Folks, here's some good news: A new report by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) shows that 74% of 24 leading employers that operate fleets of vehicles either have in place or are planning policies to ban the use of all mobile devices behind the company wheel. ALL. Hand-held, hands-free, you name it.
While I have been on a rampage against distracted driving, I am not the only one. One very effective group I've discussed here has been employers, and this latest news is simply further evidence that we will win the battle against this deadly epidemic.
Now, we know from the success of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving that any effort to curb distracted driving will require education, legislation, and enforcement.
Well, employers are in a unique position to use all three. And a NETS sponsored report from November demonstrates that the companies with the best traffic safety records have done the most work in all three approaches.
For example, the safest companies share results and lessons from collisions with all employees and conduct ongoing driver-education training.
The leaders also have the most restrictive rules. Some companies, for instance, explicitly ban text-messaging even though they also ban hand-held devices--which are required for texting. This duplicate layering is reinforced in top safety companies by a zero-tolerance policy.
One of the greatest challenges to our distracted driving efforts has been enforcement. But looking over the survey results, it seems clear that the safest employers have the steepest penalties and the most vigorous observation policies.
Some employers let employees know they will actually examine mobile device records for employer-owned phones. And some will terminate a driver for a first offense.
In this economy, I think that sends a pretty serious safety message.
While these measures may appear intrusive, employees are accepting these policies because they know the outcome is greater safety.
And not just safety for the employee-drivers, but safety for everyone on the road. Friends. Family members. Loved ones.
That's an outcome that's easy to appreciate.
So, Thank you! to these companies that have been true pioneers in this effort of ours to counter distracted driving. And, Thank you! to NETS for collecting this data into a very useful report.
And to the those whose employers have not yet embraced this effort, you can help your company by showing them the NETS report, pointing them to this blog, and raising your voice for safety.