Distracted driving is an issue for everyone on the road. Whether you’re a professional driver, or just driving a few minutes to the grocery store, all it takes is a brief moment of distraction to change everything. One second of distraction can lead to very serious, even fatal, consequences.
If your employees are driving as part of their job, no matter how often, distracted driving is something that should be addressed. Cell phones, tablets, and smart watches today are constantly pinging with emails, texts, social media, news updates, and other notifications. When you add in GPS, food, drinks, or even cognitive distractions, the risk increases.
We know not all organizations can address this issue the same way, so we put together a list of different strategies from six fleets that you can implement to help your employees stay focused while driving.
Help drivers keep devices out of sight and out of mind – City of Kansas City
The City of Kansas City, MO implemented Lytx technology across all of its vehicles to elevate its safety to the next level. In addition to adding Lytx cameras and video telematics solutions, they took some more “colorful” steps to help reduce distracted driving: socks and cell phone bags.
Drivers were given bright orange socks emblazoned with “Safe Driving Starts Here”, as well as bright orange zippered bags to store cell phones while driving. The bags are meant to “clear the path to safety”, or help drivers take a step towards creating a new habit that improves safety. The socks are an effort to remind employees of the importance of safety from the time they put their socks on in the morning. Through the use of Lytx’s video telematics technology and a handful of other creative solutions, Kansas City is now synonymous with safety within the local government sector.
Improve overall safety culture and recognize teams– Lauren Concrete
Lauren Concrete’s strong safety culture is prevalent across the entire organization. Everyone including “our CEO…down through our drivers [is] bought in to safety,” says Kurt Holman VP of Safety and Environmental Affairs at Lauren Concrete.
To re-enforce safety throughout the year, Lauren Concrete gives teams who are performing well a “safety culture award.” This started as an individual award system but changed to a team award three years ago. Since then, they see that drivers are helping each other and being more proactive.
Kurt also says that two-way communication is what helps make their safety culture so strong. This means communication from top to bottom, and also from the bottom up.
Use technology that can detect distracted driving – Ozark and Abacus
Large fleet use case: Ozark Motor Lines
Ozark Motor Lines, a Memphis-based leading truckload carrier, deployed 760 Lytx event recorders with the enhanced MV+AI risk triggers across its entire fleet. "When it comes to distracted driving, we knew that behaviors like cell phone use were far more prevalent in our own fleet than we could prove,” said Patrick Landreth, vice president of safety and human resources at Ozark Motor Lines. “Since activating the machine vision and artificial intelligence capabilities within the Lytx Driver Safety Program ... we’re seeing a fuller and more accurate picture of risk in our fleet and are able to bring our drivers’ attention to these risky habits …. With distracted driving behaviors happening at such a high rate in the U.S., I can’t overstate the value of identifying these habits and bringing them to the surface, empowering our drivers to correct them before they result in a collision.”
Smaller fleet use case: Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Electrical
Technology benefits field services management fleets, too. Lytx customer Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical deployed both the Lytx Driver Safety Program, including MV+AI-powered risk triggers and Lytx Fleet Tracking. “Like any organization with company vehicles on the road, we have long worried about the risk associated with cell phone use,” said Steve Darbonne, occupational health and safety manager at Abacus. “As a service company, our technicians are trained to give customers a courtesy call before arriving, not to mention using cell phones for alerts about job changes, reassigned tasks and directions.”
Steve continued, “With so much data powering Lytx’s technology, we initially saw a major rise in the numbers of risky driving events. Lytx MV+AI was identifying risk inside the cab that we just weren’t seeing before. Now, we’re experiencing significant reductions in those behaviors, as we use that awareness to show our drivers the prevalence and risk of distracted habits, while in-cab audible alerts notify them of dangerous activities as they happen so they can self-correct.”
Launch a distracted driving program and create a task force – Sysco
To combat rising collision rates linked to behind-the-wheel cell phone use, Sysco developed and launched a company-wide Distracted Driving Awareness & Prevention Program. The company was challenged with finding a delicate balance between positive recognition and disciplinary action to reinforce a safety culture and eliminate risky driving behaviors. Adding to the challenge was the fact that Sysco has approximately 14,000 delivery vehicles and more than 9,500 drivers.
For this high touch effort, Sysco initially established a Distracted Driving Task Force to identify and address potential challenges by department, then formulate a communications strategy to distribute the Distracted Driving Awareness & Prevention Program throughout the organization. When those steps were completed, and the goals of the program were established, the company “embarked on a mission to ‘zero’”.
Rather than restrict the program to cell phone use, Sysco focused on a variety of distractions that stem from electronic devices (e.g., GPS navigation, music players). Specifics of the Distracted Driving and Electronics policy were communicated in regularly scheduled leadership calls with upper level executives, virtual rollout sessions for middle management and supervisors, regularly scheduled driver meetings and daily shift briefings, and educational materials sent via email.
Did Sysco’s effort pay off? Absolutely.
In about 15 months the company saw a 99% overall reduction in Cell Phone Events.
In this webinar, Roger Adams, Sysco’s Senior Field Safety Manager, points out that although the program was originally developed to curb risky driving behavior associated with handheld devices, it’s positively impacted other unsafe behaviors, too.
Eliminating distracted driving
Whether you hand out cell phone bags, launch a large-scale distracted driving program, or simply send out an email to your employees reminding them of the risks, anything you can do to help prevent distracted driving may end up saving a life. We believe one of the best ways to do this is through using technology that can detect distraction in real time.
Lytx’s MV+AI technology can help detect distracted driving through the DriveCam Event recorder. The devices can be configured to alert drivers who engage in patterns of risky behaviors, so they can self-correct, or it can notify a manager.
Schedule a free demo to see how our solutions can help empower your drivers to be safer.