Distracted Driving Awareness Month
It’s already April, which is hard to believe in itself. But, even more astonishing are the statistics related to Distracted Driving.
From 2012 to 2020 approximately 29,000 people died in the United States of America. All of which were involving distracted driving. In the year 2020 alone 8% of all fatal crashes involved distracted driving. 8% of distracted driving equates to 3,142 human lives unnecessarily lost just because someone was distracted while driving.
Have you ever heard of Vicarious Liability? How about Respondeat Superior?
If you are like me, I had never heard of either of these terms. First, let’s start off with the actual definitions from none other than the good old Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Legal Definition of Vicarious Liability
: liability that is imposed for another’s acts because of imputed or constructive fault (as negligence)m-w.com
Legal Definition of Respondeat Superior
: a doctrine in tort law that makes a master liable for the wrong of a servant specifically : the doctrine making an employer or principal liable for the wrong of an employee or agent if it was committed within the scope of employment or agency to recoverm-w.com
What does that actually mean?
Well, just let me tell you. If one of your drivers is involved in a crash-collision, you will be left with the bill. All that hard earned money converted into pure pain -all because of distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that crashes occurring on the job cost employers more than $24,500 per crash. More than $150,000 per injury. And, even more astonishing, $3.6 million per fatality.
If you didn’t read the blog post a few weeks ago, go back and start there: https://www.uscomplianceservices.org/its-crash-collision-not-accident/
If you are a solo outfit, this might be even more important for you as Normalcy Bias is a very hard mindset to overcome. Everyone needs a refresher on road safety. Below we will cover useful tips and resources you can use to minimize the risk of participating in distracted driving.
There are four types of distracted driving.
Texting while driving is one example of Visual Distraction and Manual Distraction. And, believe it or not, Cognitive Distraction is also included in the list of distracted driving categories. There are only four on the list to begin with. Therefore texting and driving is VERY dangerous.
OK, let’s go through the list real fast of what constitutes distracted driving. Anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road is a Visual Distraction.
Looking over at that crazy looking driver for a few moments too long. Don’t pull a Clark Grizwold. Looking around the cab for your pack of smokes, or your snacks or anything at all are visual distractions.
Secondly, most might not think of Auditory being a category for types of Distracted Driving. However, it is a huge part of being aware of what is going on around you while driving. Having the music or podcast too loud, or if you are using headphones that block out too much noise. It is very important to be able to hear road noise, motor noise, any other strange or unusual noises that could indicate a potential problem. Thirdly, manual distraction. Manipulating an object or anything that isn’t related to driving. Lastly, cognitive distraction. Thinking or daydreaming or any mental process that is not related to what is happening now in the driving experience.
The top 4 driver distractions
- Mobile device – iPhone, Android…
- Making changes to your vehicle settings
- Those pesky ride-alongs. Passengers can DEFINITELY be a distraction
- Taking a drink, taking a bite, or those disgusting cigarettes (just kidding, they aren’t disgusting – just cancer causing)
I have compiled a short list of tools to help you, or your drivers combat distracted driving
Apple products (iOS) “Hey Siri,”:
With iOS 15, the Driving Focus helps you stay focused on the road. Therefore, reducing the chance of distracted driving. Text messages and other notifications are silenced/limited when this feature is enabled.
When you have the Driving Focus set up, you can ask Siri to read replies to you, so you don’t have to look at your iPhone (distraction from driving). Incoming calls are allowed only when the iPhone is connected to CarPlay, a car Bluetooth device, or a hands-free accessory.
If you didn’t previously use Do Not Disturb while Driving on iOS 14 or earlier, you need to set up a Driving Focus in order to turn it on.
Non-Apple Products (Android) “Hey Google, let’s drive,”:
If you are not an Apple fan-boy, then there are options for other manufactures to assist with reducing distracted driving. Google Assistant driving mode is a feature that makes your phone safer and easier to use when you’re driving. The dashboard uses an interface that’s easy to see at a glance and uses your voice to access comments, avoiding having to touch your phone.
- Go to Settings and tap Focus.
- Tap the Add button , then tap Driving.
- Tap Next, then follow the on-screen instructions
Check out NOCELL for distracted driving fleet management.
The NOCELL is a distracted driving management platform. NOCELL gives fleet managers the ability to choose which apps their drivers have access to while the vehicle is in motion. Therefore, allowing you to effectively enforce and monitor your company’s cellphone policy.
“The commercial driver has never been more important to our economy and country than they are today”Sam Inman, CEO NoCell Technologies.
“Trucking businesses have more advanced technology and safety cultures than ever before to reduce risks for drivers and the motorists around them, but it continues to be a challenge for risk managers to enforce mobile phone policies,” said Gary Flaherty, senior vice president of E&S commercial auto at Nationwide.
Thinking slightly out of the box for distracted driving solutions is an app called Drivewyze.
Drivewyze, provides weigh station bypass through smartphones and tablets as well as a variety of electronic logging devices offered by leading telematics providers using cellular technology. Eliminating on and off ramps and busy weigh stations eliminates distracted driving in a roundabout way. A lot more is happening all at the same time when you have to get off the road.
And the last app on our list is MotionSmart
MotionSmart uses a smartphone app from Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices that gives you feedback about your driving, helping you or your drivers become a safer and better driver. The app collects and analyzes driving data and displays an overall driving score assessed by combining hard braking, hard acceleration, hard cornering, speeding, and phone use. You can potentially lower your premiums through safe driving with the app.
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