We’re killing people, causing life-changing injuries, damaging vehicles and other property, destroying families (including those related to distracted drivers who end-up incarcerated)…not to mention, driving automobile insurance rates through the roof!
It’s an epidemic…one that we have to stop!
Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.1
Distracted driving is driving while doing something else that takes your attention away from driving. And while the mass emergence of in-vehicle screens puts information at our fingertips, onscreen distraction skyrockets the risk!
There are 3 types of distraction.
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
The most dangerous distraction!
Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction and can endanger the driver and others. Sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, and eating while driving are just a few examples of distracted driving.
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions because it combines all three types of distraction. Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds…long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph.
The right-focused solution.
The best practice solution focuses on the driver. It has three equally important components:
1. Driver Training – To eliminate distracted driving, reduce risk, promote safety and increase safe driving we must focus on relentless education. Having proper training programs for our drivers, holding regular safety classes to focus on the dangers of texting and driving, alongside a published company policy prohibiting the use of cell phones while the vehicle is in motion, are all important first steps. However the department of transportation provides evidence through distracted driving statistics that training efforts must also be supported by government regulation and vehicle telematics to monitor behavior and dish out consequences.
2. Recognize the law – The government has stepped in to address the distracted driving epidemic. Most states have enacted and are enforcing laws prohibiting texting while driving. This includes accelerated fines and the inclusion of distracted driving issues in the state driver’s license exam. These laws recognize that employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their drivers. Besides hiring drivers with an insurable DMV history, it is important that every employer demonstrate a commitment to helping drivers abide by traffic laws. Employers must not expect drivers to respond to a text or a call while driving, including any coming from management or co-workers.
3. Enforce correct behaviors – Distracted driving doesn’t stop simply because our drivers are trained or because it is against the law. Distracted driving stops when employers enforce the standards by using technology to motivate drivers to make wise choices. Telematics can be deployed to control phone capabilities while the vehicle is in motion and to monitor what is going on both inside and outside of the vehicle. Many auto insurance carriers can help an employer secure a discount related to the purchase and/or use of telematics.
VANTREO offers world-class commercial auto and truck insurance expertise, a digital platform, and a strategy that is designed to help you stop auto insurance claims.
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1 The National Center for Statistic and Analysis. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Washington, D.C.