How do you prevent distracted driving in your fleet vehicles? I know from first-hand experience how some businesses deal with their fleet’s distracted driving. A few years back I was working for a business that was not doing much of anything to help their business improve on their fleet driver’s safety habits. The company was small and did not have a massive budget for keeping track of the 4 fleet vehicles they had. However, having the experience I have now, I realize that employer had many different opportunities to help educate and improve on distracted driving within their fleet. They missed chances to improve their bottom line, hold employees accountable, and even help limit their insurance claims.
Start with the basics of distracted driving in your fleet vehicles
A regularly scheduled safety meeting is a wonderful place to begin with your employees. Regularly remind them of how dangerous distracted driving in your fleet vehicles can be and ways to avoid it. You should also consistently be warning your drivers of the dangers of cell phone use while on the road. It sounds obvious, but sometimes we all need reminders on obvious things!
Ensure that your employees have a hand-free option
Having a Bluetooth or hands-free option guarantees that your drivers are able to receive phone calls safely. If you have older fleet vehicles and Bluetooth is not installed already, there are many ways to add a Bluetooth connection. Examples range from a simple radio to a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into the headphone jack, or you can install a complete aftermarket radio system in the fleet vehicles if you want to get fancy.
Ways to monitor and combat distracted driving in your fleet vehicles
Sometimes having regular safety meetings and Bluetooth capability is not enough, if you have these controls in place and still have distracted driving concerns in your organization, don’t worry! There are more options to assist in monitoring drivers. A popular choice for businesses and individuals alike is the use of a dashcam. They have gained immense popularity over the years for many different reasons. You can get a dashcam on Amazon for as little as $40. Double check with your local jurisdictions that dash cams are legal in your area.
Choosing the dashcam that’s best for you
After confirming their legality in your area, it’s time to look at your options. There are many dash cams to choose from, such as inexpensive dash cams that use an SD card or USB to store your videos. Using dash cams with an SD card or USB will take longer to retrieve the video proof compared to the upcoming product mentions. You have to retrieve the information manually by removing the card or USB and uploading the video to a computer and review it there. But if your budget is limited, having this type of dash cam is better than taking your employee’s word if an incident does occur. There are also Bluetooth options available that make retrieving information much easier than using a SD card or a USB. Dash cams can even be used to determine the fault of an incident, which in turn can be impactful for your insurance claims.
How a dashcam can help your claims process
Having proof of an incident already in your possession is much easier than obtaining video proof in other ways. You may be able to find a business nearby that taped the incident, but keep in mind that many companies have cameras angled to protect their business, not for monitoring traffic. The angles of the cameras might not see your vehicle, and the quality of the video is unpredictable. Also, if the incident happens in a rural area and there are no cameras around, you have to base your insurance claim on your employee story. Another benefit of having a dashcam is that recording the exterior is not the only option. Some models can record the vehicle’s interior, giving you proof of whether the incident happened because of distracted driving or unpreventable circumstances.
Advanced dashcam systems
One of the neatest services out there is called LYTX. LYTX can keep your fleet accountable and give them updates while they’re driving. If your employee is speeding, texting, distracted, etc., the system will alert your employee in the moment. With LYTX, you receive analytics about your employee’s driving habits, and the employee can review the moments the system caught them slacking. For you as the business owner, I’d have to say the best part about this service is your employee’s being able to review their driving without you saying a word. With this, you limit employees thinking you are micromanaging them, benefiting work culture as a whole. Note, LYTX is an advanced service needing to be installed by a specialist.
Beyond distracted driving in your fleet vehicles
Another choice to consider goes above and beyond just distracted driving in your fleet vehicles. This service can help you monitor and manage almost anything within your fleet. The service comes from Verizon, called Verizon Connect. This system goes above and beyond its dashcam features. With Verizon Connect, you have different packages you can purchase depending on your needs. If your employees need to use tablets to do their job effectively, this service can be very beneficial, especially if you run a business that manages a large fleet. You can schedule your services within the app on your phone or a desktop. You get live updates of where your drivers are and a slew of other options. You can even add sensors to track things like your fleet’s vehicle speeds, engine statuses, open doors, or activated emergency lights. Consider looking into this service if you manage a large fleet and accountability is a must for you. This service is very advanced and similar to LYTX will need a specialist to install into your fleet vehicles.
As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to improve your bottom line and keep employees as safe as possible. With additions like the ones listed above, you’re on your way to successfully reduce the amount of distracted driving in your fleet vehicles. When the time comes to insure your fleet vehicles and your business, give Worthy Insurance a call or send us an email to see how we can help you save on your insurance premiums.
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