Trucking Risk Advisor: Preventing Distracted Driving

Studies have shown that many collisions and near-collisions involve some form of driver inattention. For commercial fleets, distracted driving can lead to increased insurance premiums, costly repairs, decreased productivity, reputational damage, and driver injury or death.

In order to maintain safe driving practices, organizations must take a top-down approach to combating distracted driving. The following are some ways organizations and their fleet managers can help reduce the risk of distracted driving:

  • Develop, communicate and enforce workplace policies to establish guidance for preventing distracted driving and minimizing its impact.
  • Instruct drivers to pull off the road and park if they need to use their phone or an electronic device.
  • Educate your drivers on the risks of driving while distracted. Use real-life examples and stories to explain how dangerous distracted driving can be.
  • Update your organization’s handbook, noting any disciplinary actions you will take if you identify unsafe driving behaviour. Ask your employees to sign a pledge form indicating their willingness to drive in a safe and courteous manner.
  • Work with drivers to plan trips. This ensures that drivers have a clear understanding of their routes, which can reduce the need for GPS and other potentially distracting navigation devices.
  • Use telematics, driver monitoring programs and in-cabin camera systems to evaluate individual drivers. Whenever possible, reward positive driver behaviour to encourage a culture of safety.
  • Create a driver safety program and a distracted driving policy. Regularly communicate your policies using things like emails, blogs and posters.