Distracted Driving Awareness Month – October 2020

Distracted Driving Car Accident Highway
Normally held in April, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year October will be observed as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  This annual promotion sponsored by the National Safety Council brings awareness to a primary cause of preventable injury and death on the roads, distracted driving.

The NSC website reports that on a typical day, more than 700 people are injured because of driver distractions.  This includes, but is not limited to phone calls, text messages, and entertainment system adjustments.  Likewise, the CDC reports that each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

Distracted Driving Affects Everyone

While cell phones are a primary distraction we can all relate to, it is only one of many things that contribute to the preventable collisions noted above.  If you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of your driving for any reason, you place yourself and others at risk.
The National Safety Council focuses on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.  As part of the October campaign, NSC is providing free downloadable materials to encourage companies to create distracted driving prevention programs.

What can you do to prevent Distracted Driving?

You can commit to driving distraction free by taking the NSC Just Drive pledge.  Thanks to a partnership with The Zebra, the nation’s leading insurance comparison site, NSC will receive a donation of $1 for every pledge taken and match 100% of every donation made, up to $5,000, today through Nov. 6.

First, consider taking the pledge or making a donation.  Also, consider promoting the pledge to your company drivers and their families.  Ultimately, if we all do just a little, many lives can be saved.  

Just Drive - Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The theme is Just Drive.  Simple and to the point, it is a great reminder to us all to put down the phone, stop fiddling with the equalizer, and just drive.
Fleetistics is a leading provider of technology to identify and mitigate distracted driving.
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Workplace Safety – Help With Managing COVID 19 Risk

Workplace Safety is Your Responsibility

Workplace safety is a responsibility employers cannot take lightly.  Whether you have decided it’s time to reopen your business, or just move from working in isolation back to some measure of how it used to be, you need to have a clear plan in place.  It is your job to assure the work environment is safe for both customers and employees.
Workplace Safety

Relying on safety experts will improve the overall safety plan and may reduce liability in the event of a safety violation injury.  Unfortunately, we have learned by watching the news over the past few months that not even the experts agree all the time. So where can an employer go for sound advice?  Thankfully, the National Safety Council has addressed this head on with a new free program, “Safe Actions for Employee Returns” or SAFER.

NSC and the SAFER Program Tools for Workplace Safety

The National Safety Council (NSC) is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate.  They are probably most well known for their Defensive Driving Course, required in many states to reinstate a driver’s license after multiple driving violations.  Their primary focus is eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths in various environments.  Ultimately that includes injury and death due to workplace safety issues.

The SAFER program, assembled and updated by a task force comprised of large and small Fortune 500 companies, provides guidance for safely reopening the workplace.  Taskforce members include nonprofits, legal experts, public health professionals, medical professionals, and government agency representatives.  They make recommendations based on best practices and proven workplace safety strategies.

The SAFER program provides free resources and tools you can download.  As the body of knowledge about the Covid-19 virus grows and changes, the resources are updated.  Even better, you can register to be notified by email when new resources become available.  This is great way to ensure your workplace safety policies remain relevant and up to date.

What Resources are Available?

Resources are available to assess vulnerability, survey employees, and educate using their recorded webinars.  Moreover, you can download PowerPoint presentations to use at your staff meetings and attend online workshops.  NSC also maintains a page that details the federal guidelines and has useful links to resources like a COVID Tracer spreadsheet.  A set of 4 posters designed to keep safe practices on everyone’s mind is the only item we found with a modest price tag.  

The breadth of subject matter is impressive!  The information provided covers topics including creating an action plan, office operations, managing anxiety, entrance screening, and what to do if you anyone in your workplace has a confirmed case of COVID 19.

Well Done!

Fleetistics is an authorized training center for the NSC Defensive Driving Course. We applaud the National Safety Council for its leadership in helping America safely return to work!
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Usage Based Insurance, Powered by Telematics

What is Usage Based Insurance?

Usage Based Insurance, or UBI, is defined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as “a type of auto insurance that tracks mileage and driving behaviors”.  They further explain that the “basic idea of UBI is that a driver’s behavior is monitored directly while the person drives, allowing insurers to more closely align driving behaviors with premium rates.”

How UBI Works

Underwriters can now consider factors that formerly were not available.  Total miles driven, time of day, geographic location, and road type all speak to driving conditions and insurance liability.  Speed, rapid acceleration, hard braking, and hard cornering are behaviors known to directly impact accident risk.  Obviously actual automobile usage is a more accurate method to assess risk than the actuarial methods in use.  Actuarial methods aggregate accident risk based on age, gender, marital status, credit score, and driving history.  Consequently UBI is a much fairer way to assign risk and set insurance premiums.

