How can a cell phone mount eliminate driver distractions?

With eliminating driver distractions and driver safety being at the forefront of all our minds, the number one distraction most people recognize are their cell phones. This is a bit of a strange concept but we know that many accidents are caused by people being on their phones. Accidents may result from a lack of focus, looking away, or taking their hands off the wheel.

In many companies, drivers are given cell phones and cell phone allowances and dispatched throughout the day, or sent messages, to their phones. Drivers may not be specifically told to respond quickly, but the sour attitude from management when a response is not received for an hour quickly trains drivers to monitor their phones while driving.

The only option to total safety is to use a dashcam like CrewChief where it can monitor the driver for distracted actions and generate alerts. The best policy is obvious no cell phone use but even police are using their laptops while driving. In many states any phone use while driving is illegal except for navigation use so know your local laws and make a good business decision.

Driver Distractions

Put the phone in the drivers general line of sight

If you accept a certain amount of risk and accept the reality of drivers at least monitoring their phones, then mounting a phone or tablet in such a way that it reduces the time drivers look away from the road makes sense. Without a cell phone mount drivers will keep their phone on the console or lay it on the dash. Each time it is checked, the drivers eyes leave the road to find the phone and to then check it.

Often times the phone has gone to sleep to it must but also be “activated” during this process. This process can take important seconds away from watching the road. Running a red light or rear ending someone can result in a total loss of your business due to insurance increases.

A phone that is securely mounted in a manner similar to a heads up display (HUD) requires minimal time looking away and focusing on driving. A phone in the general sight path of the driver allows the drivers peripheral vision to aid in maintaining awareness. HUD technology has been around for quite a few years, continues to be added as a safety feature, and is approved by DOT.

A HUD is viewed as a safer option because it does exactly what a phone mounting property in front of a driver can do.

There is no way to type a response safety while driving

It is impossible to peck out a response on a keypad and be safe. Texting requires extended focus on the phone and eyes off the road. 1-2 seconds can make the difference in running a red light or not. One method you can look into is matching message date and times to GPS tracking data to determine if the vehicle was in motion at the time the message was sent.

Many new phones and vehicles have hands free messaging but this may not be true for work vehicles and phones. A practical goal may be to train to pull over if a message warrants response before arriving at the next customer stop.

The use of voice messages is a great feature many people don’t think about. A voice message is a short audio recording in lieu of typing a message. The recording process can be achieved while keeping eyes on the road and talking in the direction of the phone. Voice notes are easy to execute with minimal phone interaction. Even if fully stopped, voice notes are a great tool to get a lot of information transferred quickly.

These ideas are things to consider. As business owners and managers you will explore options and decide how your fleet and business operate.

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