April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
At 55 mph, sending or reading a text message takes your eye off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin.
Put a policy in place – it’s not just smart business, it’s safe business.
In the technology-driven world we live in, it's surprising that our cellphones can't read our minds, talk to us, show us who is standing at our doorstep, start our car, or order a pepperoni pizza when they think we're going to get hungry.
The truth is our cell phones can do most of the daily commands listed above – even distract us while we're driving. And with new technology in vehicles, more people are distracted behind the wheel than ever before.
Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anything that takes your attention away from driving is a distraction, and you could be seconds away from a severe car accident.
Every April, the National Safety Council (NSC) hosts Distracted Driving Awareness Month to call attention to the dangers of distracted driving.
Per NSC, when workers are distracted by cellphones, you're putting your company at financial risk. Without a best practice cell phone policy, you expose your workers to unnecessary crash risks.
Many employers have realized the dangers of using cell phones (also a form of multi-tasking) while driving and are taking action by passing policies to prevent cellphone distraction. The National Safety Council recommends policies that prohibit both hands-free and handheld devices.
Placing signs in parking lots is a great way to remind those leaving your business to finish the call or text before leaving the building, park when you have to talk or text, and not text while driving.
Per OSHA, "Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers by prohibiting texting while driving. It violates the OSH Act for employers to require workers to text while driving, create incentives that encourage or condone it, or structure work so that texting. At the same time, driving is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their job. For more information, please see OSHA's Distracted Driving brochure.
"SC has also developed a Cell Phone Policy Kit to foster an effective implementation process for employees. The main objective is to provide your employees with ready-made communications for the variety of people you work with and get them on board to support the company cellphone ban policy.
This April, encourage them to pledge to be an attentive driver here.
Being completely focused on the road is so critical for the safety of others, your employer – even your company. Get everyone involved in Distracted Driving Awareness Month and educate them on being entirely focused on the road.
Here are some tools that could help you make this Distracted Driving Awareness Month a success:
Give all your employees a sticker that they can place inside their vehicle - this will remind them to only focus on driving - not to text or dial.
Lockout tagout is a safety procedure that ensures machines and equipment are properly shut off during maintenance or repair work.