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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

Driver mental health and wellbeing should be regarded as a priority

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 4, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Driver mental health and wellbeing should be regarded as a priority

 

With the growing concerns for the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic spreading in Europe, governments and organisations start to be concerned about the mental health crisis happening aside of the physical one.

The driving activity continues to be a risky one per se, but given the circumstances of drivers being essential workers and due to the fact they might be more exposed to the virus, COVID-19-related risks are an extra reason for drivers to feel under pressure.

Engaging with drivers is now more important than ever: mental health can also have an impact on driving safety, making drivers more likely to take risks and less cautious. Fleets should keep the conversation open with drivers and be available for drivers to express any potential concern that might impact on their activity. Employees should have an easier access to mental health resources that can help them to release stress, to lead a healthy life and have a good sleep to prevent fatigue. So what are some of the steps fleets can take to do so?

Concentrate on mental health awareness. This should be done on different levels, from appointing a responsible for leading mental health activity, to offer mental health training on how to support staff with stress or mental health issues.

Know what employees think. Set up employee surveys to plan for mental health workplace policies and know how your team feels in different working situations to set up appropriate measures.

Offer regular assessment. Employees might feel more concerned about their skills because of the pressure coming from the job and the pandemic: make sure there is space for training and regular assessment to address their concerns.

Use technology to detect issues. There is many tools nowadays that can help prevent safety issues in fleets before they actually exist: think about telematics, collision management, distracted driver solutions that can also make your drivers themselves feel safer and relieved.

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet safety

AI powered anti collision system reduces fatigue related accidents

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 28, 2020 9:00:00 AM

AI powered anti collision system reduces fatigue related accidents

 

Leading fleet management solutions provider, Transpoco Telematics, has launched a 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.

 

Research undertaken by Transpoco into the causes of driver fault accidents has shown that in general:

  • 40% are caused by fatigue
  • 44% are caused by distraction
  • 90% could have been avoided by using Advanced Collision Management and Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology.

 

The Transpoco camera and data technology provides:

  • warnings and alerts for drivers generated in cab for all incidents
  • evidence of driver fatigue and distraction
  • alerts available for review by the Fleet Manager
  • full visual and data recording of all driving events.

 

The Transpoco collision management solution has already been commissioned by leading engineering solutions company, Actavo, which operates a global fleet of around 1500 Vehicles. Michael Burke, Actavo Group Fleet and Facilities Manager commented “By installing the advanced levels of technology provided by the Transpoco Collision Management system, we are leading the way in enhancing the safety for hundreds of our drivers, with the added benefit of fleet management efficiencies. This will result in our vehicles operating in the safest and most efficient way possible for our customers”.

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet incidents, fleet safety

How much does an accident REALLY cost?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 21, 2020 9:00:00 AM

How much does an accident REALLY cost?

Accidents are something fleets never would like to talk about, although when it happens, only their most visible costs are often dealt with, such as the repair bills or the insurance. The rest of the costs, which most likely never make it to the balance sheet, are no less important: losing team members because of injury or illness, loss of business because of delays caused by the accident or the unavailability of the vehicle, replacement expenses, loss of reputation has to be considered too and the best strategy to avoid this situation is to eliminate accidents entirely.

Most companies consider accidents to be unavoidable when in truth most are simply accepting them without taking action. What can companies with large fleets of vehicles do to dramatically reduce the number of accidents they experience each year?

#1 - Select vehicles wisely: choosing the right car or van and have it fitted with the proper equipment can indeed be an excellent start. Think about ADAS technology, parking assistance, emergency braking, distracted driving detection systems or telematics that can detect dangerous patterns and keep an eye on the road for you.

#2 - Speed of response after a crash: this is critical to minimising costs, as delays in reporting the incident to an insurer or incident management company drastically reduce the opportunity to capture and control the third party costs.

#3 - Complete driver training with human support: collisions, aside any physical injury, do have an effect on employees morale, particularly of those involved. Make sure you consider the driver's well-being, check if they are not suffering from depression or stress because of the incident and offer your help.

