Cell phones are ubiquitous — and drivers rely on them for confirming appointments and much more — but they should be stowed away once the vehicle is moving. - Photo via Unsplash/Melissa Mjoen.

Cell phones are ubiquitous — and drivers rely on them for confirming appointments and much more — but they should be stowed away once the vehicle is moving.

Photo via Unsplash/Melissa Mjoen.

Distracted drivers were responsible for 3,142 fatalities in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many fleet managers are well aware of this fact, but during Distracted Driving Awareness Month it’s worth reminding your drivers how quickly a small distraction can turn into a deadly situation. 

Cell phones are ubiquitous — and drivers rely on them for confirming appointments and much more — but they should be stowed away once the vehicle is moving. Glancing at a text means removing one’s eyes from the road — doing so for just two seconds doubles the chances of a crash, AAA says. 

Here are a few more facts you may want to share with your drivers:

  • Texting while driving is six-times more dangerous than intoxicated driving (NHTSA)
  • Texting behind the wheel more than doubles your chances of getting into an accident (AAA Foundation) 
  • 87% of rear-end collisions involve some form of distracted driving (NHTSA). 
  • 8% of all fatal crashes in 2018 were reported as distracted driving related (NHTSA). 

Protect your employees, assets, pedestrians and other motorists by enforcing a safety policy with zero-tolerance for distracted driving. Here are some tips to offer your drivers so they keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their minds on the task at hand: 

  • Set the navigation systems before you hit the road. Research shows that programming navigation is the most distracting task of infotainment systems — taking an average of 40 seconds for a driver to complete. 
  • Stow the cell phone in the glove box or somewhere out of reach. When you need to check it, pull over and park first.
  • Don’t eat or drink behind the wheel — doing so takes your focus off the road.
  • Never fiddle with the radio or try to reach for items in your vehicle. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. 
  • If listening to music, keep your speaker volume low. Loud music is a cognitive distraction that can impede your ability to focus.
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