OSHA's top priority is keeping workers safe.
Yet more workers are killed every year in motor vehicle crashes than any other cause. And with the advancements technology has made, distracted driving – texting and calling while driving – has become one of the leading causes.
Texting and using a cell phone while driving on the job puts not only your employee at risk, but also millions of others sharing that same road.
As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to safeguard drivers while at work – on the road and off.
It doesn’t matter if an employee is filling in or drives in a full-time capacity, in a company-provided car or his or her own, if an employee is behind the wheel doing work for your company, their safety is your business.
What should you do about "distracted driving" in your workplace?
- Understand the full extent of your exposure to liability.
- Write work policies explicitly prohibiting the use of texting and cell phones while driving on company business.
- Declare your employees’ vehicles “text-free zones” (and cell-free, too).
- Educate employees on the safe use of texting, emailing or calling while on the road. Make it mandatory that employees pull over and stop before communicating with managers, customers or anyone else.
Educate employees. Monitor compliance. Enforce the policy. Address violations.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Sponsored by the National Safety Council.
Employers are Leading the Way
According to the National Safety Council, employers are making a difference by going beyond state laws to follow best practices. Read the following case studies to learn why these organizations put a policy in place, how they did it, the obstacles they faced and their advice to others looking to do the same.
Employers are Being Held Liable for Cell Phone Crashes
According to the National Safety Council, you are four times as likely to crash when using a cell phone while driving. Employers are being held liable up to $25 million for employee crashes, even when employees use hands-free devices.
Check out this white paper on the case for comprehensive cell phone policies.
- OSHA's Distracted Driving Resource
- Guidelines to Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes
- How Texting and Driving Affects You, Your Community and Your Insurance Policy [Infographic]
This blog, originally posted April 4, 2013, has been updated with additional sources and information.