Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous problems out on the roads today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 alone, 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving. Taking one’s eyes off the road for five seconds at 55 mph means blindly driving the length of a football field. Accidents happen in a matter of seconds, so driving this distance without seeing the road can be catastrophic.
The CDC defines three significant types of distracted driving.
Any of these distractions are equally dangerous and can all lead to unsafe driving behaviors or accidents.
The most common type of distracted driving is due to cell phone use. Smartphones are a compulsory part of nearly everyone’s lives. People use them not only for communication but also for news, work, entertainment, and easily accessible information. The National Safety Council reports that one out of every four accidents occurs due to talking or texting on the phone. Almost everyone has used a smartphone before while driving. People are so used to having what they need easily accessible that they don’t think twice before reaching for their phones. This tendency is best avoided with the phone either switched off or out of reach.
One reason that drivers often excuse cell phone use is for navigation. However, there are many hands-free solutions for using a cell phone for navigation without holding the cell phone or entering coordinates manually. Cell phone holders can be attached to cup holders, air vents, or dashboards so that drivers can view maps and hear navigation without having to press any buttons or hold the phone. Most smartphones also have voice commands, so one does not even have to pick up the phone to pull up a map in the first place.
One problem for fleet drivers, especially, is driving while tired. Fleet drivers work long shifts, and although the ELD mandate and HoS regulations have decreased the amount of fatigued driving that occurs, it still happens. Long drives, mainly through areas with little scenery or variation, can lead to a driver’s mind wandering or even falling asleep behind the wheel. Driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol-- going 20 hours without sleep has the same effect on the mind as a blood-alcohol level of 0.08%. The National Safety Council found that fatigued drivers are three times more likely to be in an accident. Even if a driver is not physically falling asleep behind the wheel, they may be lapsing into periods of what is called microsleep. Microsleep is characterized by loss of attention, blank stares, and a sharp decrease in reaction time. A study by the University of Iowa found that drivers drop their speed significantly and change lane position more often during microsleep episodes. They also show worse vehicle control.
Tired driving is a problem that fleet managers can rectify by adhering strictly to the mandated rest periods outlined in the HoS regulations. Furthermore, fleet managers can utilize dashcams to look for yawning and closed eyes in the cab and drifting lanes or speed changes on the road. If they detect these behaviors, they can reach out to the driver and check in. If drowsy driving is a frequent problem, fleet managers can implement more frequent breaks, as getting out and stretching gets the blood flowing and can invigorate a driver.
In emergencies, it is always best to play on the safe side. It is better to pull over and take a nap than to wind up in an accident due to falling asleep on the road. Naps are quick fixes, and if drowsy driving is a recurring problem, fleet managers and drivers will need to work out a more permanent solution.
Another frequent distraction for fleet drivers is eating while driving. While working long hours on the road, it is only natural that a driver might get hungry and be tempted to eat while behind the wheel. This can be a fatal mistake, as a driver is three times more likely to be in an accident if they are eating or drinking. With the prevalence of fast-food restaurants, eating in the car is a significant problem that must be addressed.
Like drowsy driving, fleet managers can address eating while driving with more frequent breaks and dashcam monitoring. Of course, no one expects drivers to go hungry, so being in communication with drivers is vital to ensure their needs are met. Fleet managers and drivers must work together to develop a solution to circumvent the need to eat while driving.
Distracted driving is the most significant danger on the roads today. One of the most critical actions a fleet manager can take is ensuring that drivers understand these risks and are held accountable for their behavior. Keeping an open stream of communication with drivers to work with their needs and avoid the necessity for multitasking while driving is also key. Azuga has plenty of solutions such as dashcams, in-cab communication, and ELD logs so that you can monitor your drivers and keep them on optimal schedules.
Dispatch software is a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your dispatch process and keeping operations streamlined. It offers a variety of features that make daily procedures so much easier, from fleet tracking to reports that help businesses make decisions. What features does dispatch software offer, and how do these features benefit fleets? We will break this down for you.
It is easy to assign and monitor jobs with dispatch software because it uses fleet tracking. Fleet tracking allows you to assign jobs to crews in the field. If you need a lead technician for a job, it’s simple to attach that lead tech to any job you need. You can even sort jobs based on their status, whether they’re one-time, recurring, or multi-day, or based on urgency.
When workers finish jobs, they can mark the job as complete on their end. This way, you can know when each job concludes and when your technician moves on to their next task.
Back and forth calls between technicians and managers are no longer a problem. With dispatch software, you simply input the job you want your technicians to address. Your technicians access it from their phones and know what to do from there. When they’re done, they can mark it complete and view their next job right away. They can track their time, update their schedules, and input notes all while on the go. Everything you need to know will be on your screen when you need to know it, no need to track the information down.
Dispatch software can improve your business’s customer service reputation in a variety of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking allows for route optimization software, which gets your technicians to their destinations quickly and efficiently. No more late technicians making your customers wait. Furthermore, dispatch software allows you to assign technicians to customers they already know, building an improved relationship with your business. And with all of your customer information in one place, it’s easy to respond to disputes and issues in a timely and personal manner.
All of your client and order information is available in a field service CRM that details everything you need to know about your customers and the jobs you’ve done for them.
Azuga offers state-of-the-art dispatch software that your business is sure to benefit from every single day. These benefits will improve your fleet’s daily operations, boost customer service, and maximize productivity among your workers. These features and more bring your fleet to its maximum potential, allowing you to focus on making important decisions to help the business grow and thrive. Find out everything you can do with dispatch software by trying out a free demo today. You’re certain to be impressed with the improvements.
A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety.
The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption.
Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information.
There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel.
If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!
If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business.
Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.
A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team.
A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.
Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums.
Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field.
Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!