Roadways are an unpredictable and ever-changing environment that require your full attention. It is estimated that one in ten drivers is distracted by a variety of things including eating, reading, a navigation system, a passenger distraction and cellphone use. For this reason, handheld cellphone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.
Accidents from these incidents cause lost worktime for employees, increased insurance rates and can put a company vehicle out of commission for a while. If you have company delivery drivers, you should explain the dangers of cellphone use while driving and that you are implementing policies that prohibit both hands-free and handheld devices to prevent distracted driving.
If you do not already have a cellphone use policy, you should put one together soon for all company employees. Employees should make calls before they leave the parking lot or at rest stops, but not on the road.
Distracted driving would be a great topic at your next safety meeting. RS SafetyTV has a playlist of short videos about cellphone use while driving. The RS Library also has PowerPoint and handouts to use. SAFEME has a quick lesson on this topic. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has great information to use as well.
WR employs Rick Means as Director of Safety & Education. He can help members draw up safety plans and suggest safety meeting topics. Reach him at 360-200-6454 or [email protected].