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Stricter laws on mobile phone use behind the wheel coming in 2021

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 13, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Stricter laws on mobile phone use behind the wheel coming in 2021

Tighter laws around mobile phone use behind the wheel are set to come in this new year in different locations.

 

The UK DfT announced last year the intention of making mobile phone use illegal in all circumstances while driving, as it is now currently illegal only to receive calls and texts while driving, but no mention is made of taking pictures, playing games or browsing the web, as according to the current legislation these are not classified as "interactive communication". In the spring of 2021 changes are going to be made to tackle this legal loophole.

 

But the UK is not the only place where distracted driving rules are going to be reinforced: the American state of Virginia has made it effective on January 1st, 2021: the law now forbids to "hold a handheld personal communications device (e.g., a smartphone)" while driving (with some exceptions such as emergency vehicle operators, drivers who are stopped or people reporting an emergency). The catchphrase of the campaign that was started in July to educate drivers is "Phone down, it's the law" and a brilliant campaign is airing to sensitize drivers to "put down their phone:

 

 

Canada has also started 2021 with a new distracted driving law, which is reinforcing the former one. Distracted driving is in fact no longer limited to just texting and making phone calls. The Government of Canada has posted a list of activities that count as distracted driving and it includes anything from simply holding an electronic device in one’s hand to eating while behind the wheel. The government announced that they will no longer let people off with warning if they are caught distracted driving and guilty offenders will automatically be slapped with straight fines.

 

 

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Topics: distracted driving, News, Stats & Facts

Happy new year from the Transpoco Team!

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 6, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Happy new year from the Transpoco Team2

Happy new year from the Transpoco team! We hope you made the most out of the holiday season and are ready to start a new year full of optimism: we all wish 2021 is going to treat us all better than 2020. To start on the right foot, here is some food for thought with the best articles of 2020:

1. COVID-19 driver's checklist: what you need to know before you go - in this article we shared some best practices to ensure the safety of both drivers, customers and general public, aimed at avoiding the spread of the virus. We need to continue with this for now, but hopefully not for the whole year as vaccines are on their way.

2. How distracted are your drivers? - We all know (or should know) what best practices should be while driving: focusing on the road ahead of us, not daydreaming and not engaging in activities that take away our attention on our main task. Despite this being very clear for everyone and especially more for those who work in the sector, research still shows people tend to get distracted while behind the wheel. Our article deals with some eye-opening statistics on distracted driving.

3. AI powered anti collision system reduces fatigue related accidents - this article made public our new groundbreaking collision management system that uses cameras with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect driver fatigue and distraction providing for a comprehensive approach to the reduction of accidents. With research showing that up to 40% of collisions occur as a result of driver fatigue, the technology is being welcomed by companies and organisations operating large fleets of vehicles who are looking to improve driver safety and reduce the cost associated with accidents.

4. Which fleet management trends will 2021 hold? - 2020 has surely been a year like no other, but some of the things that made it different have somehow paved the way for 2021 and future trends: our article fully deals with them.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management

Which fleet management trends will 2021 hold?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Which fleet management trends will 2021 hold

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and will have a great start of the new year: we wish you will spend the next days relaxing or not worrying too much if you are at work and hope this article will bring you some food for thought. 2020 has surely been a year like no other, but some of the things that made it different have somehow paved the way for 2021 and future trends: let's have a look at them!

2021 as a back to normal year: this is what we all hope. With vaccines ready, improvements in the economy are expected, and some rise in raw materials and maintenance might also be. It seems that for a while we will still have to focus on the sanitization and safety protocols that we have seen with the spread of Covid-19 that protect not only road users and the general public, but also professional drivers. With a good software companion able to set up safety protocols and checklists and generate savings, you will be able to reduce risks connected to Coronavirus and to the driving profession while keeping costs down.

Safety first: together with the new safety protocols that arrived with the Coronavirus pandemic, companies will be more likely to focus on safety as a whole and deal with distracted driving, speeding and dangerous driving in general. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT will dominate to help companies keep drivers safe, boost productivity and cut costs.

