Three Major Distracted Driving Facts for Employers

inmotion-october-2017

An employer’s ability to offer safety interventions on the road is limited in comparison to other work environments, but the need is critical; motor vehicle crashes are the no. 1 cause of workplace death.

One of the fastest-growing risk factors for motor vehicle accidents is distracted driving, defined as any activity that diverts attention from driving. This includes everything from texting, to eating and drinking, and even engaging hands-free devices. As an employer, there are a few facts worth knowing to help develop or further prioritize your distraction-free safe driving policy.

  1. On average, a non-fatal work-related crash involving distraction costs an employer $72,442.That’s according to a 2015 study by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. Costs can include direct costs, like lost wages, and indirect costs, such as temporary worker and training expenses, business delays and property damage. It’s important to note that employers absorb some of these costs whether an accident occurs on or off the job.
  2. Hands-free technology is a greater danger than previously thought.According to the National Safety Council, the brain remains distracted 27 seconds after a driver issues a voice command to in-vehicle technology. That distraction period is even longer for vehicle touch screens. It’s recommended that drivers set up music and navigation programs before they hit the road.
  3. Distracted driving policies do not squash productivity.A National Safety Council survey of companies of all sizes found that 1% of businesses with cell phone use and distracted driving policies experienced decreased productivity. The risk of employee injury and employer costs is far greater than the risk of not making those few phone calls behind the wheel.

For help designing a distracted driving policy, visit the National Safety Council, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Accident Fund Loss Control Toolbox.