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How Transportation Businesses Can Prevent Distracted Driving

February 23, 2015

If your business involves transporting goods or services, it’s important to take steps to make sure your drivers are safe on the road. Driving while distracted is a leading cause of automobile accidents. Texting while driving causes nearly 25% of all car accidents, according to the National Safety Council.
Driving requires complete and full attention. Because driving is so time consuming, many people try to multi-task while driving as a way to save time and be more productive. However, this dangerous practice is likely to hurt more than it helps.
A recent study by Car and Driver magazine compared braking results between normal driving, driving while reading a text, driving while writing a text and under the influence of several alcoholic drinks. The results (shown in this image) were surprising. Reaction times were 600% worse while texting when compared to someone impaired by alcohol. Reading texts was actually more dangerous than writing them.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Distracted driving can include activities such as:

    1. Texting
    2. Using a cell phone or smartphone
    3. Eating and drinking
    4. Talking to passengers
    5. Grooming
    6. Reading, including maps
    7. Using a navigation system
    8. Watching a video
    9. Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

However, text messaging is by far the most problematic. Texting causes an estimated 1.6 million accidents per year, according to the National Safety Council. Many states are taking the initiative by outlawing texting while driving. But it’s hard to enforce those laws, so it requires more diligence on everyone’s part.

What Can You Do to Reduce Distracted Driving?

What steps should you take as a transportation business to limit the effects of driving distraction?
Here are three suggestions:

  1. Don’t wait for an accident to affect your business. The first step is to educate everyone about the danger it poses. Train your drivers and make sure they understand your company’s policy about distracted driving. Outline your expectations about what’s appropriate when they are in a vehicle.
  2. Make sure your drivers have routes with directions that are easy to understand. One of the best methods is to use our online routing program that creates easy-to-follow directions via voice command on a GPS or smartphone app. This will help keep your driver’s eyes on the road, instead of looking at a screen.
  3. When creating routes, be sure to program in breaks, so your drivers have a chance to stop when they need to. Calculating in breaks helps develop realistic routes and minimize the rush to meet a deadline. Our Route Planner allows the user to add Lunch Breaks and it’s a great way to make sure you are planning efficient yet practical driving routes with multiple stops. Plus, less time on the road means fewer chances of accidents.

Make sure your employees don’t become one of the statistics. Take the time to address the problem of distracted driving for your small business and reduce the dangers of distracted driving for everyone. The life you save might be your own.