Safe driving isn’t an accident

By Lee Wendel, CSP, CPSHA, SFM Loss Prevention Technical Leader

For most of us, the most dangerous thing we do every day is drive a vehicle.

In the U.S., more than 34,000 people die in road crashes each year and the number is increasing by about 2,000 per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Over the last 10 years, technology has advanced leaps and bounds in many helpful ways — allowing us to more easily communicate and share our lives with others. But these advances have also introduced unexpected hazards.

While vehicles have never been safer, we still have a problem with increasing numbers of crashes and deaths on the road.

As individuals are becoming more dependent on their phones for information, it’s gotten increasingly difficult for some to resist looking at them, even while behind the wheel. This creates a significant safety hazard. A recent Los Angeles Times article went so far as to compare the impact of texting while driving to that of drunk driving.

The increasing prevalence of distracted driving is putting everyone on the roads at a heightened risk for preventable collisions. Drivers who focus on their phones instead of the road greatly reduce their ability to react to changing conditions and hazards. For this reason, SFM recommends against any cellphone use while driving.

Technology reducing crash risks

While technology introduces risk, it can also be helpful in eliminating it. One example is the collision-avoidance technology many manufacturers are integrating into their vehicles. These systems can detect a potential collision and warn the driver or in some cases actually apply the vehicle brakes. This can reduce the severity of an incident, or even prevent it completely.

While vehicles have never been safer, we still have a problem with increasing numbers of crashes and deaths on the road. Even as the promise of fully autonomous cars looms on the horizon, the driver continues to be a critical component in preventing vehicle accidents.

Safe driving is no accident – AASCIF conference 2018

STrivesSafe presentation at AASCIF conference in 2018

Safe Driving is No Accident is a presentation on telematics technology, followed by a panel discussion with three AASCIF member organizations about StriveSafe, their experience, and the joint initiative to boost driver safety and reduce liability.

In-vehicle monitoring service for policyholders

To help our policyholders harness the right technology, SFM has partnered with a leader in the vehicle monitoring field, Cartasite. Cartasite’s StriveSafe system gives employers access to an in-vehicle monitoring system that can help them improve their workers’ driving behaviors through positive recognition.

Safe driving telematics benefits

  • Encourages safe driving behavior
  • Real-time vehicle monitoring
  • Top driver recognition
  • Easy vehicle installation
  • Discounted subscription cost
  • Enhanced package options

The system is designed to give consistent feedback to the drivers without introducing distractions. Each driver is notified through a weekly scorecard that shows opportunities to improve his or her “score.” To enable monitoring, each vehicle needs only to be fitted with a low-cost device that’s easy to install in vehicles built in the last 20 years.

Thanks to our partnership with Cartasite, this program is available at a significantly reduced cost to SFM policyholders. Employers interested in fleet management will find that the devices can provide those functions as an added benefit.

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