Six weeks ago, we closed our Distracted Driving Summit with the news that President Obama had issued an Executive Order prohibiting federal agency employees from using work-issued devices to text or e-mail while driving. I challenged other employers to follow his lead.
Today, I want to recognize the heroes who are not just driving safely, but who have chosen to "Drive Against Distraction." These are individuals and groups working hard to encourage others to drive safely. How? By getting employers to give the gift of safety to their employees this holiday season--in the form of a written policy that prohibits using a phone or messaging device while driving.
Working Mother magazine is one of these new heroes. President Carol Evans recently added a new question to the employer survey Working Mother uses to compile its influential annual list of Working Mother's 100 Best Companies. The new question reads:
Do you have a written policy discouraging employees from texting while driving?
( ) Yes
( ) No
It's simple--want to join the likes of their heavy-hitting Hall of Fame? Don't even try to compete without an explicit employee distracted driving policy.
Add to that hero list David Teater and the National Safety Council. This team has put together a really useful one-stop resource for employers who want to get on the right side of this problem, protect their employees, and reduce their own liability. As they put it,
"Allowing employees to conduct either hands-free or handheld business on cell phones while driving represents acceptance of a four times increase in crash risk. We want to help employers reduce this risk."
So, for those employers who don't want to reinvent the wheel, please visit NSC's Employer Policy page where you can find a great, downloadable "Cell Phone and Texting Policy Kit."
And one other group encouraging employers to do their part is Stop Texting and Driving Now! This growing organization offers The Employer Awareness Membership program (TEAM). Employers who develop written policies discouraging distracted driving can inform STAD Now! and get themselves listed on the forthcoming TEAM Honor Roll. Just this weekend, STAD Now! added four new employers to TEAM.
As founder Clay Johnson told us,
"TEAM is for companies who have great interest in stopping texting and driving, especially those with traveling sales, marketing, or delivery drivers. We want to empower employers who take responsibility for their employees while out on the road by encouraging them to drive without distractions."
Employers of America, I challenge you to join our "Drive Against Distraction by adopting a policy against distracted driving. Then, post a comment about it here on the blog. Later this week and throughout the holiday driving season, I look forward to blogging about some of the individual employers we've heard from who have been out in front of this issue.
By then I hope we're swamped by other employers who have decided to shoulder this important responsibility.
In the meantime, please stay safe, everyone.