There are a lot of reasons for distracted driving, with using your cell phone being one of the most common. According to the National Safety Council, about 23 percent of traffic accidents occur because of cell phone use, which totals a minimum of 1.2 million crashes every year. It is vital that your employees are aware of the dangers of cell phone use, even when they think nothing will happen. Even looking away from the road for a split second could mean a major, or even fatal, accident.
How Cell Phone Use Affects Driving
Cell phone use causes your drivers to become distracted in a number of different ways. When they are holding their cell phone, only one hand is on the steering wheel, while in more severe cases, they have no hands on the wheel for a moment. They are also taking their eyes off the road every time they reach down to grab their phone, read the number on the screen, or send a text message. They are also generally distracted by their cell phone, meaning they aren’t paying attention to what is going on around them. They may also become distracted during a call, especially one requiring a lot of focus.
Business Calls While Driving
If your employees are taking business calls while driving, they are putting themselves and the general public at risk. While it is common for deliver drivers or contractors to need to use their phone while driving, it is imperative that they have a hands-free device. Even then, it can cause distracted driving when they’re on the phone, but it does reduce the risk of an accident related to not having both hands on the wheel or not looking ahead of them. Advise your employees to pull over if they need to make a call or speak to someone for longer than a brief moment.
The Texting Dangers
Texting is always dangerous, which is why it is illegal to drive and text in many areas of the U.S. Let your drivers know they should never be texting while driving, and need to pull over if the text must be sent right away. In most cases, they should be able to wait until their next stop.
Other Cell Phone Usage Distractions
There are also other distractions, aside from texting or talking on the phone. With smartphones being popular, many drivers are using various apps on their phone, which also cause them to look away from the road or only use one hand for driving. This includes using GPS on their phone, accessing apps or even changing the radio on their phone. If they need to use GPS on their cell phone for driving, they should have it in a holder on the dashboard, so they aren’t looking away from the road.
Aside from educating your drivers on the dangers of cell phone use while driving, you should also be protecting your business with insurance. Make sure all drivers and work vehicles are covered by a commercial auto insurance policy. This will protect you against any accidents that might occur.