03.12
2018

The Best Apps for Preventing Distracted Driving

Distracted driving — and the wave of devastation that comes with it — is a major issue today. In 2015, it was the cause of nearly 10 percent of all U.S. motor vehicle fatalities and around 16 percent of overall automobile injuries.

Cellphone use has taken the forefront as the target goal for distracted driving prevention, though it’s not the only form. (Other examples include lack of focus due to preoccupation with something else, fatigue, conversations, and eating.) But it’s for a good reason. On average, reading or sending a text takes around five seconds; at a speed of 55 mph, that’s enough time for a person to traverse the length of an entire football field.

It should come as no surprise that younger drivers (20 and under) are among the most impacted by distracted driving. Not only is this segment lacking in experience on the road, but they’re arguably the most connected, digitally, so the propensity for distraction is greater. (Not to mention, the invincibility/“not me” complex tends to reign truest in this demographic.) That always-by-their-side cellphone can be a recipe for disaster. In fact, 42 percent of high school drivers fessed up, admitting to having texted while driving.

But it’s not just kids that are practicing this type of behavior. It’s adults, too.

Here at Actsoft, we help businesses monitor employees for a number of work-related habits, including certain safe driving habits such as speed, length of time legally allowed to be spent behind the wheel in a day, and rapid acceleration and deceleration. Keeping drivers safe is extremely important to us. As a nod to our commitment to driver safety, we wanted to share a couple of apps you can use to help combat that urge to pick up the phone while you’re on the road. Not only can they help keep you and your loved ones safe, but they’re both absolutely free!

AT&T DriveMode
Once you reach a speed of 15 mph, the app is triggered, silencing incoming alerts and phone calls. Music and navigation are still accessible, but from a consolidated one-touch menu, along with select speed-dial contacts. Although it’s available to anyone, AT&T customers have the added bonus of being able to send automatic replies when text messages are received. And, with special controls built in for younger drivers, parents can rest a little easier, since they’ll be alerted if their kids switch the functionality off or add a new speed-dial number. AndroidiOS; free; att.com/drivemode

TrueMotion Family Safe Driving
Sometimes a little incentive helps to curb a bad habit. TrueMotion Family Safe Driving adds some friendly competition between family members to encourage driving safer. Tapping into your smartphone’s native capabilities, the app monitors your driving habits, including phone use while in motion. At the end of each trip, you’re given a score. Keep up with your family’s scores and see who comes out on top as the most-focused driver. Members can even opt to share their locations and trip data so others can see how they got to their destinations. AndroidiOS; free; gotrumotion.com/app

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

03.08
2018

How Can I Prevent Expensive Repairs to My Car?

Routine car maintenance is an important thing that a lot of people tend to neglect or forget about altogether. An illumination of the dreaded “Check Engine” light is often times a scary thing for a car owner to see, and they may put off necessary vehicle checkups related to this occurrence out of fear of a potentially large repair bill. What isn’t often realized, however, is that failing to take reparative action in a timely manner could exacerbate the problems, calling for even more expensive repairs later on down the road. To prevent expensive and inconvenient transportation issues like this from happening to you, it’s best to always pay close attention to what messages your car is sending, and in turn give it plenty of preventative maintenance.

How Can I Take Care of My Car?

The importance of routine oil changes for your vehicle cannot be stated enough. According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, a good guideline of how often your oil should be replaced is either about once every three months or once every 3,000 miles driven. By doing this on a regular basis, you can ensure that only clean, proper levels of oil are helping your engine operate, and that as little wear-and-tear as possible is being put on the pistons inside it. Engine repairs are easily able to fetch thousands of dollars in price, so making sure that your motor remains healthy by routinely changing your oil should always be a priority.

Idling is another common practice of many drivers that can wear vehicles down over time. When a car is turned on and subjected to a lengthy standstill, the engine continues to run, burning fuel, expelling carbon monoxide, and in effect having its total lifespan chipped away at. To reduce instances of idling, something as simple as turning your car off every time you’re stuck waiting for a train to pass at a railroad crossing can positively add up over multiple years. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all instances of idling, maintaining a conscious effort to reduce this practice as much as possible could end up paying off huge in the long run when it comes to the longevity of your car’s lifespan.

In addition to reducing idle times, getting your brakes checked regularly is another way to prevent expensive repairs later on and maintain a vehicle that is safe to drive. Grinding or squealing sounds when slowing your car down should be an immediate sign that there is an issue with your brakes, and that they should be examined at a repair center as quickly as possible. As delaying brake repairs could result in putting both yourself and other drivers on the road in danger, never take your car’s warning signs of a problem lightly.

