The Perils of Distracted Driving: Promoting Fleet Safety

Property & Casualty

The Perils of Distracted Driving: Promoting Fleet Safety

Safety awareness initiatives provide an opportunity to educate organizations and employees about the significance of prioritizing safety in their workplace. For organizations striving to cultivate a culture that emphasizes road safety, it is crucial to implement comprehensive driver screenings during the hiring process and offer continuous training and support throughout employees’ careers.

Distracted driving alone causes nearly 10% of all fatal car accidents, claiming the lives of nine people each day and over 3,100 per year. While more states are enacting “hands-free” laws, which prohibit the use of cell phones or other distractions while driving, this epidemic continues to present a significant problem. Compared to 2020, phone use while driving has increased by 30.3%.  

These trends correlate with fleet safety – according to the 2022 Fleet Safety Report, an average of 4.5 accidents occur per driver per year, and more than a third of those were the fault of the driver. 

Insurance companies have been losing money on auto premiums in the last eight years, resulting in rate increases. From 2022 to 2023, the average annual rate for a full coverage policy increased by 14%. It has become apparent that many companies may need to reconsider their approach to adhering to road safety rules. It is essential to set and enforce safe driving standards for all employees at your organization to help mitigate these trends. 

Developing effective fleet safety standards will help keep your employees and crews alert and injury-free on the roads. Cultivating a culture that focuses on safety helps protect your most valuable asset—your people.  

Elements of Fleet Safety

Promoting fleet safety starts during the hiring process: only qualified drivers should be allowed behind the wheel. This requires due diligence in evaluating driving records for anyone operating a vehicle. Take a look at an applicant’s driving history and violations, specifically over the past five years. More than three moving vehicle violations or one DUI indicates that this applicant may not be an ideal driver for your organization. 

Once new drivers join the company, they should continue to receive safety training throughout their employment, not just at the start. For many organizations, the type of vehicle or equipment used depends on a project’s scope or company purpose, so additional training may benefit vehicle operators prior to the start of the project. Company drivers should be encouraged or mandated to regularly attend training, which could include routine maintenance checks or other actions to help protect employees and other drivers sharing the road.     

Leverage Telematics 

Telematic systems, such as installed GPS systems, enable drivers to rely less on their phones and focus more on the road. Drivers must refrain from diverting their attention from the road while navigating behind the wheel. 

Consider promoting distracted driving awareness to kickstart a safer organizational culture. Whether training your staff or implementing ways to keep their focus on the roads, every company can make incremental changes to help make roads safer for everyone.  

For more information about mitigating distracted driving among your fleet, contact Brown & Brown today.

Property & Casualty Team