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Stay focused on the road not on your smartphone. Don’t text and drive. It CAN wait.

don't text and drive

There’s no point in arguing that smartphones haven’t completely changed the way people interact with one another and source information in the modern world. One of the most dangerous and unfortunate side effects of mobile smartphone technology, however, is distracted driving. A study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory revealed that texting while driving may present an even greater risk than driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The average time drivers take their eyes off of the road to text is five seconds – traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to traverse a football field, completely blind.

Clearly, distracted driving affects any company in the transportation industry (especially trucking and moving companies), and understanding what’s at risk is crucial.
Distracted Driving and the Transportation Industry

According to Distraction.gov, the government’s distracted driving website, 3,154 individuals were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2013.

While many states have enacted tough laws that affect all drivers, The U.S. Department of Transportation has led the effort by banning texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers in all states, while launching a number of campaigns to help spread awareness of the issue. Despite these efforts, many commercial drivers continue to use their phones while on the road, typically without ever thinking of the risks.

What You Can Do

CEOs and managers of transportation companies owe it to both themselves and their drivers to make sure that those drivers are well-educated on the subject of distracted driving. Some commercial drivers aren’t fully aware of the consequences that can result from texting while driving, and others think that the benefits outweigh the costs, which is never true. Taking strict precautions to ensure that none of your drivers are using their phones (no matter what) while on the road will not only potentially save their careers and their lives, but it can also result in lower insurance rates if you’re able to prove that you’re taking every last step to curb this all-too-common problem. (More on that in a minute.)

Luckily, those tempting phones hold the solution to the problem: there are a whole slew of apps that prevent texting while driving, in a variety of different ways. The more basic free apps, like AT&T’s Drive Mode, detect when a vehicle is in motion and disable text alerts. Paid apps like Cell Control have programs designed specifically for commercial autos. They give you metrics on employee driving performance, can be configured to allow or disallow certain phone functions, and have partnerships with some insurance companies to offer discounts for users.

The Bottom Line

Distracted driving is one of the biggest epidemics to hit America in many years. For commercial drivers, it’s simply not an option. Making the effort to keep your drivers from texting or talking while on the job can save lives and help you to grow your organization.
In the end, there’s one thing that should be made clear to all of your drivers – it can wait.