Corporate Fleet Management in Modern Day America

Okay, let’s start with a little activity. Close your eyes (no, really) for three seconds.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. I’ll get back to the reason for this soon.

Corporate Fleet Management Experience

In over 20 years of being involved in the review and understanding of fleet asset management corporate fleets consisting of light and medium-duty vehicles always seem to place the heaviest emphasis on fleet cost control and administrative efficiency. Too often, fleet safety is said to be “in good shape.”

Certainly your insurance broker and Risk Manager review loss history. Hopefully every year you see improvement and the “small stuff” is under control. However, one thing we all see firsthand every single day are drivers distracted by our societal addiction – our cell phones.

Even the very best drivers with the best records can be seduced by the compelling need to quickly (3 seconds?) read a text, check an email or start a phone conversation. Those few seconds of inattention to the road can cause a catastrophic event that can create enormous liability for your company and alter an employee’s livelihood.

American Crash Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014 alone - distracted drivers caused collisions that killed 3,179 people and injured more than 431,000 others. Not all of these were the results of the cell phone, but cell phones are a very tempting distraction.

“Scrolling through song lists on a cell phone or texting while driving is not just irresponsible, it can have tragic consequences,“ U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “We’re calling on drivers to put down their devices and help keep the roadways safe for all Americans.”

Driver Accountability

The topic may seem like common sense and is possibly falling on deaf ears but let me let me ask you this: Do you ever let your phone distract you? How often do your company vehicle drivers let their phone distract them? If we all know the danger, why do we all accept it and take part?

Leave Football for Weekends

Remember how you counted out three seconds at the beginning of this? If you or your driver were on a highway, the vehicle likely traveled more than the length of one football field in that time. 100 yards without looking up. Seriously.

What Can You Do About It Right Now?  

 Take a few moments to protect your valuable employees, company assets and reduce the risk of a major loss. NHTSA produced a sample policy on distracted driving. Print it and educate all employees on the dangers of distracted driving. Let them know that you want them to be safe and nothing is more important to you than their wellbeing.

Choose Your Supply Logistics Strategy Wisely

Let’s face it, acknowledging the danger here is easy. Unfortunately you might be torn between Risk/Safety and Operations. To serve your market you want to reach your drivers, send them instructions, monitor their activity, etc. If they turn off their sound and put the phone in the console or glovebox, you will not be able to reach them. That can feel very inconvenient for fleet asset management. 

The question is which is more inconvenient: waiting for them to pull over and safely communicate or tending to any number of horrific things that might result from distracted driving?

You know the right choice and I encourage you make it. I have.

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