 

 

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Topics: fleet safety

The Irish Road Safety week is being celebrated this week

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 7, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The Irish Road Safety week is being celebrated this week-1

The Irish Road Safety Week 2020 is being celebrated this week, from Monday 5 October to Sunday 11 October with many activities planned nationwide. The event is organised by the joint collaboration of the RSA (Road Safety Authority of Ireland), the Irish police force An Garda Síochána and the ITIA (Irish Tyre Industry Association). The focus is as usual saving lives and prevent injuries on the road.

Two are the main events happening this week at the time of writing (don't hesitate to check out the page of the event at https://rsa.ie/en/RSA/Road-Safety/Campaigns/Current-road-safety-campaigns/Irish-Road-Safety-Week-2020/):

  • Tyre Safety Day: on October 9th, the Irish Tyre Industry Association invites all motorists to call in for a free tyre pressure check and thread depth inspection (you can find your nearest ITIA registered dealer at www.itia.ie). You can also download a copy of the PDF by the RSA "Your Guide to Tyre Safety" to learn more about safe tyres and how they contribute to safe driving, on how to choose tyres and how to get ready for winter weather. The RSA will also be airing its winter ready radio advert during the week: as winter is approaching, it is definitely time to make sure your vehicle is maintained ahead.


The Irish Road Safety week is being celebrated this week 2

  • Child Safety Day will take place on the same day, with lots of Road Safety Activities including Beep Beep Day. The latter represents a chance for preschoolers to learn road safety skills from a young age. On Beep Beep Day, children aged 5 and under will practise basic road safety skills with the Simon and Friends road safety storybooks, songs, games and activities. They will be able to learn more about high visibility goods and safety materials.

                                                                       

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Topics: Road Safety, Safe Driving, fleet safety

Driver texting while driving loses his arm, crash video shared as deterrent

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

Driver texting while driving loses his arm, crash video shared as deterrent

Sussex Police recently released the dash cam footage of a crash that happened on 15th November 2019 to raise awareness on the use of mobile phone behind the wheel.

A driver lost his arm after texting behind the wheel, crashing into traffic signs and overturning his vehicle into traffic. The dash cam footage shows the crash, that happened in Brighton, Sussex and has been used by Sussex Police as "a shocking display of the consequences of dangerous driving".

The driver, who had to undergo an amputation and wished to remain anonymous, gave permission for the video to be released as part of a police crackdown on dangerous driving:

 

 

The video was made public after a week of action during which hundreds of offences were detected on the roads in Sussex.

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said: "While we don't wish to shock and scare people with this footage, it's important that road users understand the serious consequences of the 'fatal five' offences: speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt, and careless and inconsiderate driving.

By taking personal responsibility and driving safely and sensibly, you can help us reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in Sussex and Surrey" ended Miller.

 

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Topics: Safe Driving, fleet safety

Driving for work is the leading topic of Project Edward 2020

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

Driving for work is the leading topic of Project Edward 2020

The initiative known as Project Edward has this year Driving for Work as its leading topic.

After its start in 2019 as European Day Without A Road Death (EDWARD), Project EDWARD evolved into EVERY Day Without A Road Death and is going to be delivered in association with Highways England, Driving for Better Business, the Association of Road Risk Management (ARRM) and the charity TyreSafe to support the One Road, One Week campaign of police enforcement activity to be held this week, 14th – 18th September.

UK government figures show that in 2018 there were approximately 42,000 deaths and injuries involving someone who was driving for work at the time, with 82% of such deaths and injuries impacting other road users (not drivers). With over 20 million vehicles thought to be used for work, including those who use their own personal cars, this means the odds of being involved in an injury collision during the year are just 1 in 500.

During the police enforcement week, special attention will be paid to those who drive for work and to these particular areas:

  • Speed: many drivers do often undertake work with stressful work schedules that might make them prone to speed;
  • Maintenance: 5 million MOTs have been missed during lockdown including 1.2 million vans. Generally, around a third of vans fail their first MOT, so there could be 400,000 vans on the road likely to require critical maintenance;
  • Fatigue and compliance with drivers'hours checks;
  • Vehicle loading and overloading that can have dangerous consequences;
  • Driver behaviour in general, with mobile phone use, not wearing seat belts and not being in proper control of the vehicle as the top 3 offences;
  • Towing for work and doing it correctly.

To learn more about Project Edward, visit the website projectedward.org.

 

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Topics: Safe Driving, fleet safety, driving for work

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