Recently, we talked about keeping remote-working teammates happy and healthy while not in the office. But one of the most common remote workers are drivers and one of the largest threats to their safety has become distracted driving.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), when a driver is distracted, his or her brain is not receiving up to 50% of the information about what is going on in the surrounding environment. That missing information can include traffic conditions, a stop sign, or a pedestrian.
In 2020, 13% of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States involved distraction. 3,142 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. 587 non-occupants (e.g., pedestrians and cyclists) died in a crash that involved a distracted driver. At any given time in 2020, an estimated 2.8% of all drivers on the road were visibly using a handheld device. Research suggests that distraction is present during 52% of normal driving. On average, a non-fatal injury crash at work that involves distraction costs the employer $100,310.70.
There are many steps that employers can take to limit these distracted driving accidents. Employers can:
- Make sure drivers have their most up-to-date physical exams on file to ensure driving fitness.
- Ban all phone use (texting, handheld, hands-free) while driving a company vehicle and ban use of company-issued phones while driving a personal vehicle.
- Require workers to pull over in a safe location to look up directions, text, or to make or receive a call.
- Consider using phone-blocking technology to limit workers’ cell phone use while driving.
- Consider using technology that detects and warns drivers of distracted driving behaviors (such as cameras that detect when eye gaze is not on the road).
- Prepare workers before implementing these policies by communicating:
- That driving is their primary job when they are behind the wheel.
- How distracted driving puts them at risk of a crash.
- Consider having workers acknowledge that they have read and understand these policies.
A culture of safety can be built to help avoid distracted driving and make sure that teammates are able to go home to their families at the end of each shift. From physical exams to ideas that help establish a culture of safety, Jet Medical Center’s staff of physicians can help provide services to help establish the culture of safety. Call, click, or message us today to put our expertise to work for you and your business.
Who is Jet Medical Center®?
Jet Medical Center® is a leading provider of occupational medicine services in the Tallahassee area. We develop, with our client partners, a customized healthcare plan to fit your company’s needs today and into the future.
Our experienced staff of clinicians provides excellent medical care and understands the Worker’s Compensation system and its impact on your company’s financial health. Your employees will have less downtime with less complications reducing overall medical costs.