Did you know the majority of our claims are a result of distracted driving? That’s right. Even in the telecommunications industry, distracted driving is an issue.
What is distracted driving? It is anything that takes a driver’s eyes, attention or hands off the driving process. It can be that quick glance into the back seat, that glance away to change the channel or that hand off the wheel to make a phone call or respond to a text. It can also be when a driver applies makeup, eats a sandwich or combs a beard while driving.
These simple actions while driving can cause serious injury or death to the driver, passengers or innocent bystanders within seconds. Additionally, the financial implications through lost wages, insurance claims, and possibly litigation can cause serious concerns for families and businesses.
How then can distracted driving be prevented? It is always good to review tips related to distracted driving as you and your clients can’t depend only on state laws to prevent or enforce this dangerous driving issue.
Be smart! Be aware of state laws related to distracted driving. What is legal in one state may be illegal in another. This is important personally as well as professionally if you have clients whose employees often cross state lines.
Be patient! That phone call, text message or even stereo change can wait! Don’t forget, distracted driving isn’t only limited to technology. It can also involve responding to your children, your pets or other passengers.
Be alert! A driver may think that red light will allow enough time to quickly check email, text messages or even an app alert. Think again! Be alert even at that red light. You never know when you will have to quickly react in an unexpected situation or be the first one in line to help or witness what is happening.
Encourage proactive behavior! If you are a passenger, remind the driver to stay focused and not distracted. Clients should be reminded to encourage their employees to stay safe behind the wheel. That includes specific safety emails, reminders or meetings on the topic.
Encourage hands-free usage! If a vehicle allows devices to sync, take the time. If a passenger can take a call or respond by text, encourage that. If you are the passenger, offer to help with a device, whether it’s for a call, text or even to help with directions. You may also want to place your phone outside of your own reach or silence it while driving.
Encourage awareness! Even though vehicles have more tools available to allow for multitasking, it’s important to focus on the most important part of being a driver – driving! This means being fully aware of your surroundings and environment.
If we each take accountability by limiting our own distracted driving and reminding those we help protect, we can help to decrease incidents. This can have a positive impact on drivers, families and businesses.