There are distractions everywhere. Whether you’re watching tv and distracted by your phone or driving in heavy traffic, switching the radio station, messing with your GPS, or looking at billboards, there are plenty of things that can take a driver’s eyes off the road. But how does distracted driving impact the supply chain?
There’s no question that all the distractions we have today impact every industry. But when it comes to logistics and transportation, there’s an added safety risk. That’s why modern logistics companies, like Atech, strive to keep all their fleet as safe as possible. However, sometimes it’s easier said than done.
When it comes to trucking, there are a million ways distractions can interrupt the supply chain. For example, a texting driver can easily cause an accident, putting his- or herself in danger–not to mention others on the road in danger–and causing significant delays in goods getting from point A to point B.
Phone-related distracted driving is just one factor for drivers. Another example of distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes off the road. Whether that’s a spilled coffee, something falling under your feet, reaching for something behind you, or any other number of things, significant delays can be attributed to this kind of distraction.
The final distraction for drivers is mind wandering. Sometimes life is stressful, and for drivers who are on the road for hours at a time, the mind can wander into thinking about problems at home, the future, a loved one, and more–but a wandering mind can mean that the driver isn’t paying attention to the road.
Some of the distractions listed above are worse than others, but all can result in catastrophic consequences. In the worst-case scenario, distracted driving creates a loss of life. In the best-case scenario, distracted driving means a shipment is delayed for a few hours or a day or two.
But no matter how distracted driving is broken down, it creates problems for the transportation industry. Not only is the supply chain interrupted by causing delays in goods being picked up and delivered, but distractions cause other issues, too.
According to Freighwaves, those who drive distracted are 36% more likely to cause an accident. Additionally, distracted drivers get up to 6.1% less fuel-efficient than those who drive without distractions.
With distracted driving contributing to accidents and less fuel efficiency, it not only can disrupt the supply chain, but it can also eat away at companies’ pockets.
For distracted driving that causes accidents, the average settlement was over $617,000 as of 2016. Further, news of companies that have to pay out travels fast, costing the company even more in potential revenue.
Between the cost of accident payouts and shipping delays, distracted driving can lead to some of the biggest profit losses for a company. So how do logistics and transportation companies guard against distracted driving and the subsequent disruption to the supply chain?
Well, many companies focus on their driver safety. For example, Atech makes sure all our drivers are given the tools they need to succeed and are always on the cutting-edge of safety. Additionally, advancements in technology can help to mitigate distracted driving. Like using GPS and satellite technology. When GPS is used, truck drivers can reroute without stopping to look at a map or even avoid traffic problems altogether, allowing the shipment to reach its destination on time.
Distracted driving is a universal problem that won’t go away anytime soon, but with the proper tools, it can be lessened. With patience to retrain our drivers and the willingness to put in the time, effort, and monetary resources, logistics and transportation customers and businesses can help solve the problem of distracted driving and how it can negatively impact the supply chain, ultimately saving time and money.