Distracted Driving: What Employees & Employers Need to Know

Driver changing radio station which is a type of distracted driving

According to the CDC, each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. In 2015 alone, 3,477 deaths were the result of distracted driving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the diversion of attention away from driving, reducing the driver’s awareness, decision-making, and/or performance, and leading to an increased risk of corrective actions, near-crashes, or crashes.

As contractors, we have employees commuting to their job sites, going from one service to call to another, and driving to and from the office.  We have the responsibility to promote safe driving behaviors to our employees.

Reduce Risks & Unnecessary Activities

Eliminate or greatly reduce risks and unnecessary activities that could divert a person’s attention away from the task of driving.

Examples of risks & unnecessary activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Use of cell phones
  • Looking at outside factors (i.e. gawking at a car accident)
  • Smoking
  • Reaching around or searching for items (i.e. digging through purse for gum or makeup)
  • Adjusting the radio, climate, etc.
  • Driving fatigued
  • Driving emotionally distracted

Best Practices

  • If you need to make a phone call, pull over to a safe area and park your vehicle.
  • Keep your phone out of reach to avoid any temptation to check it.
  • Use the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature on your phone.
  • Make all adjustments before driving (GPS, climate, music, mirrors, etc.).
  • Eat, apply makeup, and send texts before you begin driving.
  • If you are fatigued, rest before you continue driving.
  • If you are feeling emotionally upset, wait to drive until you are calm and able to focus on driving.