Controlling distracted driving with telematics
Our roads won't be safer with safer fleets. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road deaths due to the increasing availability of mobile phones. For this reason, fleet managers are using telematics to generate driver scorecards and reward safe drivers.
Our lives are so reliant on our mobile phones. In order to get directions, entertainment, or road warnings, drivers use their phones while driving. Unlocking and tapping on to check what's trending is irresistible. So much so that drivers often feel comfortable driving with only one hand or even without holding the wheel at all.
Distractions while driving can be visual, manual, cognitive, or a combination of all three:
1. Visual: When the driver looks away from the road
2. Manual: Taking one or both hands off the steering wheel
3. Cognitive: Driving with a mental fog
Why is this an important issue?
Today, distracted driving is a major public safety issue, and not merely an irresponsible habit. The number of road fatalities is on the rise. Globally, 1.5 million people died in road accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2016.
The use of mobile phones has contributed to an increase in distracted driving accidents. Even strict enforcement of the law hasn't reduced the risk. Mobile phones and in-vehicle information systems continue to pose a threat to safe driving practices.
Telematics: how can it help?
Having safer fleets won't make our roads safer. We need better drivers. A driver error is to blame for 94% of collisions. By using telematics, fleet managers can produce driver scorecards and reward safe drivers.
The use of telematics can reduce distracted driving. Early on, telematics had only two applications: tracking vehicles and optimizing routes. Telematics has certainly evolved since then.
Today, anyone can identify unsafe driving behaviors with the help of sensors, cameras, and software to display analytics. It can be anything from harsh braking, idling, and unclipped seatbelts to distracted drivers!
You can track drivers with a good telematics platform without invading their privacy. This will generate comprehensive data and allow you to analyze it effectively. The easiest way to identify a distracted driver is when he or she suddenly shifts to a lower gear. As a result of GPS and wireless communication, drivers will receive alerts when they apply the brakes too often.
On the other hand, fleet managers can create scorecards using alerts and other driving analytics. A variety of factors are considered when determining driver ratings, such as average speed, economy, and distractions. Thus, an overview of driving patterns is provided. Telematics technology allows for the collection and analysis of driver data. So businesses can pinpoint poor drivers and ensure they are prepared for long driving hours.
A driver monitoring system (DMS), is a tool designed to track the driver's attentiveness and other in-fleet activities. The system uses cameras equipped with infrared detectors, which can recognize a diver's facial expressions and eye movements. With this system, businesses can keep an eye on their drivers, especially when they are on long trips.
The system will warn any driver who is not attentive and has their eyes off the road. It is a great way to restore safe driving practices when drivers receive real-time alerts. Trucks and commercial fleets are especially at risk since these vehicles are usually on the road for long periods of time. A simple nudge can sometimes prevent fatalities.
The bottom line
Telematics, of course, is great news. Technology is the primary cause of distracted driving, but it can also be the solution if used properly. Monitoring with data and video can help you identify those who are distracted. An education-based telematics platform assists you in coaching and rewarding good driving behaviors. Drivers can even learn about safety risks.
In addition to fostering transparency, telematics can act as an intrinsic motivator, helping drivers stay off their phones while driving. Telematics can provide feedback to drivers on their overall driving habits, allowing them to practice safer driving (less hard braking, less tailgating). In addition, telematics can prevent accidents and ensure safer routes.