If you are a business leader or entrepreneur with employees, you may be relying on employees to run errands, take a company car to pick up clients, or otherwise may be expecting your employees to drive as part of their work. If this is the case or if you have company cars, your liability may be considerably greater. Each time your employees are in an accident, your insurance costs and overhead costs may rise. Not properly training and not taking steps to reduce distracted driving at work can also mean some of your valued team members get injured.
Distracted driving in Hollywood and Florida is a special concern at work because drivers aren’t just trying to get to their destination. They’re also often multitasking or thinking of work as a drive. This can create a situation where they can get into a distracted driving accident. Fortunately, there are things you can do as a business leader to prevent distracted driving accidents among employees:
- Prohibit cell phone use when driving, even hands-free phones. Ask workers to pull over before texting, calling, checking messages, or looking up information online. This simple rule can help reduce the risk of distracted driving and makes it clear that you are serious about your employees staying safe. While hands-free phones seem to be a solution, studies show that they still can contribute to distracted driving by taking drivers’ minds off of the rules of the road.
- Consider your policies about company communication. Do you or your managers demand instant responses or for employees to be constantly responsive? If you expect fast response times or send follow-up messages instantly if a worker is not responding to e-mails promptly, you could inadvertently be encouraging them to check e-mails more frequently so they don’t get into trouble. Simply instituting a policy which allows employees to take up to four or six hours to respond to communications may mean employees feel less pressure to check their phones more often. Also, consider how you communicate with your employees. Texting is a more immediate form of communication, and the ping of an incoming message can be harder to ignore in a car. Communicating via e-mail or an online content management system may help reduce the stress of any communication. In addition, setting up teams at work where any member of the team can reply to any concern can help reduce the pressure on individual employees to be always “on call.” All of these ideas can help make employees feel more comfortable about turning devices off so they can focus fully on the road.
- Teach safe driving for company cars. Ongoing training for drivers at your company from a professional driving instructor can help address bad habits such as distracted driving. Safe driving classes can also help show employees that you are serious about safety and can help reduce the risk of accidents at work.
- Have repercussions in place for employees who drive unsafely. Employees who drive when distracted or otherwise drive in unsafe ways should face penalties. At the very least, they should lose privileges to company cars.
- Screen employees before allowing them to use company cars. Prior distracted driving accidents, DUIs and other concerning traffic violations in Hollywood or anywhere in the country should give employers pause. Only allow employees with clean driving records and proper training to drive for you.
- Have employees sign a safe driving agreement. This agreement should outline that the employee agrees not to drive distracted, not to use mobile or hands-free devices when driving, and not to take other risks.
- Review safety rules and share safety information with workers. Post rules and tips about distraction-free driving around the workplace and review driving tips and ideas in newsletters and other company communications. The more often you open communication about safe driving, the more likely employees are to drive safely.
If you have been injured while driving due to someone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case evaluation.