Distracted driving has become a major cause of commercial driving accidents in recent years, thanks to the increasing use of cellphones to call, text and interact socially. But using electronic devices is just one cause of distracted driving-related crashes. Taking your hands off the wheel to eat or drink or reaching for something behind or under a seat are other common distractions that routinely lead to accidents.
About 3,500 people are killed each year on average as a result of distracted driving-related accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and about 400,000 people are injured. For commercial drivers, the risks are often increased, partly because people who drive for a living are on the road more often, and also because the vehicles they drive tend to be larger and more difficult to control.
In fact, in commercial settings the risks are so significant, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted strict policies for distracted driving, with stiff fines for those who violate the regulations.
Of course, fewer accidents make for a safer workplace, and that’s good for your employees as well as your business. Another benefit: Because distracted driving is such a common cause of accidents, addressing the problem proactively means you could also enjoy lower commercial auto insurance rates, leading to long-term savings and a boost for your bottom line.
- Educate your drivers. Many people don’t understand the very real risks associated with distracted driving or what constitutes distracted driving. Holding regular seminars, providing printed materials or implementing interactive educational systems ensures your drivers understand not only the risks, but also the simple steps they can take to improve their driving habits and avoid distracted driving.
- Look into free “call-forwarding” apps. There are plenty of free apps out there that automatically respond to calls and texts while a driver is on the road, eliminating the temptation to answer a call or read or respond to a text or tweet. Make sure your drivers know about – and use – these apps whenever they’re driving.
- Incentivize your efforts. Offer rewards for drivers who remain compliant with your distracted driving initiatives, including completing educational programs, using automatic response apps and staying accident-free for a specific period of time.
- Keep your initiatives front and center. Send out regular emails to remind your drivers about your distracted driving policies and include them in any newsletters you send out.
Distracted driving initiatives aren’t just for big companies or major fleet providers. Any business that includes driving activities can benefit from implementing a proactive plan to prevent distracted driving and reduce the very real risks of related accidents. Not only will it benefit your drivers by keeping them safe on the road, but it can also benefit your bottom line and your overall long-term business goals. To learn more ways to save on your commercial auto policy, call Basi Insurance at 877-590-4826 and talk to an agent today.