If you have a fleet of drivers, how important is non-distracted driving to your business?
AAA is reporting that your chances of being in an accident quadruple if you are using your cellphone while driving. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 25 percent of all crashes involved cellphone use. The data is vastly underestimating cellphone related accidents due to non-reporting of cellphone use during the accident.
AAA reports that hands-free use, and especially speech to text, is not significantly safer than using a hand-held device. Speech to text is actually more distracting than direct handset to ear use.
Distracted driving is the what allows us to miss critical events leading to loss of control of the vehicle we are in. Cellphone use is the current number one cause of mind off driving. As a business owner it is important to also consider these other factors:
- Eyes off the road – Anything that causes you to look away from your key focus points for safe driving. Billboards, extended glances in the mirror, gawking, etc. The AAA foundation found that taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of an accident.
- Hands off the wheel – Anything that takes your hands from the control positions on your steering wheel, such as eating, drinking, grooming, handheld phones, and vehicle instruments.
- Distracted driving – Talking with passengers, daydreaming, and hands-free systems.
All the listed factors are individually dangerous. If you look at the list for each, you realize that most distractions cause other distractions. Putting on makeup takes your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Answering your handheld device, eyes off the road, hand off the wheel, mind off driving.
How does distracted driving impact your business. Risk management philosophy would indicate that distracted driving could have significant to catastrophic consequences on your business. Should your driver cause the death of an innocent person while distracted, you are liable for the cost as a consequence. Their text could cost them their lives, others lives, and cost you everything you own.
Keep this in mind the next time that you are trying to reach one of your drivers as they are in transit. If you are calling them as they are driving, you are risking your entire livelihood for the sake of a phone call. Are you insured enough to deal with a multi-million dollar lawsuit?
Here are some steps can you take to institute risk reducing behaviors in your staff:
- Educating them on the risks associated with distracted driving.
- Introducing consequences for improper behavior in the form of fines or loss of employment.
- Creating no-call times for your office staff to your drivers to reduce the opportunities for calls.
- Instituting turn-off policies in the vehicle.
These steps and more can help you to manage the risks of distracted driving and reduce the risk to your employees and your business.