Small businesses of all kinds use drivers on a daily basis. From caterers to plumbers and countless construction workers, florist shops, and furniture movers in between, there are a lot of small business drivers on the road. When you consider that according to NHTSA Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, “More than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents,” it’s safe to say that texting while driving continues to be a major problem for U.S. drivers. What can you, as a small business owner, do to minimize these risks among your drivers?
Create Company Policies Prohibiting Texting While Driving
It’s not enough to merely create policies that specifically prohibit texting while driving company vehicles. You must also enforce these policies with clearly stated (and followed) policies for discipline on these transgressions.
Enforcing Texting Policies in Your Small Business
If you issue company phones to employees, you might even consider including apps that specifically prohibit the sending and receiving of text messages while in a moving vehicle. While this won’t end all distraction-related accidents it will help prevent quite a few. You can take comfort in the fact that your drivers aren’t likely to be the cause of those types of accidents—at least not while operating company vehicles. However, there are steps you can take to ensure they aren’t taking unnecessary risks in company vehicles such as texting while driving. These apps can help.
Plan for the Worst
It’s also important to plan for every contingency. Despite your best efforts to prevent employees from distracted driving of any kind, including texting while driving, it’s important to purchase adequate commercial auto insurance coverage for your company vehicles. Insurance needs to not only cover the drivers and damage to cars, but also any potential liability that could have a major impact on your company.
According to the NHTSA, “a texting driver is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than a non-texting driver.” What’s more, while texting, your eyes are off the road for an average of five l-o-n-g seconds. If you have drivers that are texting, despite policies prohibiting this act, you need to be insured adequately to cover the potential damage they may cause.
Distracted driving is no laughing matter for individuals nor small businesses. All small businesses that regularly use automobiles in the course of a business day need to make eliminating distracted driving among their employees a priority.