Distracted Driving and The Benefits of Embracing a Safety First Mentality

How Safe Are Your Drivers?

Don’t miss our upcoming webinar ‘Protect Your Business From Distracted Drivers’ on April 12th 2017, hosted by Andrew de la Chapelle, WorkWave Industry Strategist and Certified Defensive Driving Safety Instructor. Click HERE to register and join the conversation. #StopDistractedDriving. All registered attendees will receive a copy of the latest and expanded edition of “A Guide to Fleet Management; Fleet Safety Programs and Company Policies

If it were possible on any given day to have a bird’s-eye view of every single service route from every single company in even just one U.S. state, the result would resemble a child’s scribble drawing—with twists and turns in endless marker colors on the map to represent each agent in the field. Now imagine the demands on each of those truck drivers as they take on those daily routes. Remember, they must contend with shrinking service time windows, weather, traffic and emergency requests that constantly threaten to throw off the delicate balance of the plans they were dispatched with.

For pest control companies and other field service businesses, these are the realities of a typical day on the road. And let’s face it, the stakes continue to rise. Consumers expect more and more—on-demand service calls, precisely timed appointments, real-time ETA updates—and drivers are increasingly needing to meet these challenges. This creates a considerable amount of pressure to perform—all while staying safe. Inevitably, there will be some drivers who remain calm under these demands and others who will cut corners when it comes to safety.

So, the question we must address is: What is the best way to successfully manage customer demands in today’s ultra competitive marketplace while doing everything possible to ensure drivers are not driving distracted and endangering lives?

This is an important question no matter the season or time of year. But since April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s a particularly good time to address it. Consider this...over 39% of all vehicle crashes involve rear-ending another vehicle. Preventable? Yes, especially in light that over 50% of these crashes are avoidable. The main culprit in today’s technology driven world is cellphone use by those who refuse to believe the facts! It’s this behavior that puts your business at risk! Does your company have a “No Cellphone Use Policy” in place, signed by all employees (not just the driver’s of your vehicles). According to the National Safety Council, there is no difference between hand-held or hands-free cellphone use - both are equally distracting and dangerous!

With that said, it is clear that a safety-first mentality is just as important as proper vehicle maintenance, prudent route planning, GPS tracking and all of the other measures you take to operate your business and service its customers. The good news is that there are a multitude of tools out there that take advantage of the latest in GPS technologies to provide more than just driver locations and service fulfillment information. A full-bodied solution with a Driver Behavior solution (such as PestPac with the GPS & Driver Behavior module, RouteOp and Visual Route Manager) will give you the power to truly improve driver safety by:

  • Minimizing distracted & aggressive driving behaviors by means of pro-active Scoring matrix that not only measures at-risk behaviors but accurately pinpoints drivers who need immediate attention
  • Modifying poor driving behaviors with in-cab alerting based on hard, harsh and severe driving events including braking, accelerating and cornering
  • Monitoring posted speed limit violations with the ability to receive SMS and/or email alerts when drivers exceed company set thresholds. (33% of all highway fatalities involve speeding)
  • Identifying unauthorized company vehicle usage whether after-hours or on weekends can further protect your company

GPS vehicle tracking has come a long way in the last few years. Newer, enhanced GPS hardware with advanced technologies can immediately up both your company’s safety and service game. From route planning and dispatching jobs to fulfilling last mile requests, the WorkWave Route Manager with new GPS and Driver Behavior Module provides everything you need to keep a tight handle on accurate ETAs, exact vehicle locations, work order statuses and more—with the added peace of mind that you’re positively influencing safer driving behaviors. With real-time information you can immediately act upon, you’ll be able to re-route drivers the quickest and most effective way when last minute requests and emergency service needs arise (and they always do!) all while knowing that your employees are driving responsibly and safely.

Along with top tier customer service, your commitment to an impeccable safety record means a lot to your customers, staff and everyone else who shares the road with your drivers. Your insurance provider will thank you too. An investment in a Route Management Solution with the ability to convey and deliver on a ‘Safety-First’ mentality makes sense today and in the future—especially as your company continues to grow!

Why not take the safe route this April in honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month? WorkWave can show you how.