June 8, 2017
When you are behind the wheel, do you glance at your new texts or Facebook alerts? It only takes a second to lose focus on driving and mistakes behind the wheel can be fatal. While not all accidents can be prevented, at Texas Mutual, we’re putting the brakes on distracted driving by changing our culture.
Smart phones give us the power to be constantly connected, but our new company policy requires that our employees eliminate the use of phones, even handheld devices, while operating any vehicle during work hours or when on a company trip. We’re asking our employees to wait to return a call or text until they make it safely to their destination or pull over behind picking up the phone and conversely, we should be mindful of our coworkers’ schedules. It’s about more than just putting the phone down. It’s about shifting our mindset about what safe driving looks like.
We invite you and your employees to adopt this same habit as well. The risk is just not worth the reward. By requiring your employees to drive distraction free, you can eliminate near misses, lower the number of driving accidents your workforce experiences and most importantly, help employees stay safe on the road and on the job.
Here are some tips on what you should do to eliminate distractions before you start driving:
- If needed, alert any coworkers or family members that you will be unavailable while you are driving.
- If you use your phone for navigation, make sure you have a safe docking solution so that you can stay focused on the road.
- Pick your podcast, music or audio book before the wheels start rolling.
- Put your phone in a center console or better yet, just turn it off.
- Don’t contact employees when you know they could be on the road.
- Let go of the expectation for employees to answer or return your message immediately.
- Set an example for your workforce by adopting safe habits and letting your team know what and why you’re doing it.
Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or EndDD (End Distracted Driving) for statistics and resources to educate your workplace on the dangers of distracted driving. Also, watch our 60 Seconds to Safe Driving series for practical tips to be safe behind the wheel.
Bottom line, when you are behind the wheel, you should be focused on one thing: driving. We want to make sure our company culture supports that mindset for employees, and we hope you will as well.