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Same day and last mile delivery couriers make their bread and butter by transporting products from point A to point B in the fastest, most convenient way possible. A critical piece to that is how effectively business owners balance the safety of their mobile employees, as well as the safety of other drivers on the road.
There are an estimated 5,338,000 commercial crashes every year, accounting for more than $87 billion in business losses. The average commercial crash has climbed to over $16,500, which is a hefty price for service providers and insurance carriers to swallow. With more than 3,000 fleet vehicles on the road in the U.S, the demand for delivery service professionals to monitor and manage employee safety behind the wheel is at an all-time high.
Let’s face it. In the delivery service sphere, it can be difficult to manage multiple drivers simultaneously. The hard reality is that business owners and operators are often held liable for the actions of negligent employees.
According to research conducted by the Council of State Governments, texting while driving can increase the chance of a crash by more than two-fold. If the proper device policies are not in place, courier companies run the risk of incurring huge losses, should an employee(s) cause an accident due to distracted driving.
For example, a Texas man reached a $3.35 million settlement after a distracted commercial truck driver rear-ended him. The driver of the 18-wheel commercial truck was allegedly on his phone at the time of the crash.
To avoid costly accidents and help mitigate risks, couriers should be proactive and focus on hiring qualified and responsible drivers. Qualified drivers should have a clean driving record, solid references, and have gone through all the necessary training and screenings.
As technology has become engrained in everyday life, it’s no surprise that cell phone use is the second leading cause of death in distracted driving-related accidents. An increasing number of states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving. However, one-third of drivers admitted to texting behind the wheel, and three-fourths admit to witnessing another driver texting.
Although technology has become a serious risk factor for today’s couriers, it can also be used as a solution. Installing a mobile application on employee devices can help mitigate the chance of a crash by preventing distracted driving.
Technology like this simplifies fleet management by providing detailed reports on driver performance and barring incoming calls and messages while vehicles are in motion. The app is supported across all mobile platforms and enables employers to ensure their drivers are limiting distractions and performing up to standards.
Additionally, business owners should implement distracted driving policies by clearly communicating the ground rules for mobile employees. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the policy should restrict all texting while driving, establish specific guidelines and procedures for appropriate employee phone use, and remove any incentives that encourage employees to drive while distracted.
Risk Strategies Transportation works with 2,000 delivery and logistics companies of all shapes and sizes nationwide, specializing in the full range of insurance and risk management solutions for this industry: property & casualty, alternative risk solutions, employee benefits, IC risk programs, key person risk management, safety and accident prevention, executive and family risk, and financial services.