Distracted driving statistics are startling and technology seems to hold a solution. Distracted driving has been reported to cause 40% of commercial crashes. Seems every time you check out the daily news there is another tragic story about a crash caused by distracted driving.
The frustrating thing is that these increasing crash numbers come as companies are investing more in driver training and safety education, and states and municipalities are making distracted driving laws harsher. This has left many turning to technology to solve the growing business problem of distracted driving. Before you select a technology solution to distracted driving, it’s important to create a requirements list for the key features that make a superior solution.
1. EASE OF IMPLEMENTATION – SCALABLE AND FLEXIBLE
It’s not the first time your company has looked to you to help them solve a business problem. So you know how important it is to select a system that’s easy to implement and efficient to manage. Safe driving systems that compliment what you’re doing at a technical level and make it easier for you and your colleagues to do your jobs should be at the top of your list. Scalability and flexibility are also important, so you’ll also want to look for solutions that meet your company’s specific needs. The best solutions will not only prevent mobile distractions but also allow you to control what mobile features and functionality employees can use behind the wheel (like hands-free calling or navigation) to remain productive. These should all be controls that come from your company’s driver safety policies and programs. In doing this, a technically superior solution will be able to dynamically identify drivers and passengers and where protected phones are in the vehicle. This will give you the ability to prevent and/or control mobile distractions in the driver zone or throughout the entire vehicle.
2. CROSS PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY
It must work on any mobile device. Whether you provide company-supplied devices or you follow a model that reimburses employees for use of their personal phone, it’s highly unlikely that everyone in your company uses the same type of mobile device. You probably have Macs, PCs, iPhones, Androids and tablets. That’s why finding a solution that delivers the same user experience and admin control across all platforms is so important. However, this is something that can be very technically challenging to solve due to parameters in iOS and Android sandbox environments. A superior solution should be able to not only block all apps, including messaging, social media and games, but also allow you to control app usage, on all phones and devices.
3. REPORTING THAT’S HELPFUL, NOT A HINDRANCE
Proper reporting and auditing is a key component of any new system. How will you know it’s working if the data is lacking in accuracy or robustness? Look for solutions that have pre-built, standardized reports framed around data that’s relevant and actionable. The best dashboards provide insights, not just info. You will want to look for a tool that can deliver customized reports based on a particular data point like harsh acceleration, speeding or apps blocked while driving. The solution should also let you know your system is functioning and in compliance while giving you tools to track and inform decisions around behavioral changes and progress within your environment.
4. IT HAS TO BE SECURE AND ENFORCEABLE
Whenever you implement a new system, you spend time ensuring it’s secure and not vulnerable from factors outside your company. But what if the system needed to be secure from within your company–rogue employees, or just employees who can’t put their phone down? When selecting a system to eliminate distracted driving in your workforce, make sure it is able to prevent employees from tampering with the solution without your knowledge. A superior solution will keep you in control by notifying you when an employee tries to delete the app, turn off Bluetooth or tamper with any other component of the system.
Distracted driving is an epidemic that is caused in part by technology. A technology solution can also be a key component of solving it. You must, however, ensure you select a superior solution to this business problem. Only then can you be sure you and your team are in control of how employees use devices behind the wheel and their focus is on the road while driving.