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Protecting Your Employees During Distracted Driving Awareness Month

distracted driving
  • Published
  • 18 April 2024
  • Category
  • General

The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. This annual observance, which highlights risks associated with distracted driving and accident prevention measures is a reminder for employers to promote safe driving practices in the workplace.

According to the NSC, thousands of people are killed each year in accidents attributed to inattentive vehicle operators. These are not just statistics. They are human losses that deeply affect employers, employees, their families and community members.

Costly Effects

Recent studies show alarming trends in distracted driving. For example, the
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,308 people were killed and an estimated 289,310 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2022. This represents 8 percent of fatal crashes and 12 percent of injury crashes in the general population. For employers,  it’s estimated that a work-related, non-fatal injury crash costs that involved a distraction cost employers an average of $100,310, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

In some cases, the victims are not other motorists but pedestrians or bicyclists. Employees who operate heavy equipment and powered industrial vehicles such as forklifts for loading and material transport are also vulnerable to distractions.

These statistics underline the need for constant vigilance and proactive measures to ensure safe driving.

Common Driving Distractions

There are three main types of driving distractions:

  1. Visual: Taking your eyes off the road, such as looking at a GPS device or checking a notification on your phone.
  2. Manual: Physically removing your hands from the steering wheel, for instance, to grab a drink, eat a sandwich, clean up a spill, reach into the back seat or adjust a dashboard setting.
  3. Cognitive: Letting your mind wander when you should be focused on driving, such as planning your day or something to will say instead of the road ahead.

Texting while driving is particularly risky because it involves all three types of distractions. That’s why nearly all states prohibit texting while driving. Statistics show that younger drivers are particularly vulnerable to this risk.

Distracted-Driving Prevention

Implementing strategies to combat distracted driving is crucial for maintaining safe and healthy workplaces. Here are effective measures that can be adopted by organizations:

  • Education and training: Regularly educate your employees about the dangers of distracted driving through workshops, seminars and training sessions. This may include instructions on ways to remove a distraction like a bee in the vehicle or stopping to clean the inside of the windshield.
  • Safe technology use: Prohibit the use of hand-held devices while driving. When their use is considered necessary for work-related reasons, advise employees to stop the vehicle, keep conversations brief and avoid complex topics while driving.
  • Leadership by example: Managers should practice safe driving behaviors to set a good example for the team.
  • Monitoring and reporting: Use technology to monitor driving habits and provide feedback. Positive reinforcement can encourage safer practices.

Partner with WorkCare for Enhanced Driving Safety

At WorkCare, we understand the importance of ensuring the well-being of your workforce, both inside and outside the workplace. Our comprehensive services help employers ensure that employees are physically and mentally fit for work, and prevent the risks associated with distracted driving.

For more information on how WorkCare can assist your company in creating a safer driving environment, contact us today.