Do your business operations include employees who drive? If so, their daily job includes sharing the road with other drivers; many of whom are pairing driving with another activity such as texting, eating and drinking, or adjusting the stereo, entertainment or navigation system.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80% of accidents and 16% of highway deaths are the result of distracted drivers. Additionally, the National Safety Council reports that every seven seconds someone is injured in a car crash, and every 15 minutes someone is killed.
As an employer you absorb costs associated with these crashes, whether in actual damages to a business-owned vehicle, lost man hours, or increased operating costs. One way you can protect your employees and your business is by implementing driver training.
A defensive driving program is an excellent way to mitigate the impact of distracted driving claims. Defensive driving encourages the driver to always be on guard against possible collisions by using the following defensive driving techniques:
1. Driver Awareness – being vigilant to the lack of driving skills, distracted driving, or improper driving techniques of others
2. Weather and Road Awareness – changing driving practices to account for the weather, road or traffic conditions
3. Awareness of Surroundings – being aware of pedestrians or other objects coming from outside of the road
4. Situational Awareness – being aware of situations, such as merging or driving into the sun, which could lead to additional collision exposures
5. Distracted Driving Awareness – teaching tips to avoid distracted driving
You can find helpful resources to assist in creating your own driver training programs at www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving-for-employers.aspx.