April is Distracted Driving Month. These Resources Will Help Protect Your Employees and Your Business

Driver distracted by cell phone

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so now is a great time to create a campaign and plan to encourage your employees to put down the phone, stop daydreaming and drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020. Reducing distracted driving protects your workers and your business.

Employer Liability

A National Safety Council (NSC) report provides eye-opening information on employer liability and the case for comprehensive cell phone policies. The paper includes sections with case studies, lawsuit awards, federal and state regulations and laws, employer roles, public perceptions and more. Here are some key excerpts from the report:

  • An employer may be held legally accountable for negligent employee actions if the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of a crash. The key phrase “acting within the scope of his or her employment” can and has been defined broadly in cases of crashes involving cell phones.
  • If employers can show that they implemented a total ban policy, educated employees, monitored compliance and enforced the policy, they will be in a more defensible position than if they had not followed these practices.
  • The best practice is to ban use of any cell phone device while driving in any vehicle during work hours or for work-related purposes.

The NSC has developed a cell phone policy kit with materials to assist employers with every step of policy development and implementation:

  • Building management support to implement a total ban
  • Getting employee buy-in to improve compliance
  • Educating employees with ready-made promotional pieces

The kit includes a sample total cell phone ban policy and materials to educate management and employees about the risks of hands-free and handheld phones.

Improve Distracted Driving Awareness

Arrive Alive Don't Text And Drive PosterNo Hand Held Cell Phone Use While Driving SignCell Phone Use Is Not Permitted Sign With SymbolNo Cell Phones Symbol Label

Stop texting and driving

Though several distractions cause accidents, cell phones are a big one. NHTSA claims that sending or reading a text while driving 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. So…not recommended.

Ensure your employees keep their eyes on the road while driving for work and during their commutes with a don’t text and drive poster.

No Texting Poster

Encourage forklift safety

Nearly 95,000 employees are injured each year due to forklift accidents, so your operators must be aware of their surroundings when driving. Driving a forklift while distracted could result in a crash that causes inventory to fall on the forklift or a collision with someone walking through the warehouse.

Safety guidelines for forklift operators

In other instances, distracted driving could cause the forklift to roll right off the loading dock. None of these situations end well for your operator. So make sure they are aware and drive with care.

Promote safe driving in construction zones

More than 20,000 workers are injured at road construction sites each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Not only do your employees need to use caution when driving construction equipment, but they need to keep their eyes on the road when entering, exiting, or driving by construction zones. Work Zone Awareness Week occurs during Safe Driving Month to help keep road workers safe.

Encourage safe driving in construction zones and promote awareness when operating construction equipment, especially when backing up. Check these Tips for Backing Up Vehicles Safely.

Keep workers safe on their commute 

Your responsibility for employees’ safety starts and ends the minute they walk through the door, so their commute to and from work isn’t technically your domain. But if you care about your workers—and you should—April is a great time to remind them to drive safely by hanging a safety poster near the exit closest to your parking lot.  

Host a distracted driving awareness meeting

Distracted Driving Awareness Month means you get to host a safety meeting. Ensure you have all the materials you need to drive your point home: Accidents caused by distracted driving are preventable. During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, urge your employees to keep their eyes on the road and drive carefully. 

Free Distracted Driving Resources: