Preventing Distracted Driving Your Employer's Role
By Andrew R. Bronsnick
We’ve discussed the hazards of distracted driving in New Jersey. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises that drivers should never take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds at a time for any reason – from phone use to rubbernecking. Your employer should also be encouraging safe driving practices – especially if they employ drivers or have a fleet.
According to the Travelers Risk Index, only 27% of employers reported having a formal policy on distracted driving that was strictly enforced. Travelers recently recommended a four-step plan for employers to use to make their distracted driving policy more effective, and you could certainly suggest to your manager that your company distribute it.
- Create – Create a formal, written policy stating the organization’s position on mobile device use while driving. Consider other distractions as well, such as maps and eating and drinking. 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. Every employee who drives on company business should acknowledge in writing that he or she has read, understands and will follow the policy. But that’s just the start. Emails, newsletters, bulletin board postings, driver training and signage in vehicles should communicate to communicate your policy year-round.
- Follow – Managers and office staff should lead by example and demonstrate to employees 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.
You would be surprised how many managers and companies would be willing to take these steps – it helps institute a culture of safety in an organization. With these steps and policies in practice, they can save millions in lawsuits and Worker’s Compensation claims. Sometimes, all you have to do is bring it to their attention and ask.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in New Jersey, you need an experienced lawyer to present your injuries during insurance matters and Workers’ Compensation hearings. We’ll also prepare and file any required documents and will be your voice in all hearings or proceedings, including any appeals. This will better ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.