Reckless Driving- Everything You Need To Know
Reckless driving is a pretty serious offense. Yes, even more than you think it is! In most cases, the accused has to pay fines or face imprisonment. Moreover, if you are a fleet manager or transport owner, you need to take extra precautions to avoid it. Why? Because reckless driving can lead you to lose your FMCSA’s SMS and BASIC scores.
It will cause you to lose the trust of your customers and increase FMCSA intervention. What’s worse? You might need to shut down your business due to the lack of clients and regular interference from authorities.
So before you panic to stop reckless driving, take the first step forward by knowing what reckless driving is.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is driving any vehicle with utter negligence of the safety of other people and property. In other words, it is a state when someone is driving a truck with great urgency without any regard to safety precautions.
In general, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. However, the severity of charges may vary from different states of the USA. The allegation may vary from imprisonment to fines according to their severity. However, in any case, your fleet’s reputation may get tarnished.
So, if you find any of your drivers displaying such driving behavior, you might need to get on your toes. Let’s see some common types of reckless driving.
Common Forms of Reckless Driving
Generally, the reason for reckless driving differs from one person to another. For example, suppose driver A needs to deliver their cargo to its destination in a set time. In any case, if they are getting late, they might step on the accelerator.
On the other hand, driver B may think that the vehicle in front is slow. So they can overtake the car in the front..
As you can see from the above examples, there are different types of reckless driving. It differs from one person to another. To restrict reckless driving in your fleet, you must be able to recognize its form. Why? To address it and provide respective training to them.
Here we have stated some common types of reckless driving.
- Running Traffic Lights And Stop Signs
A driver runs over a traffic light or passes any stop signs knowingly.
- Speeding Over The Prescribed Limit
Suppose the maximum speed limit is 20mph, but the driver is going at 50mph or above.
Tailgating happens when a driver moves their truck close to the vehicle in front to encourage the driver to move faster.
- Changing Lanes Erratically
A driver switches between lanes quickly without any indicators.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving happens in different ways: driving while using the phone, engaging in conversation, listening to music, adjusting AC, etc
- Driving Under The Influence
Driver’s under alcohol/drug influence often engage themselves in reckless driving.
- Racing With Other Vehicles
Some over-enthusiastic drivers may find themselves engaged in a race with fellow drivers.
The reason why these instances and driving behaviors are considered reckless is that they could lead to collisions. And can harm other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
Difference between Careless, Aggressive, and Reckless Driving
You may have heard about careless, aggressive, and reckless driving now and then. But do you know the difference? If not, then here are the considerable differences between them.
- Careless Driving:
It involves when the driver unknowingly violates several traffic rules and jeopardizes others’ safety on the road. In this type of driving, the driver has no intent to harm anyone, but they do so in carelessness.
- Reckless Driving:
It happens when a driver knowingly ignores traffic rules causing the life of others in danger.
- Aggressive Driving:
When a driver intentionally tries to harm, annoy, harass, or obstruct someone.
Let us explain this with the help of an example:
Suppose there are three drivers on the road. One is new in the city and unknowingly violates any traffic law. The second one is getting late for the delivery and hence, steps on the accelerator to reach his destination. And the last one, he is frustrated with the car in front and tries to cause an impact on it.
Consequences of Reckless Driving
To understand the urgency of resolving reckless driving issues in your fleet, you and your drivers should know about the consequences.
- Hefty Fines
Fines may vary from one state to another. But in most of the states, it lies between $50 to $1,000.
You can even face imprisonment for reckless driving for about 90 days to one year.
- Suspension of Licence
If reckless driving is frequent or the severity of the case is extreme, the court may suspend the driver’s license.
- Vehicles Impound
The court can also order officials to tow your vehicle away in case of reckless driving.
- Lose CSA Scores
The consequences of reckless driving for a fleet are ten times more than a driver. Reckless driving may let you lose your SMS and BASIC scores and rank. They are the standards on which FMCSA ranks a fleet. If a fleet is repeatedly engaged in reckless driving, it may increase its intervention in its management. In worst cases, the court may order to seize the business.
SMS stands for the safety measurement system. BASIC stands for behavioral analysis and safety improvement category.
- Harm Business Reputation
For any business, its reputation is important. A good reputation helps to increase customers’ trust and increase your sales. Vice versa, a bad reputation may drive your customers away. If your fleet is engaged in reckless driving cases, the customer may start doubting your efficiency and credibility to deliver their goods. And trust me, it will not gain anything for your business.
- Insurance Premiums May Increase
Lastly, frequent reckless driving cases may increase your insurance premiums.
How to Prevent Reckless Driving in your Fleet?
As you can see from above, reckless driving behavior brings no good for your fleet. In addition, it taints your fleet’s reputation. Therefore, we have prepared some basic measures you can adopt to restrict it.
- Driver’s Behaviour
To be able to keep reckless driving in control, you need to monitor your driver’s behavior. For this, you can use modern GPS tracking solutions and telematics. There are different providers in the market. You can choose one according to your needs and requirements.
The GPS trackers can help you to:
- Get real-time location updates of your vehicle.
- Receive alerts whenever it detects any poor driving behavior, for instance, speeding, harsh accelerations, sharp cornering, or sudden brakes.
- It generates a driver’s report card. What is it? Telematics rates the driver’s driving skills according to their behavior.
So, a GPS tracking solution and telematics can act as a third eye for you. And if you encounter any form of reckless driving, you can easily approach the drivers and talk it out.
- Employ Fleet Management Solution
Need more than a simple GPS tracker? Well, why don’t you go for fleet management solutions? A fleet management solution can help you to upgrade your fleet management. It is a comprehensive solution for all of your fleet worries.
- Dash Cams
For extra measures, you can also put a dash camera at your resort. Dam cameras are attached to the windshield of the truck and record the video footage while driving. You can keep checking on your drivers with the footage. Also, it can provide crucial evidence in case someone else is driving recklessly and thereby impacting your truck.
- Time Management
Many times, drivers step on the accelerator when they are getting late. For example, suppose a driver has to deliver the cargo at 5’o clock. But due to some circumstances, they are late. What will they do? They are likely to ignore traffic rules and speed to be on time.
You can avoid such scenarios by considering their delivery time and resting time for an optimized trip schedule.
- Route Management
Sometimes busy roads and unnecessary interruptions may cause reckless driving. How? It may get on the nerves of the driver or consume their time. You can employ Fleet management solutions for effective route management. It can provide you with real-time insights into the road condition, and hence you can optimize the route for a smooth and fast journey.
- Training Program
The training program is one of the most critical steps to avoid reckless driving. To control reckless driving altogether, you need to help drivers to understand reckless driving. Moreover, you can also conduct counseling sessions to help them overcome or avoid it under any circumstances.
How Can Matrack Help You?
Matrack provides a comprehensive fleet management solution for all types of fleet sizes. It provides a straightforward, easy-to-use, and effective platform to monitor your fleet.
It offers you GPS tracking, ELD, IFTA fuel tax report, DVIR, and many more. No hidden fees, affordable monthly charges, easy installation, and easy to approach customer service are some highlights of the brand.
To sum it up, we can say that you should try to restrict reckless driving in your fleet. You can adopt several measures or opt for a fleet management solution. There are different fleet management solutions in the market. You can choose one according to your need, budget, and fleet size.
If you want to explore more about Matrack fleet management solutions and other similar products, you can visit the website now. Also, do share your views in the comment section below.