Why You Aren't Tracking Cell Phone Usage

In case you haven't heard, Fleetio just released Fleetio Drive—a mobile GPS tracking solution that monitors driver behavior and driver productivity. This is a direct result of thousands of conversations with fleet managers, hundreds of hours of testing, fine tuning—and at the risk of tooting our own horn—a whole lot of innovation.

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The bottom line is this: as a fleet manager, you know that you should be tracking cell phone usage. The data doesn’t lie. Using a cell phone behind the wheel is more dangerous than drunk driving.

Why are you employing “drunk” drivers?

Now just stop and take a minute to think about that. Drunk, inebriated, hammered—these are strong phrases that likely elicit a wide range of emotions. Yet, the fact still remains that texting your spouse while driving is more dangerous than drinking a six pack and driving down the road.

Now ask yourself this question, would you keep a driver on the books if he or she was showing the behaviors of a drunk driver? My guess is that you would fire that driver on the spot. But many seem to be shrugging their shoulders and looking the other way when it comes to cell phone use.

Understanding the dangers of behind-the-wheel cellphone use

In the grand scheme of things, cell phones are still pretty new. In fact, on the societal level, we’re still learning and being conditioned on how mobile devices impact our daily lives.

In general, most people agree that cell phone use while driving is dangerous, but many don’t know exactly how dangerous it is. Also, many companies have dumped a tremendous amount of money into traditional black box GPS devices to track where their vehicles are located and how their drivers are performing on the road.

Both of these make up a bad decision cocktail that paralyzes fleet managers everywhere. In fact, you may have said or heard something like this: "I don't have to worry about this right now. Plus, I've already spent a ton of money on something else."

The thing is, you do need to worry about this right now. An accident involving a cell phone is not a matter of “if” but “when.” By the time a cell phone-related accident does happen it will be far too late.

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What if I told you that your fleet’s best bet is just around the corner?

I'm going to say something bold. I’m going to tell you that Fleetio Drive is the only solution on the market that can help you track cell phone usage proactively, while saving you and your fleet BIG in legal fees, regulatory fines and a whole lot of anxiety. It also helps you encourage better driving habits through driver scoring and gamification which is proven to enforce better habits.

What will you say to that? I'll tell you what you'll say…

“We already use GPS provider ABC.”

Sure. Most companies already have a black box in place and most black boxes track location, hard braking, fast acceleration, cornering, speeding, etc. But here’s the thing: none of them can track your drivers’ cell phone usage habits. None.

To be clear, we're not asking you to rip anything out. In fact, Fleetio integrates with the best telematics solutions on the market. What we offer is a supplemental data set that provides you with deeper insights into your drivers’ behavior and gamifies safety at your company.

“I bet it uses a ton of data.”

In reality, any app that tracks your location is going to use data. That said, technology has come a long way and tracking functionality is much more efficient than it used to be. Data usage is nominal and can be compared to Google Maps or Waze. More specifically, one hour of tracking equates to about 1MB of data usage.

“Well, then it has to kill the battery.”

Also a reasonable assumption to which I have a similar response. Battery usage is minimal and can be compared to other GPS apps. Similar to Google Maps, you're not going to kill your battery by using Fleetio Drive. That being said, it's usually a good idea to have a car charger handy for longer trips.

“Our employees don't have company phones.”

Unfortunately, Fleetio is not going to buy you a phone. But the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution is here, which has caused many of our customers to implement a monthly stipend to cover any additional data charges that might be incurred. For many of our fleets, $10/month usually does the trick and should be well worth the investment to have a safer fleet and peace of mind.

“My employees aren't going to want me tracking their location or phone usage.”

This one is on you. I understand that tracking cell phone usage is a newer concept that employees aren't used to and generally aren't going to be super excited about.

The hard truth, however, is that your drivers are operating a vehicle that represents your brand. You have to be open to implementing change in your policies that require “the new norm.”

We aren't tracking what apps you have downloaded, who you're talking to or what sites you're visiting on your phone - we're simply tracking if the phone is being handled or not based on movements.

The employees that want to be a part of your company will get on board. The employees that don't want to get on board are the ones you need to be tracking and are likely afraid of exposing something.

You can start reducing driver risk today!

Now that we have all of that out of the way, let's talk more about how Fleetio can help you prevent accidents, reduce the risk you're exposed to on a daily basis, and help you protect your brand and your company.

What are some of your biggest hang ups when it comes to driver behavior tracking? Tell us in the comments!


Will Yarbrough

Sales Manager

Will is an Account Executive at Fleetio, leading our growing sales team while serving enterprise-level fleet organizations. Will is married with an adorable one-year-old daughter and two playful dogs.

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