Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
- Using a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Personal grooming – fixing your hair, putting on makeup
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Adjusting the stereo system
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
Car fatalities are the leading cause of death in the workplace and for every fatality there are 100 times more people injured, frequently with lost time. It is estimated by some authorities that a cell phone was being used by at least one party in approximately 1 out of every 4 accidents. From January to April 2012, more than 65,000 motorists in New York were ticketed for using handheld devices.
The Flanders Group works with commercial clients to implement the most effective driving and cell phone use policies to fit their corporate safety philosophy. Companies have a greater sense of urgency to address these issues since liability awards are being made at an alarming pace. Awards of 10 to 20 million dollars have already been established in many jurisdictions and are very likely to continue to rise.
When a common activity like driving carries with it the potential for very large negligence awards, we see much more aggressive management involvement to change behaviors. Contact us for help with resources to lead this change within your organization.