Distracted Driving – How GPS Tracking Can Help

20 Feb 2012

There’s been increased talk about distracted driving on our highways and byways recently, and for good reason: the number of distractions while driving has increased. The official U.S. government website for distracted driving, distraction.gov, indicates that more than 3,000 people were killed in 2010 as a result of distracted driving.

Today’s driving habits include the addition of mobile phones, entertainment systems (videos, CDs, and MP3 players), navigation units, touch screen comfort controls, and a host of other technological gadgets built into vehicles.

So, the government is on a mission to do something about it. Last week, the Department of Transportation (DOT), through its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) arm, released proposed guidelines to encourage automobile manufacturers to reduce distractions from in-vehicle electronic devices.

The NHTSA wants to not only reduce the amount of time it takes to use built-in-vehicle electronic devices, but also reduce the complexity of the devices. Among other items on the NHTSA’s list,  the agency wants to limit vehicle operations to require only one hand and to limit the time to glance at a device to two seconds or less.

But there are things that we as individuals and business managers can do to help reduce distractions while driving:

1) Reduce the temptation.
Either don’t take these items into car or turn off devices that you know will tempt your attention.

2) Change behavior.
For example, if you’re expecting an important phone call or text, and it comes through while you’re driving, pull over to take the call or read the text.

3) Utilize GPS tracking. Have you looked in your rear view mirror and notice that a police car was driving behind you? You suddenly became the best driver in the world, right? Same goes with GPS tracking. When you know you’re being tracked, you’re more likely to practice good driving behavior.  A GPS tracking system will act as a deterrent in the driver engaging in phone calls, texting, or even updating their social media pages while driving.

  • Parents can utilize a GPS tracker device to monitor their new teenage driver, who still lacks experience on the road.
  • For a business GPS tracking application, fleet managers can use a GPS vehicle tracking system to make drivers more accountable and pay increased attention to their driving. In other words, it’s a check-and-balance tool that ensures employees are following recommended driving policies and guidelines.

Still, educating Americans about the dangers of distracted driving is perhaps the best way to prevent it.


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