Smartphone Addiction is the Reason Distracted Driving Costs Fleets more than $8 Billion per Year
“Nomophobia” is the fear of being without your smartphone. Yes, it is real and it needs to be addressed. Driver fatalities have surged in recent years. In fact, there were 35,000 traffic deaths in 2015 – the most since 1966. Fatalities were up over 10% in the first half of 2016. This issue has been in the news for years.
- July 2014: Inside Counsel wrote that, “Employer liability for distracted driving will not go away.”
- October 2014: AAA reported, “There is a public safety crisis ahead due to distracted driving.”
- April 2015: The Washington Times noted that, “Distracted driving was becoming an epidemic.”
- September 2016: Fortune agreed, “Distracted driving is now an epidemic” and the Blackwell Law Firm confirmed that “distracted driving and commercial trucks are a deadly combo.”
The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. This “smartphone addiction” is the reason distracted driving costs companies more than $8 billion per year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that more than 25% of vehicle accidents involve cell phones. It is the one of the main reasons that traffic fatalities are on the rise. And the majority of safety experts have agreed that this is a major problem. Still, many companies simply do not enforce their cell phone policies.
A few scary thoughts:
- Most drivers still think they can text and drive, but they can’t.
- All phone manufacturers can totally block the phone while driving, but they won’t.
- Personal cell phones are not considered a major risk, but they are.
- Fleet companies need to really address distracted driving, but they haven’t.
The world is experiencing an increase in vehicle accidents due to the “perfect storm” of smart phone capabilities, difficulty in cell phone policy enforcement, rationalization of texting-and-driving behavior, and the fact that most people admit to at least glancing at their phones while behind the wheel. The average cost of a commercial vehicle accident exceeds $70k assuming no fatalities.
Nomophobia is impacting the bottom line – resulting in upward pressure on a fleet’s total cost-of-ownership. It makes sense that fleet managers named safety and cost reduction as their top concern in 2017.
As every fleet manager strives to run cost-effective operations it is clear the phone must be eliminated as a distraction. Treating Nomophobia starts with putting the phone away and ensuring the phone is stored out-of-sight. Picking this “low hanging fruit” can prevent 25% of total accidents. It is the easiest way to cut a fleet operation’s costs, reduce their legal liability and do it for a very cost-effective price.
To find out more about the most cost-effective, and easiest way to end distracted driving – please visit www.liveundistracted.com or check out our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for great deals that end soon.
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