If you’re in charge of multiple cars, finding a method of managing the maintenance needs of each individual vehicle can pose quite a challenge. Thankfully, Actsoft’s fleet management solutions can provide a way for you to receive instant alerts about when your vehicles are due for an oil change, when a “Check Engine” light in one of your vehicles activates, or when a driver is idling for too long. With our simple but powerful solutions, never feel uncertainty about your fleet’s maintenance schedules ever again.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

02.13
2018

Freight and Farming: Two Essential Roles in the Food Industry

The next time you take a bite out of a slice of pizza from your favorite local eatery, you might consider taking a step back and pondering the sheer logistics that had to take place in order to allow it to be sitting in front of you. Long before the food was even first placed into an oven, industries such as trucking and farming were working seamlessly together to harvest and transport its ingredients efficiently.

It’s no secret that transportation and farming are two of the strongest vertebrae in the backbone of the United States’ food supply operation. With the tiniest mistake easily able to derail business for multiple delivery-dependent restaurants and supermarkets across the nation, the pair’s impact on America’s economy at large is huge. Due to this, high expectations of the farming and transportation industries are always prevalent, and workers from both verticals know how important it is to provide customers with fresh goods in a timely manner. As being stocked with adequate supplies is one of a food vendor’s biggest priorities when it comes to managing business, the tandem of farming and freight is often times left with very little margin for error.

At Actsoft, we take pride in being able to alleviate some of the difficulties that companies in these industries can face on a daily basis. For many farmers, their harvesting machinery is a crucial part of their livelihood, and these tools often times aren’t cheap. For example, a John Deere combine harvester, a common machine for harvesting grain can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase brand new. However, using our wireless solutions, lucrative machinery like this can be monitored and tracked via GPS and geofence setting, serving as a digital security blanket that actively protects against misuse and theft.

Furthermore, Actsoft’s solutions are able to help ensure that climate-sensitive goods are monitored carefully while being transported in trucks with refrigerated trailers. If a cooling unit deviates from a set temperature threshold while storing and transporting foodstuffs, alerts detailing the changes in climate will automatically be sent to company staff. As perished items can’t be used or served to customers, these cargo alerts from Actsoft remain an incredibly powerful tool for food transportation companies to take advantage of.

Moving and supplying millions of tons of food on an annual basis is no easy feat. However, to help companies in both farming and trucking achieve increased efficiency and saved revenue, Actsoft’s solutions are readily available to make these productivity goals a reality.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

05.12
2017

Trucking, Tracking, and Safety

A lone truck driver was traveling along a cliff-side roadway, midway through completing a long haul. While navigating one of the roadway’s curves, the brakes fail. The truck, its cargo, and driver all go over the edge, with no witnesses to the incident…

Elsewhere, winter snows assault another driver as he travels into the northern reaches of the country. With temperatures well below freezing, the driver’s rig suddenly comes to a stop. Despite his efforts to start it, his truck remains dead in the snow. The drop in temperature has caused his gasoline to gel. Now, he must radio for assistance, but the zero visibility caused by the snowfall will make finding his location incredibly difficult…

Both of the above instances capture hazards long haul truck drivers face while completing deliveries. With drivers spending weeks on the road at a time, they expose themselves to risks that jeopardize their rig, their cargo, and their own person. The elements of nature and mechanical failure present a significant threat to truck drivers that their employers should take into consideration. A fully loaded rig legally carries 80,000lbs or 40tons as its cargo. The trucks and trailer carry price tags in excess of $260,000. Combined with the incalculable cost of human life, a driver and semi-truck incapacitated and exposed to the elements result in a pressing issue for their employers.

How do you find a semi-truck when communication with the driver is impossible and weather conditions limit visibility?

The answer is “GPS Tracking.”

Actsoft provides employers with the technology to track their employees and assets in near real-time. While the driver in the first example is traveling, our tracking feature will relay his position back to the company’s office at regular intervals. The web-based portal allows the driver’s location history to be viewed; when things go wrong and he stops transmitting via the radio, a “breadcrumb trail” of his positions as captured by the tracking software can be pulled up. Even after he goes over the cliff, the tracking technology will still send his location while the vehicle is unmoving. It will even “ping” at a slower interval in order to conserve energy. The driver in the second case has the benefit of still being able to communicate actively with his rescuers, but the blinding snow combined with the dropping temperature makes his situation almost as dangerous. With Actsoft software continuing to relay his position to his employers, rescuers can pinpoint the driver’s location and save him and his rig.

Truckers hauling cargo across the country face various challenges; weeks on the road being grueling enough on their own. With changes in terrain and weather presenting themselves as hazards for these drivers, it is worth employers considering installing a means for tracking their position. The ability to track these rigs would mitigate the loss of vehicles, their cargo, and their drivers.

 

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or    Receive a Live Webinar