Remote fleet management: with everyone forced to work from home, 2020 has seen a rise of remote work applications and devices, last but not least the fleet manager profession had also been impacted by the global situation. We have always been able to grant availability to your fleet from any device, at any time, but this year it has been especially important. Monitoring vehicles and get full-time visibility on your operations is easy with SynX!

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts

Does Holiday Season stand for... Distracted driving?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Does Holiday Season stand for... Distracted driving

Generally speaking, during the Holiday Season roads can get pretty busy with both families getting together and workers, above all delivery drivers with holiday shopping parcels. Despite 2020 being an exceptional year, as some people might be still forced into lockdowns, this season is usually particularly dangerous for professional drivers and other road users as distracted driving tends to be quite common.

According to True Motion, on a typical weekday, drivers spend about 9% of their time texting, scrolling through their social feeds, and emailing – active phone use. But during the holidays, active phone use jumps an incredible 33%.

What are then the most dangerous holiday driving hazards we should avoid?

#1 - Distracted driving. As announced from the introduction and the title, distracted driving increases during the holiday season. People tend to use more their mobile phones to send wishes to family, friends and coworkers or call while they are driving to update their loved ones about when they are supposed to reach their destination.

#2 - Drink driving. With dinners, parties and celebrations generally involving alcohol consumption, impaired drivers tend to hit the road more during this season. Our advice is to never drink and drive, nominate a designated driver or plan ahead to stay at a hotel and not driving back home.

#3 - Driver fatigue. The increasing traffic with consequent aggressive driving in some cases, low visibility because of the weather conditions and the pressure to reach destinations earlier to reunite with family might all be factors making driving journeys more stressful and drivers more prone to experience fatigue.

This holiday season, check this list and make sure you avoid dangerous driving and stay safe!

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, Road Safety, fleet safety

Christmas digital shopping makes new van registrations spike

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 16, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Christmas digital shopping makes new van registrations spike

Will images like this one, of what looks like an empty shopping center, become the norm because of Covid-19? In the current global situation, where the world is divided between countries in lockdown, countries with restrictions and vaccination campaigns getting started in others, it seems that last year's shopping numbers, that saw around 28 billion euros spent in online shopping and 58 billion euros spent in stores are going to be reversed in 2020.

The increase in online ordering, that is probably going to have an impact on the food and drinks sector for Christmas and New Year's Eva, has meant and will mean business will have to rely on carriers to get their parcels delivered. Delivery firms seem to have heavily invested to expand their capacity: the British company DPD has spent £200m (€220m) to provide more next-day deliveries, on vehicles, regional depots and technology, and has recruited 3,500 new drivers and 2,500 new full-time staff. Tim Jones, DPD director of marketing, has recently declared that “Parcel volumes have been up by an average of more than 40% year-on-year since March and we are planning for a similar uplift during the Christmas period.”

This is great news for business, though the huge demand of deliveries has to cope with the loss of 250,000 EU nationals that used to work as drivers or warehouse workers, that might cause the same chaos the increase in the Black Friday shopping popularity brought in 2014. Nearly one-in-three online shoppers experienced problems with their orders that Christmas, 49% suffered from missed deliveries due to overstretched companies’ erratic delivery patterns, while 45% experienced late deliveries or never received their goods.

So, drivers are definitely in demand: what about vans? Van makers are also reporting brisk business, as fleets recruit vehicles to take the strain. Figures from SMMT showed LCV registrations grew up 13.3% with 28,753 vehicles registered in the month. November also showed an 8.8% growth in all the van categories compared to 2019. Growing demand in the new van market has also filtered down to the used market, where used prices have risen by 26% during 2020, according to Aston Barclay figures. Average prices rose in Q3 by 4.2% (£255) to £6,204, a massive 26% price rise in 2020 from a Q1 average of £4,923 to £6,204 in Q3.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts

Driver engagement key in improving driver wellbeing

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Driver engagement key in improving driver wellbeing

According to research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), engaging with your drivers could be essential to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The seminar "Mental health and wellbeing: looking after your drivers", held by Rosie Sharp, behavioural sciences researcher at TRL at the Virtual Fleet And Mobility Live event, was giving best practice advice on how to create an environment that promotes mental health and infrastructure to deal with wellbeing issues. According to Sharp, giving feedback to drivers on critical points could help improve their mental health.

