April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As fleet owners and managers, you put drivers on the road every day, so driver safety is of the utmost importance.
In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving. With technology continuing to advance and the number of distractions growing every year, this number is likely to grow. While you can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road, you can equip your drivers to make safe decisions while driving.
To best protect and prepare your drivers for safe driving, use the tips below.
1. Focus on what you’re doing now
The ELD Mandate has limited the number of drowsy drivers, but Hours of Service rules have created a new problem. Since drivers have a limited number of hours on the road, some are trying to get as much distance as possible out of their available time. By allowing the clock to distract them from the need for safe driving, these drivers are creating dangerous situations on the road. Meeting deadlines is important, but the lives of everyone on the road are a bigger priority. When training drivers, stress the importance of focusing on the road above anything else. By focusing on their driving and the road conditions around them, your drivers can keep themselves and others safe.
2. Put the phones away
Whether your drivers are checking emails, changing music, texting, or making calls, cell phones are one of the greatest and most deadly distractions on the road. To best protect your fleet drivers, create a ban on the use of phones while driving. Even a quick glance at the screen equals dozens of feet traveled without their attention, so keep them as safe as possible by fully banning these dangerous distractions.
3. Better safe than sorry
Many distractions, such as texting or calling, are obvious, but some are harder to spot. When your drivers are on the road, remind them to avoid any actions that distract from driving. Eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio — all of these behaviors can pull your attention away from what’s happening around you. You want your drivers to return home unharmed at the end of the day, so remind them to always play it safe.
How do you keep your drivers safe on the road?