Driver Safety

by Amy Leung, CSP, ARM - Risk Control Advisor, Cavignac & Associates
Developing a distracted driving prevention policy can be a strong way to protect your company and keep your employees safe. To create a safety culture that prohibits distracted driving:

Formulate a policy that includes the following directives for all employees:

  • Before using a cell phone or any other mobile communication device, safely pull over to the side of the road, or, ideally, into a parking lot or rest area. Remind employees that even using the cell phone hands-free (when permitted by local law), the risk of distraction is not eliminated.
  • Let all incoming calls go to voicemail and refrain from reading texts until you’ve finished driving.
  • Don’t text or call any employee known to be driving. If you learn that someone you’ve called is driving, promptly end the call.
  • Establish that the ban on cell phones applies to all cell phones, not just company phones.

Communicate and implement the policy:

  • Require all employees to attend training and retraining programs on distracted driving and its causes and consequences.
  • Devise a central repository, e.g., an intranet site, that lets all employees share ideas and best practices for preventing distracted driving.
  • Launch a yearly communication campaign to consistently reinforce the message.

Enforce the policy:

  • Consistently enforce your policy’s stated consequences and/or penalties for distracted driving.
  • Conduct regular internal audits of distracted driving prevention and safety culture compliance.
  • Monitor circumstances, such as managers regularly calling employees who are driving, that might lead people to ignore the policy.
  • Modify the policy as dangerous new circumstances or practices are discovered.

In addition, supervisors and managers should be aware of how changes in technology and/or procedures could cause employees to overlook company distracted driving policies. An increased number of low-severity collisions or backing up incidents could indicate the need for refresher training. Even without these indicators, conducting an annual communication campaign to reinforce the importance of a safety-driven culture is essential.

Creating a completely safe driving culture takes time and organization-wide commitment, but the change can start with you, today. Implementing and enforcing a distracted driving policy greatly reduces an employer’s risk, protects employees, and keeps our roads a little bit safer.