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Distracted driving is a growing safety issue

There’s a growing trend of drivers using their mobile phones to text, browse the web or read emails – they have a 10 times higher risk of causing a collision than their non-distracted counterparts on the road.

Worse still, more than one-third of drivers admit to using their phones illegally while driving. If a driver takes their eyes off the road for two seconds or more, it doubles the risk of having a crash – in that time they will have travelled 28 metres, or the length of a cricket pitch. The alarming facts on the dangers of distracted driving, reported by Victoria’s Traffic Accident Commission, are sobering.

However, distracted driving is not the only factor contributing to crash statistics.

Fatigue is a major killer on Australian roads, with tired driving reported to be a contributing factor in up to a fifth of all crashes in the state. With 30 people each year dying because of fatigue, while a further 200 suffer serious injuries, more must be done. More can be done.

Fatigue and distracted driving, then, are real problems for fleet managers, who must meet regulatory requirements for occupational health and safety – along with general community expectations – that their drivers are well rested and not using their phones or other devices while on the road.

For professional drivers, the vehicle is their workplace, and ensuring their safety is important.

Technology has a major safety role to play

Video telematics, such as Teletrac Navman’s Type-approved IQ Camera, uses artificial intelligence to spot when a driver is looking at their phone, peering too long at something they’re passing, or even closing their eyes a little too much for comfort.

The drowsy driving detection feature is designed to warn the driver if they look tired. When the driver is detected closing their eyes for too much longer than a regular blink. Likewise, the IQ Camera also looks for times when drivers might be using their mobile or another handheld device.

For each of these features, an audible alert is played for the driver, and a real-time notification for the back office to help with intermediate intervention and prevent the possibility of future collisions. The data recorded alongside the footage helps provide a solid foundation for coaching and training, bucking trends before they become habits.

Taken together, the system works to combat fatigued and distracted driving, contributing to the safety of both the vehicle operator and other road users who may be impacted by impaired driving. Video telematics also plays a significant safety role by alerting the driver to other potentially harmful behaviours, such as harsh braking, tailgating, or exceeding the posted speed limit.

Understanding behaviour provides a bigger, less considered benefit – cost cutting. By reducing the excessive or harsh usage of your vehicles, general wear and tear costs and fuel rates steadily decrease as drivers become more cautious on the road.

Technology has a big role to play for fleet operators wanting to minimise the impact of fatigued or distracted driving.

Using Teletrac Navman’s IQ Camera video telematics can help to improve the safety of your drivers and the community, leading to safer roads and a safe arrival home for all.


The post Distracted driving is a growing safety issue appeared first on Big Rigs.

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