Important to Switch Gears: Talk about Choices We Make Behind the Wheel

   Our Driving Concern, Senior Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road.
   Q: Do you talk about choices as they relate to traffic safety? Do you understand how risky driver behaviors can affect liability exposure at your workplace?
   A: Let’s examine why your answer here should be yes on all counts and tie the explanation to the importance of staying focused behind the wheel during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.
   One in five crashes is the result of distracted driving; more than 3,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes and 455 people died in 2016. That’s more than one fatality every day.
   Employers pay for crashes whether they occur on or off the job. Now, think beyond the dollars and try to make sense of the wreckage. The human toll is one that cannot be quantified. Much of the pain comes as a result of our own choices, including cell phone use while behind the wheel.
   Research indicates distraction persists long after you finish using voice commands to make a call or send a text. Your mind is still on the phone. This phenomenon is known as “inattention blindness.” Think of it as driving blindfolded. Would you trust yourself – let alone others – to do that?
   Distraction is anything that diverts your attention away from the task at hand – driving.
  • Manual distractions: eating, drinking, and grooming
  • Cognitive distractions: talking on the phone (handheld or hands-free) and daydreaming