As the driving profession is quite a stressful one, drivers for work of any age are likely to suffer with poor mental health for a number of reasons: unpredictable journey times, traffic congestion, tight deadlines, a high workload, and lack of social interaction. This has particularly increased with the pandemic and has even exposed them more to distractions.

But according to Sharp, technology can be a valuable ally, as it could be used across an organisation to enable monitoring and tracking feedback from drivers who may be suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues. Apps and technologies can be used to give support to drivers without making them prone to distraction and when they stop and are safe.

Sharp added that providing advice to drivers on how to keep healthy and how to maintain good wellbeing, is something that could be provided as part of an induction pack or annual or bi-annual training. She said: “Advice doesn't have to be about mental health. We know that other things regarding physical health can affect mental health and wellbeing. It’s really important to give a holistic picture and holistic advice to drivers about what steps they could be taking to manage their wellbeing.”

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, distracted driving, fleet safety

COVID-19 source of distracted driving?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

COVID-19 source of distracted driving

With the global community still getting adjusted to the pandemic and the different lockdown measures taking place or easing all around the world due to the second Coronavirus wave, a worrying trend seems to have emerged. Despite fewer drivers on the roads at the moment of the emergency, it seems drivers feel more at ease while driving so they get more prone to use their mobile phone.

This increased phone distraction has been claimed by different sources. The American study "Be in the Zone — Turn Off Your Phone" noted there has been an increase in motor deaths since April 2020. "During the height of the public health emergency and associated lockdowns, driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly, and drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” reads the study. “Traffic data indicates that average speeds increased during the second quarter, and examples of extreme speeds became more common, while the evidence suggests that fewer people involved in crashes used their seat belts.”

Recent data analysis from technology provider Samsara across its more than 15,000 fleet customers shows a 20% increase in severe speeding events too. And the analysis of 120,000 unique vehicles by Truce Software also shows that driver distraction has also been climbing sharply during COVID-19, with a 26.5% increase in the number of times drivers attempted to access an app on their device while driving.

And distracted driving unfortunately does not seem to stop with cars, vans and trucks: around 2 weeks ago it was found that the driver of a locomotive, who had 18 years experience, and hit a buffer stop on 23 March near Bromsgrove station, Worcestershire at about 22:43, did it after sending and receiving text messages about how the newly announced lockdown restrictions would impact his childcare arrangements.

It seems COVID-19 is also bringing a distracted driving pandemic: stay on top of the safety of your fleet and remind your drivers how even just a second over the phone can result in danger and injuries. If you want to monitor distracted driving within your fleet, talk to us.

 

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Topics: distracted driving, fleet safety, Covid-19

Speeding: leading topic of the Road Safety Week 2020

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 25, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Speeding leading topic of the Road Safety Week 2020

The Road Safety Week, the UK's biggest road safety week, organised by the charity Brake, took place from November 16th to 22nd. As usual, the team at Brake chooses a topic to focus on and speeding has been the leading one for this year.

Even if a very small difference in speeding can decide between life and death, people still regularly break speed limits or travel too fast for the conditions of the road. According to Brake, someone gets injured on a UK road every four minutes, and vehicle speed is playing a part in every crash: hence why the slogan for this year has been No Need to Speed.

The higher the speed, the longer the stopping distance, the harder the crash and the greater the risk of death and injury. No Need to Speed is a reminder to everyone of how the speed they travel affects other people. Every time we’re on the road we need to consider what speed is appropriate to keep ourselves and others safe. This is valid for everyone and is a useful reminder for professional drivers too as they might be prone to speeding in certain situations while they are in a rush or committed to delivery times.

