When it comes to the topic of distracted driving, it affects everyone on the road. Society is in such a rush and has so much on their plate these days, both in their personal and professional lives, they tend to look to driving as an additional time management solution.
Yes, you read that correctly. Driving is now considered an opportunity to multi-task your time. Who knew? Texting, talking, and managing our daily work schedules are being done while in transit, via: cell phone, PDA, GPS systems, laptops, and other communication devices. This is not the safest or smartest way to get your job done. Distracted driving has become way of life for millions of occupational drivers around the world.
Occupational drivers in the construction industry must meet stringent, project delivery times. In an effort to be efficient, they’re checking maps, GPS systems, and other dispatch & communication devices while en-route,
While these tasks are important to getting your job done in a timely manner, they are dangerous. Any company managing a fleet of vehicles and equipment within the construction industry should have distracted driving policies and solutions for it in place.
Occupational Drivers in the Construction Industry
“An occupational driver is defined as someone who drives at least once per week for occupational purposes.” (Hickman, 2011)
Occupational drivers in the construction industry are responsible for driving to and from work/job sites transporting: work crews, delivering tools and equipment, surveying project sites, and more. Are we shocked when we see a construction worker driving down the road, while talking on a walkie-talkie, cell phone, or other dispatch device? Not really! In our rushed society, this has become acceptable behavior. After all, everybody does it, right? Five minutes here and a few seconds there, appear to be harmless time spent managing time during their day.
Sadly, this can mean the difference between life and an unexpected accident.
“31% of Industrial, Highway & Heavy Engineering, and General Contracting companies report they have been sued due to distracted driving incidents.” (ZoomSafer, 2011)
Without a policy or solution in place to manage your occupational drivers, there is increased opportunity for financial and legal risk to the company. This negatively impacts the job of risk managers and CFOs, as it directly affects a company’s bottom line.
Implementing a GPS System and Policies for Distracted Driving
More than 60% of construction industry companies have implemented some type of policy to reduce distracted driving. Companies like Pike Industries in Barre, Vermont have established fleet safety programs to reduce distracted driving. “One major benefit has been reducing the number of Workers’ compensation claims for vehicle incidents from 73% of total losses in 2001 to 2% for 2003. Vehicle property damage losses also followed this trend.” (Guidelines for employers,”)
Implementing a solution to deter distracted driving within your organization is simple following the 10 step program provided by the NETS Traffic Safety Primer listed above. For more data driving results implementing the use of a customized GPS system from GTC, Inc. will benefit your company greatly. Occupational drivers operating vehicles implemented with GPS tracking systems are known to take additional precautions when driving, because they know their movements are being monitored.
Let’s face it, time is money and everyone is looking to save more of both. The construction industry is major business. Maintaining safe driving practices are important to the company bottom line, whether you are a CFO or a fleet manager. Implementing company policies to specifically manage instances of distracted driving are a way to stand out ahead of your company’s competition.
Solutions, such as GPS systems, provide real-time data to increase driver safety through reports and alerts on driver activity. The difference between implementing distracted driving policies and solutions and not doing so, means the difference between spending or saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.