Taking safety to the streets: Mobile technology is helping transport companies deal with distracted driving
Today’s mobile technologies keep transportation companies and their drivers more connected than ever before. That constant communication helps ensure accurate, on-time deliveries, enables real-time re-routing when road conditions change, contributes to regulatory compliance and much more. But it also means drivers are using devices while on the move.
And that brings risks along with it.
Distracted drivers are up to eight times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with their eyes on the road1. That’s because it can take no time at all for conditions to change when you’re not paying attention: looking at a mobile device for just five seconds while going 90 kilometres an hour is equivalent to driving a football field blindfolded.
As transportation companies look to improve safety without giving up the advantages of continuous communication, advanced mobile technologies may hold the answer.
Keeping eyes on the road
Push-to-talk (PTT) is a one-to-one or one-to-many communication solution that instantly connects users over 4G LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
PTT significantly reduces distracted driving by allowing dispatchers to gain more insight into the status of their drivers and reduce unnecessary contact with their drivers. Dispatchers can broadcast time-critical information directly to drivers’ mobile phones, and with a push of a button, drivers can respond without having to unlock their phones. A PTT dispatch console can provide vehicle location and tracking information over the mobile network, so dispatchers always know the location of their fleet.
PTT also allows drivers to set their status to Do Not Disturb if they wish to avoid interruptions from dispatchers and other drivers. Plus, Bluetooth accessories allow drivers to keep their focus on the road. For example, a Bluetooth button installed on the steering wheel lets a driver respond instantly without reaching for their phone when a call comes in.
“In fact, a lot of the opportunity to reduce risk using PTT starts with the dispatchers,” says Bell Mobility Senior Product Manager Chris Hubbell. “That’s because it gives them more options and more control over how and when they choose to communicate with their fleets.”
The carrier-grade solution
Choosing a security-encrypted carrier-grade PTT solution is important when transportation companies need to provide secure, reliable and instant voice-quality communications anywhere across the country.
“The main thing is you need a reliable and effective way to connect instantly with drivers wherever they are,” says Hubbell. “If a driver happens to be out of coverage, the PTT solution will automatically send a ‘missed call alert’ to the driver so they know that the dispatcher has tried to contact them.”
Bell gives transportation companies access to Canada’s largest LTE network2 and coast-to-coast coverage for instant, reliable connectivity in Canada and the U.S. – backed by end-to-end support from PTT experts. Bell also offers an integrated PTT solution with a comprehensive dispatch console, a contact management tool and an advanced smartphone app.
For transport companies under pressure to meet “right now, right on time” customer expectations that demand up-to-the minute management of routes and drivers, technologies like PTT offer a convenient, dependable way to keep connected and make Canada’s roads and highways safer.
The same network that delivers PTT can support other business-critical mobile capabilities as well, like fleet management solutions and electronic logging devices (ELDs), which are soon to be mandatory as per regulations outlined by Transport Canada.
“When you start looking at solutions like PTT that can make a huge difference to the safety of drivers on the road, you start to realize this is part of a whole new communications environment for transport companies,” Hubbell concludes. “My advice to people is to start with safety, because that’s what matters most. And then see where the road takes you.”
To learn more about how Bell’s Push-to-talk solution can help make communications across your team better and ensure driver safety, visit bell.ca/ptt or speak to a Business specialist.