk. Software Advice, a Gartner Group company, featured us recently among the Top 5 Telematics Fleet Solution Providers in their Reviewers’ Choice Awards for 2017.

Contact info@azuga.com to learn more about Azuga’s driver safety programs.