Safeguard your Business by Creating and Enforcing
a Distracted Driving Policy
“In 2016, 40,327 Americans were killed in motor vehicle crashes. And
a recent survey found that 43% of employees who drive, answer or make work-related
communications such as calls, texts and email while driving. “
Employees who drive during some part of their workday, increase the risk factors of their employer, if they succumb to distracted driving. In fact, a recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that manual-visual tasks associated with hand-held devices, such as reaching for the phone or dialing the phone, increase the risk of getting into a crash by three times. The study also reported that even hands-free devices involve manual-visual tasks at least half the time, which is associated with a greater crash risk.
A list of driving distractions may include:
- Dialing or using a smartphone
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Programming a GPS or navigation system
- Adjusting a radio or MP3 Player
The 2017 Travelers Risk Index found that 30% of all businesses worry “a great deal” or “some” about distracted driving putting their company at risk.
Considering the potential dangers and expense associated with vehicle accidents, distraction caused by mobile device use, is an important problem for employers to address. However, according to the Travelers Risk Index, only 27% of employers reported having a formal distracted driving policy that was strictly enforced.
A distracted driving policy can help improve driver safety and the safety of anyone that may be involved in a distracted driving accident. Take the following four steps to help make your distracted driving policy more effective:
- Create – Create a formal, written policy stating your organization’s position on mobile device use while driving. Consider other distractions as well. A formal policy is the foundation of your distracted driving prevention program. It should apply to everyone in your organization who drives a vehicle on company business, whether they drive a delivery truck, a sales vehicle, or use a personal vehicle to run office errands.
- Communicate – To be most effective, safety policies should be communicated on a regular basis. Have every employee who drives on company business acknowledge in writing that he or she has read, understands and will follow the policy. But don’t stop there. Use emails, newsletters, bulletin board postings, driver training and signage in vehicles to communicate your policy in various ways throughout the year.
- Follow – Managers and office staff should lead by example. Let employees know that while they are on the road, no phone call or email is more important than their safety. To further prove that point, managers and other staff need to refrain from calling or texting employees until they are safely parked.
- Promote – Managers are in the best position to promote safe driving practices and the expected behaviors of those that drive for any business purpose. They can take steps to understand who is following these policies, and actively reinforce the desired behavior.
Creating and enforcing a formal distracted driving policy, can help your business reduce the risk of an employee having an accident while driving for work. A distracted driving policy also helps contribute to an overall culture of safety within your organization. Your business is your livelihood and taking safety measures like instituting a formal distracted driving policy, can help to reduce your overall risks.
The business insurance professionals at McSweeney & Ricci Insurance can help protect you, your business and your employees with the proper levels of insurance protection tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today at (844) 501-1359 or via email.
Travelers.com “Distracted Driving Statistics”, “What is Distracted Driving?”, “Safeguard your business with a distracted driving policy”
IA Magazine-April 2018-Page 19 “Working on Wheels”