Over the last several weeks we have dove into many of the reasons for creating a comprehensive cell phone policy at work and investing in a distracted driving app for your company, but today we are going to summarize all those points and offer a solution. So here is a quick recap of the top 5 reasons for a comprehensive cell phone policy and a distracted driving app:
5 Reasons for A Cell Phone Policy at work and Distracted Driving App
1. Reduce legal Liability
This reason alone should make every single fleet manager who doesn’t have a comprehensive cell phone policy at work or distracted driving app seriously reconsider. Over the last ten years we have seen lawsuits sky rocket in frequency and price tag as lawyers increasingly target companies who have poor policies in place. In 2012 Coca Cola was given a $21 million judgement, in 2008 Holmes Transportation paid out 18 million, and most recently SnapChat is in hot water with a potential lawsuit that could easily top the list. With these punitive measures establishing the precedent, companies have and will be found liable in distracted driving cases. With the right tools in place these problems are 99% avoidable.
2. Reduce Financial Costs
Accidents cost money and the reality is most accidents are a result of some form of distracted driving. Reducing the number of accidents for your company can have a huge impact on your bottom line. In our most recent pilot with AT&T’s U-Verse fleet accidents have dropped over 30% within the first nine months of the trial. A 30% reduction translates to real money that is freed up for more important business related uses.
3. Build a Corporate Culture of Safety
Establishing a comprehensive cell phone policy and investing in a distracted driving app also helps to build a culture where safety is valued. Changing behavior is never an easy thing but with every day that passes accident free and employees fully aware of the expectations, a culture of safety develops that bleeds over into other areas.
4. It’s the Law
The number of government organizations, state legislators, and federal orders who have issued laws against distracted driving far exceeds the space I have available. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, OSHA, Federal Railroad Administration, All 50 states, Nearly all Canadian provinces, just to name a few. In 2008 President Obama issued an executive order banning all civilian Federal Government employees from texting while driving.
5. Prepare for the Future
Every year distracted driving laws get tougher and enforcement is also seemingly on the rise. Just this last year the state of New York began testing a new product that would act as a breathalyzer for cell phones. This device known as a textalyzer would catch anyone who had been using their phone prior to the time of an accident so the proper penalties could be issued. With new technologies on the rise and new laws being enacted every year wouldn’t it be prudent to prepare for the future?
There are actual steps that can be taken to ensure your company does not fall victim to lawsuits or costly expenses. The three main points below are the “insurance policy” for your company in the event of a distraction related accident.
Building a Comprehensive Cell Phone Policy at work
This of course is the first logical step in protecting your company from any of the potential liabilities. A cell phone policy for drivers should include several key ingredients:
1. Concise language that explicitly lays out the rules and regulations. It may also be helpful to highlight the distracted driving statistics in the policy.
2. A total cell phone ban while operating a vehicle. This should cover all employers, all commercial vehicles, and even personal vehicles if discussing work related matters. In legal cases anyone defined as “acting within the scope of his or her employment” can be found liable in a distraction related crash.
3. Consider and implement a ban of hands free devices. In many cases including the Coca-Cola lawsuits operators had been using a hands-free device and were still found liable. Putting into place a ban on hands free devices just adds to the safety and protection for your company.
4. Have a list of the state laws regarding distracted-driving available to all employees.
Continual Education and Support
There are a number of resources that offer free continual education material on distracted driving prevention but here is a short list of things you should look for.
1. During meetings distracted driving should be a topic discussed at least once a month.
2. Periodically hand out and email content related to distracted driving. A great resource for plenty of material is the National Safety Councils policy kit.
3. Monitor compliance which can also be done with a distracted driving app.
4. Enforce the policy and address violations when the occur.
Investing in a Distracted Driving App
Finally, investing in a distracted driving app can be the tool that helps ensure compliance and fully round out your distracted driving policy. Obviously when we discuss these very serious issues that can have hugely adverse affects on your company it always feels a little awkward to then shamelessly self-promote your own product. So firstly I will say no matter what find a product, even if it is not ours, to protect your company and the everyday people that are on the road. This issue not only affects bottom lines but peoples actual lives. With that said FleetMode is a comprehensive commercial solution that can offer everything you need in a distracted driving app and at an affordable price. The FleetMode Solution automatically silences alerts, shuts down the cell phone keyboard, and auto-replies when the vehicle is in motion. It also has a host of other capabilities including issuing alerts, monitoring, and custom reporting. We truly believe when searching for a distracted driving app for your commercial fleet FleetMode is the perfect solution and so does the largest private commercial fleet in the nation(AT&T). To learn more check out our website at www.FleetMode.com or give us a call at 352-385-1803.