Distracted Driving

 Cell phone use while driving is the No. 1 distraction behind the wheel.

Talking on a cell phone while driving makes you four times more likely to crash, and texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 8 to 23 times.

What's the Problem

In addition to taking their eyes and hands off the wheel, distracted drivers take their mind off the primary task of driving. Drivers talking on cell phones miss half of the information in their driving environment.

Drivers using cell phones are less likely to see:

  • High and low relevant objects
  • Visual cues
  • Exits, red lights and stop signs

Employer Costs

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that employers in Texas spend $4.3 billion every year as a result of on and off the job traffic injuries. In recent years, numerous plaintiffs have filed and won multi-million dollar actions against employers for injuries arising from negligent driving of an employee who was distracted by the use of a cell phone.

What Employers Can Do

Implement a Cell Phone Ban

Driver distractions cost the U.S. economy $3.58 billion each month (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study). In an effort to protect employees and their finances, many employers are implementing corporate cell phone bans, which protect employees both on and off the job.

A corporate cell phone ban might ask employees to:

  • Turn off wireless phones or other devices before starting the car.
  • Inform clients, associates and business partners that calls will be returned when no longer driving.
  • Pull over to a safe location and put the vehicle in park if a call must be made.
Educate Your Staff on the Risks of Distracted Driving

Your staff will have many questions about a cell phone ban and the risks of distracted driving, so prepare yourself to answer them.
  • Introduce your cell phone policy and emphasize how it will ensure a safe workplace. Distribute the policy and give employees time to read and react to it.
  • You should distraction-free driving all year, but build on safety events all year long like April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
  • Use Posters, Web Banners and Fact Sheets from NSC

A project of the National Safety Council in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation.

 

 
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