If you run a business that relies on vehicles driven by employees, distracted driving poses a real threat to your people and your business. Talking on cell phones, reading and sending text messages, and programming GPS units while behind the wheel of a moving car or truck can lead to a serious accident.
Business drivers are often subject to worse risks than the general driving population. Many commercial vehicles (such as vans and box trucks) have worse driver visibility than cars, and their larger sizes and improved safety features can give drivers a false sense of safety and confidence. And the heavier a commercial vehicle is, the harder it is to control or slow down in the event of an emergency. The same is true for vehicles that pull trailers.
What you can do to prevent employee distracted driving
Driver distraction is dangerous in the best driving conditions. But when you add traffic, bad weather and workday stress, it's a recipe for disaster. As a business owner, it's important for you to remind employees to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
To safeguard your business against the risks caused by distracted driving, follow these tips:
- Develop and enforce strict driving policies regarding use of cell phones, navigation devices and other distractions and impediments while driving on company time. Insist that drivers pull over when it’s necessary to use these technologies.
- Carefully screen potential company drivers, checking their driving records to weed out those with citations for drunk driving, speeding or reckless operation.
- Offer commercial driving classes, which can help properly train employees in safe motor vehicle operation, and may even reduce your business auto insurance premium.
- Make sure your company is protected. Business automobile insurance is the first line of defense, regardless if employees drive their own vehicles or those owned by the company. Umbrella insurance policies offer higher limits that could provide critical coverage in the event of a serious accident in which there are injuries or fatalities, leading to costly litigation.