The state of Florida has a distracted driving problem. As a state, we are number one in the nation for careless and distracted driving. In 2015 alone, there were more than 45,000 crashes caused by distracted driving in Florida. These accidents resulted in 39,000 injuries and 200 fatalities. Unfortunately, the consequences of a driver removing his/her eyes from the road for a second can often mean injury or the loss of a life. In addition to the consequences of distracted driving that affect human lives, there is also a monetary impact of accidents caused by distracted drivers.
According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, there is a significant year-to-year increase in insurance premiums in the state due to incidents caused by careless driving. Florida drivers saw a statewide increase of about 13.8% between 2015-2016. This is something that should be carefully considered by all drivers, but especially when you are a business owner or manager in charge of a fleet of vehicles. It is important to ensure that each member of your fleet is taking the steps to drive safely and with awareness. The more distracted your fleet drivers are, the more that you may end up paying in insurance premiums as rates increase due to careless driving.
Distracted Driving Awareness for Your Fleet
Every business owner should be aware of how his/her drivers are behaving when in control of company vehicles. It has been shown that distracted driving awareness courses can and will lower the risk of distracted driving. This means that investing in resources to educate your fleet on how to be aware of how they are driving may be the best policy for business owners who employ fleet drivers. The more awareness your drivers have of each time they are taking their eyes off the road or becoming distracted while in control, the more they will hold themselves and their colleagues accountable for driving more carefully.
No Exception Policies
It’s also important to have strict policies and procedures in place to ensure that your fleet maintains a safe driving record. Having a no exception policy and enforcing it is also an effective way to keep your drivers’ eyes on the road. If your employees know that their driving is being monitored either by data recorders, or by peer-to-peer accountability, it will provide an extra incentive to incorporate more careful driving habits.
Saving on Insurance Premiums
Distracted driving is the number one cause of loss for auto insurance in Florida. Rates are increasing 10-20 percent on average per year. It’s critically important to your business’ bottom line to incorporate distracted driving awareness and training, as well as strict policies and procedures regarding rules and consequences.
The dangerous consequences and financial costs can be prevented, but it takes awareness on the behalf of the driver and a proactive approach by fleet managers. It’s critical that drivers are empowered to recognize the signs of distracted driving and have the knowledge and the resources to change their behavior to incorporate safer driving habits.
If you are a fleet manager and interested in learning more about distracted driving awareness and how you can save on your insurance premiums, please Sarah Washburn at 786.454.8384. We specialize in getting you the right rate for your business needs.
Ross, P. E. (n.d.). Fleet Management: A Systematic Approach for Fleets Not Regulated by DOT (April 2010, Rep.). Professional Safety.
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation