Distracted driving kills. But we can stop it: 5 steps for distracted driving prevention
You’ve seen this behavior before.
You’re driving along, everyone moving at the speed limit, when inexplicably the car in front of you suddenly decelerates. You put on the brakes and get ready to change lanes, but then they speed up again. Then slow down.
When you pass, you see they are looking inside the car, leaning sideways to reach something, or their eyes are downcast. A distracted driver.
No doubt: you are personally affected by distracted driving.
Even if you don’t drive, as a pedestrian, distracted driving still affects you because crossing the street becomes more dangerous. Riding as a passenger also becomes more dangerous. Even if you hardly ever let yourself become distracted when you drive, another distracted driver could be putting you at risk.
But the truth is, most of us become distracted now and then, and our mobile phones hold most of the blame. We know it’s dangerous. We’re frustrated when we see others do it, and yet … it’s difficult to not look or respond. It’s addictive. Literally.
The good news is there’s something each of us can do to make the world a safer place by working toward distracted driving prevention. If you’re involved in the transportation industry, you’re even more well-equipped to take on this challenge.
Take these five steps to help end distracted driving.
- Know the facts. Understanding the enormity of this issue, the hard facts, will give you purpose and help you recruit others in your organization and communities to step up and take action to make a difference. Start with this free whitepaper on distracted driving.
- Quantify the problem. Essentially, you’re zeroing in on your own situation. If you are an insurance provider, distracted driving is causing more claims. If you’re in the business of sharing economy, distracted driving is pushing up costs and losses. Quantify these costs and losses so you have a baseline and can set goals for improvement.
- Analyze driver behavior. What situations, beliefs, or combinations of both are influencing drivers to become distracted? Look at driver behavior in the real world for insights that can lead to solutions.
- Partner up. This is a big problem that needs big solutions. Find a partner that has the data or can gather it for you, someone that can bring AI and algorithms and experienced analysts to the table, a partner that can help determine strategies and solutions to test, whether they be programs, mobile apps, or incentives. The point is to complement your efforts and turn ideas into action.
- Solve distracted driving. We know this is a big step! But analysis alone isn’t enough. We need to take everything we know about the state of transportation today and develop strategies to help drivers change their behaviors on a grand scale.
Together, we can put an end to distracted driving.
To work toward distracted driving prevention, we must recognize how our own risky driving habits impact others. Using a phone while driving has become an acceptable habit. We do it in front of our children, even though 3,450 people were killed in 2016 due to distracted driving, and teens are “the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.” We know it’s risky. We know it causes losses and insurance rate increases.
Yet we’re not doing much about it. Until now.
Join Arity in distracted driving prevention. Whether you work in insurance, sharing economy, or other transportation-related organizations, we can collaborate to make a difference. Contact the Arity Distracted Driving Crew to start the conversation and join us for National Distracted Driving Awareness month starting in April for even more insights on distracted driving.