As restrictions are slowly removed and fleets increase their levels of activity, it is important to keep a commitment to fleet safety, perhaps first emphasizing simple, low-cost solutions that can be implemented easily, require no incremental hardware, and require little management oversight, yet are able to deliver significant and immediate results.
As commercial fleets return to the road, there are simply not a lot of management cycles available, perhaps even a loss of resources paying attention to fleet safety. In Maslow style, survival and profitability are at the top of the hierarchy of needs for fleets currently. Yet improvements in safety are still attainable.
Several factors will still drive the importance of improving fleet safety and driving behavior. These factors include a worsening insurance picture, more litigation aimed at commercial fleets, and, ironically, even worse driving behaviors than we were exposed to pre-COVID. It just seems like people have forgotten how to drive, or silly annoyances like red lights, speed limits, and stop signs just don’t really matter anymore. Overall “life tension” and increased anxiety also seems to challenge our focus on attentive, calm, and safe driving.
What are the most effective steps to take within the limits of available manpower and resources to responsibly pay attention to safety today? Logically, a low-cost solution that clearly lessens risk exposure while requiring almost no management attention would be great.
The essence of driving safety is always to pay attention to the road situation and to allow for the time and space to react to any unforeseen driving situation. Distracted driving is one of the key factors of increased driving risk and cell phone distraction is perhaps the most lethal of distraction behaviors. And yet perhaps the most manageable.
The good news is cell phone distraction technology is low-cost (depending on fleet size, can be as low as $0.17 a day per managed phone/driver), proven, provides benefit with little management involvement, and may not require any additional hardware. Cell phone distraction avoidance technology can change driver behaviors immediately, interacting in real-time with drivers to let them know when they are out of safety compliance, perhaps even “blocking” functions deemed to be unsafe. As opposed to “driver scorecards” that identify driving risk but rely on follow-up coaching and feedback to drivers to actually address the identified risk, cell phone distraction avoidance technology actually changes the behaviors in real-time. Both the fleet and insurer receive loss prevention benefits which is not contingent on drivers being coached to improvement.
Seems like a logical strategy to follow these days…
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