The Workplace And Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Is Not Just a Teen Thing

Statistics are showing that distracted driving motor vehicle crashes are becoming the number one cause of workplace death and are also one of the top causes of death in a driver’s lifetime. With thousands of fatalities being attributed to distracted driving, drivers are also suffering from injuries that result from collisions attributed to distracted driving. With statistics citing driver distraction as a leading factor in serious and fatal collision, Young Drivers of Canada suggests that employers take a look at the liability associated with their employees when it comes to distracted driving and their company.

Distracted driving can be categorized into three types;

  1. Visual  – taking your eyes off the road.
  2. Mechanical – taking your hands off the road.
  3. Cognitive – taking your mind off the tasking of driving a vehicle.

Distracted Driving Cellphone Focus

Although drivers can experience a variety of situations that will lead to distracted driving, cellphones have become the number one focus when speaking about distracted driving. The reason for this focus is that cellphones involve all three of the categories of distracted driving, the visual, mechanical and cognitive.

Many drivers are able to understand that they are distracted if they look for something in the glove box while driving or look at their children in the back seat while driving, but many do not understand that they are cognitively distracted when they are engaged in a conversation on the phone. Specifically, speaking on a cellphone is a much longer cognitive distraction that a mechanical or visual distraction. The mix of a highly prevalent action and its high risks makes talking on a cellphone the top distracted driver action.

So why is the cellphone so important when it comes to companies and business. The answer is that most employees use cellphones when they are conducting business, both on and off the clock. Since the 80’s, cellphones have been an integral business tool as a means to be able to conduct business at any time and at in any place. Employers who expect their employees to use a cellphone as part of their job must understand that in doing so they are exposing their employees to a great risk of collision and also as an employer, a greater risk of liability.

Employers need to understand their liability when it comes to employee cellphone use and must establish a cellphone use policy. According to the National Safety Council, an employee can be held liable for an employees actions if the employee was acting in their scope of its employment at the time of a collision.

In summary, motor vehicle collisions are costly to employers and distracted driving is an issue for every workplace that involves drivers who rely on their cellphone as part of their employment. Furthermore, employers can be held legally responsible for an employee’s action when it comes to distracted driving. Young Drivers of Canada provides employers with fleet programs that focus not only on vehicle conduct but also driver conduct with their exclusive CogniFit program. As an employer you need to ensure that your drivers remain safe and that the public at large remains safe when it comes to your employees and their driving!!

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