Join us this April in participating in National Distracted Awareness Month. Distracted driving remains a growing safety issue that every company, employer, and employee must continue to address. The use of electronic devices while driving has not changed much in the last ten years, and it remains a significant distraction that endangers the driver, passengers, and other road users. By adopting strict policies on distracted driving and enforcing them, employers could reduce their liability and help save lives on the road. Companies could also consider training their drivers on safe technology use while observing them to ensure they comply with their policies. Ultimately, distracted driving prevention is an effort that requires everyone's involvement, from individuals to policymakers and corporations.

Research has shown that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (such as crashes, near-crashes, or unintentional lane deviations) are much higher for drivers who text or dial on their mobile phones while driving than those who do not. In fact, texting drivers tend to take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, covering the approximate length of a football field while driving at 55mph. When it comes to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, those who text while driving have their odds of a safety-critical event increase by 23.2 times, while for those who use their mobile phones to call while driving, the odds are six times higher.

Different states have varying laws concerning handheld cellphone and texting use while driving. For example, employers can be fined for allowing or requiring their drivers to use handheld cellphones while driving. However, even if a company's policy meets the minimum legal requirements, an employer may still be held liable for their employees' actions on the road.

To reduce their liability, companies need to implement strict distracted driving policies and enforce them vigorously. Negligent entrustment is a significant liability that companies need to address, and they should adopt written guidelines for distracted driving policies that upper management enforces.

Crash avoidance technology holds promise for reducing crash risks related to distractions, but it is still in its early stages and cannot prevent all types of distracted driving. Furthermore, such technologies may also give drivers a false sense of security. Technology in vehicles such as infotainment dashboards and hands-free technology, are even causing drivers to become more distracted behind the wheel than ever before, according to the National Safety Council.

To learn more about National Distracted Driving Awareness Month or how to protect your employees and yourself, visit:

DII is your partner in vehicle and road safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to update your policies to keep your employees safe and reduce your liability. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #NationalDistractedDrivingAwarnessMonth #SafeDriving #April2023

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