In response, telematics vendors are developing more tools to evaluate at risk driving.  For example, the free Verisk Data Exchange add-in was recently introduced to the Geotab Marketplace.  It is a platform that allows both customers and their insurers to access the same smart analytics that impact insurance premiums.

Usage Based Insurance App

Telematics is the Key to UBI

Advanced telematics is what makes Usage Based Insurance possible.  Over the years, telematics providers and their partners have proven the value of telematics data.  The information at our fingertips identifies risky driving behaviors.  More important, we can use it to improve and correct them with driver training. In contrast, not acting on the information we have increases liability. But that is easily corrected as shown in the video below.  Clearly the benefits that make companies more efficient and competitive outweigh any concerns over increased liability. Usage Based Insurance rates are another potential cost savings to add to that return on investment.

Usage Based Insurance Drives Driver Improvement

Improving driver behavior based on telematics data is easy to automate.  Apps like Predictive Coach do all of the heavy lifting.  There are also traditional courses like the National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course.  A combination of ongoing and individually targeted training raises driver safety awareness and creates a culture of safety.  Doing that will more than pay for itself in the long run, not to mention reducing your company liability.  Proactive training increases the opportunity to reduce insurance premiums with new and innovative insurance plans like Usage Based Insurance.  Ultimately the incentive to improve driving behavior for lower insurance rates will drive the success of initiatives like Vision Zero, making the roads safer for us all.

What the Future Holds

In conclusion, Transport Topics recently stated “Rising insurance premiums are a perennial stress for many motor carriers, many of which are now installing telematics systems with the latest safety technologies to mitigate cost increases. This is a positive trend for the trucking industry, and more carriers should fully embrace these technologies as they soon will become necessary to operate a safe, efficient and, ultimately, more profitable trucking fleet.”

We agree and are here to help you get the technology in place, and use it to create positive change.
GEotab GO9 GPS Vehicle Tracking
Fleet Management Platform
Mobile Phone GPS Tracking App
Fleet Weather Service

Garmin Remote Worker Navigation, Messaging & SOS

Garmin Remote Worker

Garmin Remote Worker Solution, the Explorer, provides an affordable tracking and communication device. The Explorer is an adaptation developed from Garmin’s recent acquisition of InReach. Garmin has taken the device and made it better. The Explorer provides some great features for workers in remote areas which are navigating off the beaten road and need a safety and communication tool using satellite communication instead of cellular. Read more.

 

Garmin Remote Worker Device GIF

Female Trucker Safety

Truck Alarm for Safety

Truck Alarm

Staying Safe on the Road

Women face many challenges in the male dominated industry of trucking. Of the estimated 3,000,000 truckers, 200,000 are believed to be women. This is a 50% increase in the last thirteen years. With the economy growing and the FMCSA ELD mandate reducing the number of hours that can be driven in a day, the demand for truck drivers is beyond the supply of drivers available. Women are filling this role more than every before. Women who are entering phase two of life after children, find themselves available for a life on the road making a good income. This shift in the workforce is not without risk.

Female truck drivers report a host of safety issues while being on the road. One can image the potential for safety issues on a truck lot with 500 trucks and needing to use the truck stop facilities late at night. Females can take several basic precautions to improve their safety.

Try these easy to take safety steps:

 

  • Maintain situational awareness at all times.
  • Avoid areas where you can be isolated.
  • Use a video camera that records inside and outside the truck and transmits to the cloud.
  • Report all incidents in writing, even if you have to get job. With the current demand, there are lots of opportunities.
  • Know how to record conversations on your phone if you feel uncomfortable with a trainer or coworker and save directly to the cloud. There are apps just for this.
  • Park in a well lit area.
  • Park on the end so you don’t have to walk between trucks.
  • Avoid inspections after dark when possible.
  • Keep your eyes, open head up and ears on alert when walking around the truck.
  • Carry a 3 D-cell flashlight with a flashing mode which can be used as a weapon, to disorient an attacker and draw attention.
  • Carry mace or better yet, bear spray. You don’t have to be a perfect shot with bear spray.
  • Put an alarm on the truck with a wireless remote. This allows you to get right into the truck when approaching or activate the panic button.
  • Keep a firearm in your truck but be aware of the risk of carrying a concealed weapon in some states.
  • Secure the doors with the seat-belts.
  • Travel in pairs and park next to other trusted drivers.
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