Steering Clear: Safety Tips to Reinforce During Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Stay Focused: Avoid Distracted Driving
In order to ensure employees’ well-being, an employer must always prioritize safety. This is especially true when it comes to driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and injuries on the road, and it’s crucial that you take steps to promote safe driving practices among your employees. With Distracted Driving Awareness Month just around the corner, now is the perfect time to focus on reinforcing the importance of safe driving.
Here’s what you can expect throughout April:
“U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”: This is a paid media campaign by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) that will be held from April 4 through 11. The campaign consists of an impactful video featuring a distracted driver and is meant to remind drivers of the consequences of texting and driving.
“Connect to Disconnect (C2D)”: On April 7, highway safety officers will be at various locations across the country for a four-hour nationwide distracted driving enforcement and awareness initiative organized by the NHTSA.
But when it comes to your employees, how can you remind them of the significance of this issue and what they can do to prevent it? Read on to learn more.
The consequences of distracted driving can be severe and long-lasting. The most significant is the risk of causing a collision that can result in injuries, disabilities or even fatalities. In fact, according to National Safety Council (NSC) analysis of NHTSA data, it’s estimated that each year, an average of 3,142 preventable deaths occur due to distracted driving.
For employers, there are additional consequences to distracted driving. If one of your employees is involved in a distracted driving accident while on the job, your company could face a damaged reputation, legal liabilities and increased insurance premiums. Furthermore, if the employee is responsible for injuring others, your company may be held liable for the resulting damages.
As you’re aware, distracted driving is a major issue across the country. The statistics are concerning, but it’s not too late to make a difference. By raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and promoting safe driving habits, employers can help prevent needless injuries and deaths on our roads.
During Distracted Driving Awareness Month and throughout the year, it’s important to:
Support campaigns that promote road safety: Put up posters in your workplace, hold an event to raise awareness or provide employees with literature about the dangers of distracted driving. In addition, research local initiatives to see what’s going on in your area and motivate workers to get involved.
Discuss distracted driving in the workplace: Host a meeting to discuss the topic and share thoughts, ideas and suggestions for how your organization can help combat this issue. Not only does this foster a culture of safety and awareness, but it also gives workers an opportunity to take ownership of the problem and get involved in solutions.
Encourage others to share testimonies: Everyone knows distracted driving is dangerous, but sometimes it’s hard to fully grasp how much of an impact this behavior has on the lives of others. If you learn about an employee who has had first-hand experience dealing with the consequences of distracted driving, ask if they feel comfortable sharing their story so that others can understand the severity of the issue.
Set a good example: If you’re the leader of an organization, it’s important that you set a good example by not engaging in distracted driving yourself. Never pick up your phone while you’re on the road. Business can wait — it’s not worth risking lives.
Develop a distracted driving policy: If you haven’t already, work with your HR department to develop a clear, concise and consistent policy on distracted driving. This will help reinforce the message that distracted driving is not only dangerous but also unacceptable in the workplace.
Without further ado, here are some tips you can share with your employees through posters, videos, or discussions about how to stay focused while driving:
- Turn off your cell phone: 24 states have completely banned handheld cell phone use while driving, but if you’re in a state that doesn’t have this law, it’s still best to make it clear to employees that the use of cell phones while driving is prohibited.
- Plan your route before leaving: Before leaving, drivers should plan their routes and avoid using a GPS or phone while driving. If they need directions, they should stop at a safe place to consult these devices.
- Minimize other distractions in the car: Drivers should avoid eating or drinking while driving, as well as listening to loud music.
- Take breaks if necessary: If drivers feel tired or stressed, they should take a break from driving and rest before continuing.
- Encourage passengers to help: Passengers should not distract the driver, and they should be ready to take over in an emergency.
Ultimately, your employees are responsible for their own safety on the road. But by providing the necessary information, training and resources, you can minimize the chances of an accident and keep your drivers safe.
At FFVA Mutual, we’re committed to helping raise awareness and mitigate this critical issue, not only during Distracted Driving Awareness Month but all year round. By working together, we can keep our roads safer for everyone.
Remember, it only takes a moment of distraction to cause a serious accident. Check out some of our available resources below to stay informed and educated on the topic of distracted driving:
View this blog to learn ways on enforcing an effective distracted driving policy.