Speeding leading topic of the Road Safety Week 2020_2

According to the European Commission, tiredness and speeding are common causes of accidents among drivers of lorries, coaches and company cars. Providing extensive training to drivers while monitoring their speeding and distraction can not only avoid fines (according to Lex Autolease, the volume of motoring fines and penalties incurred by company car and van drivers has increased by 3% in 2019, compared to a 60% year-on-year cumulative increase over the past three years), but also save lives.

 

 

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Topics: speeding, fleet safety

November 15th was World Day of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 18, 2020 9:00:00 AM

November 15th was World Day of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims1

This Sunday, November 15th, marked the ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’, a day in which commemorations every year remember the victims of road traffic crashes and their families. This year marks 25 years since the first Day of Remembrance was observed in 1995.

This day focuses on both the overall scale and the individual devastation caused by road deaths and injuries and the impact upon families and communities around the world. Almost 4,000 people are killed and many hundreds of thousands injured on roads throughout the world every day. Many more have to cope with bereavement or the effects of injury and thus become part of the huge group of people affected by road carnage. The Global status report on road safety, launched by WHO in December 2018, highlights that the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years.

November 15th was World Day of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

This year's edition is different from the past ones as due to Coronavirus, most commemorations have been held online. But the global idea remains the one of designing a system guaranteeing safe transport for all users, with safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds, safe vehicles, and safe road users: all of these must be addressed in order to eliminate fatal crashes and reduce serious injuries.

Among the causes leading to fatalities, distracted driving still remains a leading one. While there are many types of distractions that can lead to impaired driving, the distraction caused by mobile phones is growing as a habit. Drivers using mobile phones are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using a mobile phone. Using a phone while driving slows reaction times (notably braking reaction time, but also reaction to traffic signals), and makes it difficult to keep in the correct lane, and to keep the correct following distances. Hands-free phones are not much safer than hand-held phone sets, and texting considerably increases the risk of a crash.

While road traffic deaths are counted in the year they occur, a family remains bereaved forever. The bereaved are not counted or included in road traffic injury data. Many others remain deeply affected by the loss of a friend, colleague, neighbour or member of the community.

 

 

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Topics: Road Safety, fleet safety

How distracted are your drivers?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 11, 2020 9:00:00 AM

How distracted are your drivers1

We all know (or should know) what best practices should be while driving: focusing on the road ahead of us, not daydreaming and not engaging in activities that take away our attention on our main task.

Despite this being very clear for everyone and especially more for those who work in the sector, research still shows people tend to get distracted while behind the wheel. According to a study we would like to share with you, commissioned by the insurance company Travelers, more than 90% of consumers surveyed in 2018 stated they worry about distraction caused by people using personal technology while driving. But despite this concern, according to the same study, more than one in five consumers admits to driving while using personal technology, such as a smartphone or tablet.

How distracted are your drivers

The infographic produced by Travelers on this claims that:

  • Around the 40% of drivers are distracted on average for 15 minutes per hour during their trips;
  • 85% of them understand using devices while driving is dangerous, but the 25% of them still engages in similar activities as they think they can do it safely;
  • 23% of those who said they respond to personal texts, emails and calls while driving do so because they are afraid of missing out on something important.

It seems there is a clear clash between what drivers think it is safe and their perception and what is actually happening on the roads. But the worst is that these misperceptions are leading to collisions that can lead to injuries and losses. According to Travelers sources, around 40% of accidents happening in the state of Colorado are due to distracted driving.

The first step towards changing this type of behaviour should be being aware of it. Many drivers do feel that distracted driving is not their problem, as others do it and they feel they can do it without it being risky: but every second eyes are off the road can really have serious consequences.

Distracted driving and fatigue detection systems today have the power of protecting your team and finding out issues that can be corrected before it is too late. If you want to learn more about our new collision management solution, talk to us.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, distracted driving, fleet safety

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