As a business owner, if your employees regularly drive you want to be sure they are safe behind the wheel. Employer risk factors are increased if employees who drive during the course of their work give in to distractions while operating a vehicle.
Whether it’s scrolling through social media, changing the radio or making calls behind the wheel, distracted driving is a huge risk. What’s more, only 27 percent of businesses report having a formal policy on distracted driving. With the rise of tech in the car, making distracted driving a part of your policy is more important than ever.
Take a look at these six steps to help make your distracted driving policy more effective:
Create a policy
Create a formal written policy stating that your business will not tolerate mobile use while driving. Consider other distractions as well, such as tuning a radio, eating, drinking or looking over paperwork. A formal policy is the foundation of your distracted driving prevention, so be sure to outline your policies in detail. This policy should apply to every employee who drives a vehicle on the company business, no matter how infrequently they get behind the wheel.
Communicate to employees
What good is having a distracted driving policy and then not communicating it? The most effective policies should be communicated on a regular basis. Have every employee who drives on company business acknowledge in writing that he or she will read and adhere to the policy. Include the policy in emails, newsletters and on signs around the workplace to remind drivers of the importance of staying focused on the road.
Follow the policy
Managers and office staff should lead by example. Let the team know that while they are on the road, no phone call or email is worth risking their safety.
Promote safe driving practices
Managers are in the ideal position to promote safe driving practices and the expected behaviours of those that drive for a company. They can reinforce the policies and even recognize team members that drive the safest.
While implementing a distracted driving policy, consider how you can build support to ensure your employees are following it. Along with communicating and promoting the policy, you should provide:
- Scheduled maintenance to mitigate the risk of mechanical problems that might lead to distractions, such as windshield wipers, dashboard lights or malfunctioning blinkers.
- In-house storage for work-related equipment and personal items that might roll or spill underfoot while driving.
- Scheduled break time for your employees to attend calls or have lunch.
Enforce the Rules
Informing your employees about the disciplinary implications of failing to comply with the policy is not enough, you should also:
- Monitor circumstances that make employees ignore or disobey policy rules. For example, managers or staff continuously calling them while driving.
- Follow through the consequences and penalties of drivers who do not adhere to your company’s distracted driving policies.
- Assign a person or team to regularly review and update the policy as new practices or circumstances arise.
Creating and implementing a formal distracted driving policy can reduce the risk of accidents while driving for work, while also building a culture of safety within your company.
If the worst does happen, be sure that you have a commercial auto insurance policy that you can fall back on. At CAV Insurance Agency, we work with each business to determine their individual needs and budget. Serving Wellesley, Sherborn, Natick, Brookline, Weston, and neighbouring towns, contact us today on 781-237-4107 to get started.