Distracted driving has been a growing topic over the past few months. The problem is, fleet managers are realizing that texting is not the only danger in distracted driving.
With the National Transportation Safety Board placing a ban on texting while driving commercial fleet vehicles, it has industry companies realizing there are other ways drivers are being distracted while driving.
Amazingly enough, reports have shown that while efforts to reduce texting while driving have worked, distracted driving is still on the rise.
Accessing the Internet
Though it would seem as if common sense would dictate, “I’m driving here,” people are taking time management to the extreme, by accessing the internet while behind the wheel.
This type of activity can be anything from checking bank balances to visiting entertainment websites.
Infotainment while driving is increasing. In December 2011, State Farm released a report showing that in 2009, among drivers aged 18 to 29, 29% were found accessing the internet while driving. In 2011 that number grew by 14%.
When compared to all driving ages, there was a five percent increase in the number of people driving and accessing the internet from nine to 14% in the two year period from 2009 to 2011.
These numbers almost mimic the same statistics for reading and updating social media network.
Reading Social Media
During a time when a driver’s focus should be on the road, it seems to have become the perfect time for some to get in a bit of social media reading.
In 2009, statistics showed that approximately nine percent of drivers were found reading social media while driving. These numbers increased by five percent to 14% in 2011.
The problem is that people are not only reading social media news and updates while driving, drivers are also keeping their profiles current with their own updates and news.
Updating Social Networks
In addition to reading, drivers are also taking the time to keep their friends and followers updated on whatever is going on at the time.
Between reading the information and actually updating, this is a major instance of distracted driving.
This begs the question, is a ban on texting really going to have enough of an impact on driver accountability and road safety?
Distracted Driving Policies and GPS Tracking
Establishing a clear and understandable distracted driving policy for your fleet drivers, along with using a GPS tracker can provide additional safeguards against distracted driving.
Adding a distracted driving policy will provide employees with guidelines they are expected to follow and the repercussions to expect when those policies are broken.
Using a GPS vehicle tracking system will create additional driver accountability, as drivers who know they are being monitored will improve their behavior. This will help to reduce the instances in which drivers will engage in texting, reading, or updating social media while driving.