Employees who drive during the course of their work may also drive up their employer’s risk factors if they fall prey to distractions behind the wheel. The 2017 Travelers Risk Index indicates that 30% of all businesses worry “a great deal” or “some” about distracted driving putting their company at risk. Yet, the data provides that 27% of employees who drive in the course of their work say their boss has called and/or texted even though their boss knew they were driving.1
Considering the potential dangers and costs associated with vehicle accidents, distraction caused by mobile device use is a key problem for employers to address. However, according to the Travelers Risk Index, only 27% of employers reported having a formal policy on distracted driving that was strictly enforced.
A clear distracted driving policy can help to improve driver safety and the safety of anyone that may be involved in a distracted driving accident. Here are four steps to help make your distracted driving policy more effective:
- Create – Create a formal, written policy stating your organization’s position on mobile device use while driving. Consider other distractions as well. 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. Have every employee who drives on company business acknowledge in writing that he or she has read, understands and will follow the policy. But don’t stop there. Use emails, newsletters, bulletin board postings, driver training and signage in vehicles to communicate your policy in various ways throughout the year.
- Follow – Managers and office staff should lead by example. Let employees know 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.