Distracted driving is slowly declining nationwide, but it’s still the cause of approximately 9% of all reported fatalities. That translates to over 3,100 travelers annually becoming a victim of a distracted driving accident due to a driver taking their eyes, hands or minds off of the road. Cell phone usage is among the top reasons for distraction and teens and young adults are considered the primary offenders. But according to a nationwide study, over 75% of adult employees use their own vehicles for daily work requirements and over 40% of those workers feel pressured to answer work-related calls 24/7–even when driving. Fortunately, there are some simple things employers can do to prevent distracted driving on the job.
Create Guidelines and Incentives for Distraction-Free Driving
Create the best guidelines for your employees by deciding and implementing whether there needs to be a complete cell-free ban during work hours or simply a redirection system in place when employees are on the road. Pledges often work better than outright demands or threats, so encourage employees to agree to the guidelines by offering incentives. A little in-office competition can go a long way towards improving company morale while reaching your ultimate goal.
Formally Introduce the Plan and Inform Employees
Long gone are the days where employees would fall in line due to a few in-office memos and subtle suggestions. Formal notifications of the policy should be written and dispersed among all employees. And follow-up reminders should be sent at regular intervals. Include encouragement for following the guidelines and recognize those who you’ve personally witnessed or who have consistently adhered to the new rules or policy.
Offer Support and Necessary Storage
A single non-fatal crash that involves injuries to the employee costs the average employer over $72,000. Depending on the number of employees at hand, distracted driving accidents can threaten lives and also potentially destroy your business. Therefore, address and attend to all forms of distraction inside your workers’ cars, from cell phone usage and eating on the run to disorganization and extra passengers. Assist with safety upgrades and vehicle maintenance. And provide storage or organization equipment to keep essential personal or business items from affecting their safety by spilling or rolling out of their reach while they’re driving. Even if that all costs a chunk upfront, it will be a comparative steal.
Strictly Enforce the Rules
Create or implement ways to check on who’s following the distraction-free safety policy. Use apps that respond directly to employers and supervisors to monitor text and tech-free driving. Avoid pressuring vehicle-based employees to check their devices or email while on the road. Provide breaks and proper meal times to all employees so food and snacks can be eaten outside of the vehicles. And create penalties for not adhering to the new safety rules. Ensure all employees know they’re to follow the new strategies, including managers and supervisors to maintain morale and avoid anyone unexpectedly needing a Michigan distracted driving attorney.