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5 Smartphone Apps to Make You a Better Driver

On September 19, 2013, in Guest Posts, Managed Fleets, by allisonmreilly
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apps for better drivingEvery day in the United States, nine people are killed because they are distracted by texting while driving. Car technology is growing more sophisticated, and the ability to merge mobile technology with auto technology is enabling safer driving. These are the top apps that save lives by helping drivers focus on driving:

Drive Safe.ly-Apps for New Drivers

Drive Safe.ly is an app created by State Farm auto insurance. It provides drivers with a safer way to stay in contact with their friends, family and even coworkers. The app was created because not everyone can resist the temptation of texting and driving. The app allows drivers to program the audio part of their phone to read text and emails out loud as texts or emails are received. The benefit of this app is that drivers are able to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel. Everyone benefits when drivers are smarter about their actions.

Apps That Get You Where You Need to Be

Nokia Here Drive not only helps you find where you need to go, but also it helps to alert you when you are speeding. The device was designed to save people money by making maps that are downloadable, so users do not eat up data usage with GPS that may or not be working. Drivers can concentrate on driving rather than finding their way.

Apps That Entertain You

Spotify is a broad connection music app that not only works on your cell phone, but on your computer and other mobile devices. You can search songs and artists or Spotify can make suggestions for you. Drivers can focus on driving and stop searching for music on the radio, changing CDs or fussing with their MP3 player. They offer a free and premium membership.

Roadside Assistance

AAA Roadside app works with the roadside assistance features that come with carrying the AAA card. Dead battery, lockout or even a tow are all services that can be accessed through the app.

Texts for Parents of Teen Drivers

The Canary app is designed to alert parents when their teens are engaged in dangerous behaviors while driving. It alerts parents when calls are answered or teens are texting, using Facebook or tweeting while driving. The Canary app allows parents to set a maximum speed limit and then notifies the parent when the max speed is exceeded. This is an app that allows teens to learn responsibility while also allowing parents access to information can save teen drivers’ lives.

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managed fleetAccording to a recent survey from GE Capital Fleet Services, driver safety surpassed cost-saving goals as the top concern among fleet managers. More than a third of U.S fleet managers cited this as their primary concern. However, this article did not go into detail of how to improve fleet or driver safety, or what these fleet managers are doing to address their top concern. We’re here to change that and to help managed fleets and their directors improve. Here are three effective ways you can improve the safety of your managed fleet:

Driver Training and Management, Particularly Young Drivers

To improve fleet safety, you not only need to train your drivers and encourage best practices, but you also need to recognize the unique risks and challenges that young drivers pose, especially inexperience. With managed fleets, young drivers may sometimes be driving vehicles that they don’t have a lot of experience handling, even if they may have a clean driving record and the right certifications. Worldwide, traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for 15-24 year-olds, but a survey from the United Kingdom found that almost a quarter (23%) of respondents did not know what proportion of their vehicle collisions involved a young driver. What makes this statistic more troubling is that young drivers are 26% more likely to get into a crash than their older counterparts. Managed fleets that do not record and maintain this information are unable to assess and mitigate their risk.

Review/Implement a Driver Policy Checklist

The GE survey found that the number one concern is specifically driver safety, not just fleet safety. This means that improving driver and fleet safety isn’t just training and tracking risk, but ensuring that your drivers can always know what the policy is. That’s where a driver policy checklist can come in. Your driver policy can contain information on cell phone usage, traffic violations, safety guidelines, revocation of company car privileges etc. It’s meant to be a go-to source for all information relating to their use of a company vehicle, including ordering and maintenance. So that a driver policy is most effective, it needs to be somewhere readily available, such as in every vehicle and/or posted in the office. If you already have a driver policy in place, then it would be a good idea to review it and to make it more readily available for your drivers to refresh their memory.

GPS Fleet Tracking Technology

It’s tough to move in the right direction when you don’t have the data to indicate which direction is the right one. With GPS fleet tracking technology, you have the capability to do more than just know where your vehicles are located. You’re able to learn the driving habits of your employees, track who has a tendency to speed and who exhibits aggressive driving behavior. This information helps you to know which driving behaviors to target and what kind of safe driving policy you need to uphold. This not only mitigates risk, but it also educates drivers on these habits and protects them from non-commercial drivers who aren’t driving safe. Having the data and having the policies could also protect you and your managed fleet in case of an accident or a customer complaint.

Improving fleet safety is a matter of driver education, vehicle maintenance, and utilizing technology for data on what needs to be done. Improving fleet safety effectively involves knowing the loopholes in your managed fleet in your organization and taking action on those loopholes.

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