The Dangers of Distracted Driving
There are a lot of things more interesting than driving. You know this and so does the U.S. Department of
Transportation. But with 1.6 million – or 28 percent – of wrecks in 2009 blamed on hand-held cell phone
usage, it’s easy to see why the agency has begun to crack down on distracted driving. Distracted driving is
defined as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving,”
according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Reasons for Distracted Driving
Many of the distractions listed by the NHTSA are things many workers do while on the go without thinking: texting, using a cell phone, eating and drinking, reading maps and even adjusting the radio. Often, workers do these things to keep in touch with the office, navigate to their next job site or pass the time as they travel between sites. But with the Safety Track Fleet Tracking platform and its application Fleet Dispatch, drivers can stay in touch and get directions to cut down the time they’re on
Keeping in Touch
Earlier this year, the DOT banned hand-held cell phone usage by commercial drivers traveling across state lines.
Many people link using a cell phone while driving to enhanced productivity, but, according to one survey, 99
percent of companies experienced no loss in productivity even when cell phone use in vehicles was completely
banned. Sometimes, it is necessary to contact a driver with a short, timely message that will help make their job
easier. With Safety Track’s Fleet Dispatch application, text messages can be sent through an in-vehicle Garmin
device that is mounted to their dashboard.
Finding the Way
In February 2012, the DOT turned its focus to the complex, multi-function in-dash infotainment centers that are
popping up in most vehicles. While they could be ruled a distraction, the agency didn’t ban them. Though it’s
only given a few recommendations (cutting down on the social media gizmos being one), it still knows the value
of them. After all, they say, PNDs are a lot safer than using a paper map. The Safety Track Fleet Dispatch
application uses Garmin® devices to provide simple, voice-guided turn-by-turn directions for drivers. You can
also wirelessly send new assignments to drivers, so all they have to do is accept the job and let the device
update itself. That’ll help keep your drivers eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, and will help keep you on
the DOT’s good side.