Jake feels good about his efforts to promote safety and prevent losses at SafeSite. He has recently rewritten the safety manual, emphasizing precautions to protect employees from injury and the public from danger. Jake’s manual includes standards for acceptable driving records. But has Jake addressed one of the most frightening and litigious areas of risk for SafeSite?
Distracted driving has been identified by insurers and legislators alike as a growing problem looming over our country. One insurer conducted a survey in March 2019 of 2,000 of America’s drivers. They found that:
- 37% of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they felt a high degree of pressure to respond to work-related messages while driving
- 10% of iPhone users admitted watching videos on YouTube while driving
Another insurer warns businesses that people using a cellphone while driving have a 34% higher risk of having a collision. Studies suggest that drivers who use mobile phones face an accident risk on par with that of driving drunk . In Minnesota, the number of fatalities related to impaired driving exceeded those attributed to drunk driving.
Even companies who have focused on tight safety standards for cell phones and other hazards often find that their safety manual is nothing more than an expensive paperweight. Employees say that the manuals are too big and complex, and that they haven’t read them. While the manual may state repercussions for infractions, there is often no program for enforcing the penalties for violations.
Mobile phones are not the only distractor impacting the attention of America’s drivers. Loud radios, headphones or earbuds, televisions, eating or drinking, smoking, reading maps, and applying makeup are just some of the other hazards stealing our attention.
The problem is compounded by the plethora of distractions in our society. We now crave distraction when it doesn’t exist. In one experiment, 94% of Chicago pedestrians using cellphones didn’t see cash hanging from a tree.
Minnesota legislators have made an effort to combat the problem. A new law banning hand-held cellphone use while driving will take effect on August 1. The law mandates use of hands-free devices or voice commands to make phone calls or send text messages. The law does contain several exemptions:
- Viewing or operating a GPS and listening to audio content (as long as users are not scrolling, typing, or holding devices in their hands)
- Obtaining emergency assistance or reporting emergencies, hazards or crimes
- Reporting that a person’s life or safety is in danger.
Jake be doing? In addition to making his
employees aware of the new law, Jake’s company should mandate use of “Do Not
Disturb While Driving” settings on mobile phones. The company’s distracted driving policy
should extend to other sources of distraction and should be enforced,
whether the individual is driving a company vehicle, a rental car, or a
Kraus-Anderson Insurance offers programs to
assist your company in implementing these, and other safety measures, as well
as establishing procedures for enforcement.
For more information, contact us
Kraus-Anderson Insurance offers programs to assist your company in implementing these, and other safety measures, as well as establishing procedures for enforcement. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.