April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, and distracted driving isn’t just impacting consumers. Construction businesses also need to find a method to help workers become more aware and conscious drivers behind the wheel. Construction technology can be that solution.
For the construction industry, there are a number of technology solutions to consider for drivers. For example, some technology can automatically detect if a person is driving and apply safe mode to the cellphone—which means employees cannot text, email, or browse the Web while the vehicle is in motion.
Another approach is to leverage telematics to collect data about a driver’s behavior and send that information back to the office where indicators can be analyzed for further action. This type of technology can extend to more than just cellphone use, but can also identify other risky behaviors behind the wheel as well.
For example, NexTraq, www.nextraq.com, Atlanta, Ga., a provider of GPS fleet and asset-tracking solutions, announced the introduction of the Driver Safety Scorecard last week.
With this, construction executives can monitor and measure driving actions such as hard braking, quick acceleration, sharp cornering, and excessive speeding. The tech also provides a graphic ranking of the best and worst drivers and identifies risky drivers, allowing the organization to teach drivers how to be safer behind the wheel.
In the end, this type of technology will allow businesses to reduce fuel costs and vehicle wear, while also improving insurance costs and minimizing potential collision expenses.
As another case, GreenRoad, www.greenroad.com, Redwood Shores, Calif., a provider of driver performance and fleet-tracking services, announced the availability of GreenRoad Advanced Tracking, which is powered by GPS Insight, www.gpsinsight.com, Scottsdale, Ariz.
GreenRoad Advanced Tracking provides insight into fleet performance and driver behaviors. Features include interactive displays of entire fleet, landmark and geofence support, and detailed reporting.
Some of the statistics surrounding distracted driving in general can be concerning—especially for an industry such as construction that is always on the go. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Admin., www.nhtsa.gov, Washington, D.C., indicates more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. What’s more, at any given moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cellphones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
The good news for construction businesses is technology is available to help watch driver behavior while behind the wheel and identify areas where performance can be improved.