The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Fleets
It is not uncommon to see those messages painted on the back of commercial vehicles that ask, “How’s my driving?”. Then you are likely to see an 800 number listed right below so that you can contact a corporate office if you notice that van or truck driving dangerously. The reason for this is obviously because any at-fault accident can carry huge consequences for that company which they would like to avoid.
If there is a driver who has repeated infractions reported, the company can take steps to prevent an accident, especially resulting from one of the leading causes which would be distracted driving. As the owner or manager of a fleet of commercial vehicles, it’s important to understand the dangers of distracted driving.
Immediate Medical Care and Compensation
While your company probably carries hefty commercial fleet insurance, some of the immediate care and compensation payments would likely be paid first and claimed next. One thing many fleet owners or directors do before taking a chance on distracted driving is to contract a fleet driving safety course paid for by the company. To get an idea of what kinds of programs are out there, read this article entitled, “How to Choose a Fleet Driver Training Program.” It will give you various options that would best suit your fleet.
Damage to Vehicles
Not only can your fleet vehicles be damaged in an at-fault accident, but so too could any other vehicles involved be heavily damaged. Your insurance would pay for most damages to vehicles but anything above your policy limits would come out of your business coffers.
An Increase in Insurance Premiums
As a result of claims on your commercial fleet policy, your insurance premiums are probably going to increase accordingly. The cost of fleet insurance can be high enough but with each accident and a subsequent rise in cost, your bottom line would be affected as well.
Claims Resulting in Lawsuits
Here again, every policy has upper limits on what they will pay out and if the damage to people, vehicles or property exceeds those limits, you will most often be sued in a court of law. Those lawsuits can be quite costly as well.
Damage to the Company Reputation
Last, but certainly not least, is the ensuing damage to your company reputation if your driver is found at fault for distracted driving. Even with hands-free mobile technology such as GPS and cell phones, it is easy to get distracted behind the wheel if you aren’t prepared for the leading causes of distraction. You would be surprised at just how quickly accidents involving commercial vehicles become viral on social media which can quickly do major damage to your company’s reputation as per the caliber of drivers they hire.
Even experienced drivers with a CDL will need refresher courses over time and a top-off on preventing distracted driving can be a major benefit to your fleet. Whether you require fleet driving safety courses of all onboarding new drivers or all drivers over time, carefully weigh the benefits of certification in the prevention of distracted driving.