• Greg Botson

THE DANGERS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING – How to protect employees and your business.

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

Distracted driving is a global epidemic causing way too many deaths, injuries and rising costs for employers, insurance carriers and consumers. The definition of distracted driving is… “the practice of driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity which diverts attention from the task of driving.”

The top 5 types of Distracted Driving are:

  1. Cellphone use including texting talking and GPS

  2. Daydreaming

  3. Rubbernecking

  4. Interacting with Passengers

  5. Eating and Drinking

Recent statistics show using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of a crash by 4X, drivers using cell phones cause 26% of all accidents and 6,000 death per year.

According to the National Safety Council, drivers miss seeing 50% of what’s around them while talking on a cell phone. With less reaction time, driving while texting is compared to driving blind for the length of a football field. Texting while driving is dangerous since your eyes and hands are off the wheel and you’re your mind is not fully focused on the road.

Avoid being in a car with distracted drivers and avoid other drivers on the road who are distracted or using a cell phone.

Here are some signs that other drivers are distracted:

  • Spending time in the other lane or swerving

  • Making short and long stops

  • Accelerating slowly from stops

  • Driving at an inconsistent speed

  • Failing to indicate turns

Employees should always avoid using cell phones and other forms of distracted driving while driving a company vehicle or their own vehicle for business. Many employers we work with are implementing a Distracted Driving Policy which prohibits employees from placing outgoing calls, answering incoming calls (even while using hands-free technology), and using any form of music player or texting while driving. Also, many companies are restricting any non-employees from riding in company vehicles and prohibiting any personal use of company vehicles at any time.

All of the actions listed in a Distracted Driving Policy are meant to reduce accidents, keep employees and others safe, and prevent legal liabilities or legal action against the employer.

If you are involved in an accident in a company vehicle, it is recommended that you follow these steps:

  • Report the accident to the police if possible

  • Make a complete diagram of how and where the accident occurred

  • Create a written statement as soon as possible that includes the who, what, where, when and why surrounding the accident. By writing it down shortly after the accident occurs, the details will be fresh in your mind and may be need in the future to help protect your employer or yourself.

Unfortunately, accidents will happen but by developing an appropriate employee cellphone use policy, training employees about the dangers of talking on a cellphone while driving and enforcing policies with signed written acknowledgments from employees can all help to limit an employer’s potential liability.

For additional resources and tools to keep your employees safe and your financial risks to a minimum please contact Botson Insurance Group at 440-934-1603 or visit our Distracted Driving Resource page.

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