Thanks to advances in both technology as well as routing and scheduling sotfware, agencies and their drivers are more efficient than ever. However, the new technology can also distract drivers and that is a deadly serious issue when it comes to transit operations. Here are a few things that a modern transit software should do to help minimize or eliminate the possibility of driver distractions:
1. Limit screen visibility when the vehicle is moving.
A driver should never take their eyes off the road to view a screen. According to the , motorists entering information into a touch-screen navigation system drive outside lane boundaries a staggering 21% of the time. To reduce the distraction involved in using screens, modern transportation software services should disable a driver’s ability to utilize tablet functions while the vehicle is moving. Only during stops should a driver be able to interact with their tablet’s interface. This transit software feature has the added benefit of removing the temptation for the driver to look at the screen which also limits distraction.
2. Fully integrate messaging capabilities with the onboard computer.
Much like looking at a screen while driving, cell phone use is another all-too-common practice in transit today. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that even reaching for a cell phone can by almost three times.
Modern routing and scheduling software can take away the distraction of a cell phone by putting voice or text capabilities into the onboard technology of the vehicle. That way, if drivers do need to be messaged, they won't need to search for a phone. Talking while driving is still a dangerous and serious distraction, however, so transit agencies should have clear policies regarding use of technology for their employees.
3. Consolidate job tasks.
Historically, transit drivers often used a cell phone for messaging, a map or a GPS device for navigation, and a clipboard to record job details. These practices are still in use today and having to manage all these tools make drivers less efficient and more likely to be distracted. Modern transportation software solutions systems replace these tools with all-in-one solutions using a single, onboard piece of technology, making each stop easier and each drive safer.
The dangers of distracted driving and the statistics around those dangers are evident to anyone working in transit. Considering the above methods, a modern routing and scheduling software platform can help reduce driver distraction and increase overall safety, which is good news for the driver and the company with transit products.