How to Make Distracted Driving Awareness Month a Year-Long Effort

April 02, 2021

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC) to shine a light on the consequences of distracted driving and help make roadways safer. Distracted driving is the single biggest factor in vehicle collisions, which can be devastating and costly events for everyone involved. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes account for 24% of all fatal occupational injuries in the United States alone. 

While making safety a priority is a long-term commitment, there are things your business can do to reduce instances of distracted driving right away. Read on to learn how you can leverage Samsara AI Dash Cam technology to reduce distracted driving across your fleet.

Coach drivers on the most prevalent form of distracted driving—cell phone use

Distractions can come in many forms. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), some common examples include eating or drinking, reaching down for something, and drowsiness. But by far the most prevalent cause of distracted driving is cellphone use.

According to the NSC, at least 1.6 million collisions and fatal crashes occur each year because of people making calls or sending text messages while driving. Even the most well-intentioned drivers may be distracted when a cellphone is within reach. In fact, a 2017 Consumer Reports survey found that 41% of drivers said they had texted while driving, and 8% admitted to watching a video on their phone while behind the wheel. 

So, how do you ensure your drivers resist the temptation to take their eyes off the road? For SeniorCare EMS, the largest commercial ambulance provider in New York City, Samsara AI Dash Cams have been key in helping them curb instances of distracted driving.

Because SeniorCare EMS’ drivers are first and foremost EMTs and healthcare professionals, they are not primarily trained as drivers. This means a huge focus for their safety team is decreasing risky behavior like distracted driving. To do this, SeniorCare EMS chose Samsara’s dual-facing AI Dash Cams, which use advanced AI to analyze the road and cab for high-risk behaviors and offer in-cab alerts for distracted driving and tailgating.

“It’s just amazing. We’re able to coach employees on the road,” said Robert Ackerman, Director of Safety at SeniorCare EMS. “We have seen many instances where the camera alerts the driver to distracted driving or tailgating, and they're able to avoid an accident.”

Build a positive, proactive safety program with Samsara

The main benefit of fewer accidents is keeping drivers safe on the road. But organizations—like Sprint Waste—have also seen the positive benefit dash cams can have on driver retention and internal culture. Named one of the Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100 Growing Companies four years in a row, Sprint Waste works with some of the largest industrial plants and refineries in the United States. For them, safety is a top priority. “Samsara has contributed to our culture of safety,” said Dave Nelson, Sprint Waste’s President. “Our drivers have truly bought in. We've also shown our customers how we're using the system, and it makes them feel safe about doing business with us.”

SeniorCare EMS also uses Samsara AI Dash Cams to promote a safe driving culture. Because event footage is automatically uploaded to the cloud, safety managers at SeniorCare EMS can use the video as a jumping-off point for more personalized driver coaching. For more immediate coaching, preventative in-cab alerts can be used to remind drivers to stay focused on the road when they become distracted. This can help adjust a behavior before an event occurs, helping to reduce distracted driving and other risky driving practices in real time. 

To learn more actionable ways Samsara’s Connected Operations Platform can help your fleet promote a stronger safety culture, register for our upcoming webinar Staying on the Cutting Edge of Fleet Safety today.

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