The National Safety Council today released the white paper “Employer Liability and the Case for Comprehensive Cell Phone Policies,” which details the potential liability employers face when employees are involved in crashes where cell phone use is a factor.
The research includes examples of employers who have been held liable with awards reaching into the tens of millions of dollars, including cases involving employee-owned cell phones and cars and in situations where employees were driving during non-working hours or engaged in personal phone calls.
“Business leaders owe it to their employees to put safety first – especially when employees are on the roads,” said Janet Froetscher, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimate on-the-job crashes cost employers more than $24,500 per property damage crash. The cost rises to $150,000 per injury and to as much as $3.6 million per fatality.
NSC president and CEO. “Employers should know a policy that prohibits handheld and hands-free cell phone use by all employees while driving is not only a best safety practice but also contributes to the bottom line.”
Even though April has been Distracted Drivers Awareness Month, distracted driving is still an everyday occurrence. The news has reported that thousands of tickets have been issued to distracted drivers this month. You not only need to be aware of your driving, you need to be aware of the distracted drivers on the road with you.
Although distracted driving accidents may cost millions of dollars, the ultimate high price is the loss of loved ones. Drive alert, drive safe.
Every year around prom and graduation, a number of high schools around the country host elaborate mock crashes to drive home the dangers of distracted driving. Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel stage a mock motor vehicle collision on the grounds of the schools in an effort to remind students how driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving while districted by texting or talking on a cell phone can have deadly consequences. The practice dates back to the early 1990s. The scenes are meant to shock and startle.
But they may not pack the punch organizers are going for even as emergency responders, fire-rescue trucks, helicopters and other community resources are deployed to show what happens after a major crash. Research shows that a few days after the mock crash the gripping display of twisted bodies and metal fades from teen’s minds, and their sense of invincibility returns, said Penny Wells, executive director, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent health (HHS), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths of high school students.
Parents need to encourage your young driver to drive responsibly by following speed limits and avoiding distractions while driving such as talking on a cell phone, focusing on the radio or even looking at fellow passengers instead of the road. When parents set the example, it is more likely the teens will do the same.
Distracted driving is the cause of thousands of preventable injuries each year and has cost many families the life of a loved one. You can start solving the problem by pledging to change your own behavior and drive distraction-free from now on and then sharing this pledge with friends and family.
Tips from the AAA Foundation for Road Safety to help you to be a more alert (and alive) driver:
Set your GPS, read maps and check traffic conditions before you get on the road. Plan your route and a potential alternative. If you need to set your GPS with a new route – pull over to the side of the road.
REMOVE THE TEMPTATION.
Turn off your phone before you drive so you won’t be tempted to use it while on the road.Put your phone away in a purse or briefcase. If you must text or all, pull over to a safe place to do so.
A majority of drivers – 94% – agree that texting or emailing while driving is unacceptable and 87% support laws against reading, typing or sending text messages or emails while driving, according to the AAA Foundation’s 2011 Traffic Safety Culture Index, yet more than one-third of drivers reported texting or emailing while driving in the previous month. This “do as I say, not as I do” attitude is one of the greatest obstacles preventing us from improving safety on our roads.
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY FOR THE TRIP
Get the kids safely buckled in and situated with snacks and entertainment before you start driving. If they need additional attention during the trip, pull off the road safely to care for them. Similarly, prepare and secure pets appropriately in your vehicle before getting underway. Your car isn’t a dressing room. Brush your hair, shave, put on make-up, and tie your necktie before you leave or once you reach your destination.
SATISFY THAT CRAVING OFF THE ROAD.
Eat meals and snacks before getting behind the wheel, or stop to eat and take a break if driving long-distance.
STORE YOUR POSSESSIONS.
Something loose and rolling around in the car can take your attention away from driving. Attemtping to grab something that is moving around can certainly make your driving risky.
MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE IS ROAD-READY.
Adjust seat positions, climate controls, sound systems and other devices before you leave or ONLY while your vehicle is stopped. Make sure your headlights are spotless so you can see everything on the road and every other driver can see you better. Keep your windshield clean and remove dangling objects that could block your view or distract you.
GET YOUR BRAIN IN THE GAME.
Focus on the task at hand – driving safely. Scan the road, use mirrors and practice identifying orally what you just saw to enhance your engagement as a driver. Keeping your head ‘in the game’ behind the wheel will help you improve your overall awareness and behavior as a driver. AAA offers classroom and online defensive driving courses that directly address distracted driving and offer tips for for avoiding these behaviors.
EVALUATE YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR FROM THE ‘OTHER’ SIDE OF THE ROAD.
When you’re on the road as a passenger or a pedestrian, take a look around and honestly evaluate whether you engage in poor driving behaviors that worry you when observed in other passengers or pedestrians.
During this Distracted Driving Awareness month a great deal of attention is being placed on teen drivers and texting, however adults pose even a greater risk.
The Pew Research Center conducted a study which found that one in four (27%) American adults say they have texted while driving, the same proportion as the number of driving age teens (26%) who say they have texted while driving.
Fully 61% of adults say they have talked on their cell phones while they were behind the wheel. That is considerably greater than the number of 16- and 17-year-olds (43%) who have talked on their cells while driving.
In addition, 49% of adults say they have been passengers in a car when the driver was sending or reading text messages on their cell phone. Overall, 44% of adults say they have been passengers of drivers who used the cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.
Beyond driving, one in six (17%) cell-toting adults say they have been so distracted while talking or texting that they have physically bumped into another person or an object.
A nationwide survey commissioned by State Farm of 517 sets of teen drivers and their parents found that 61% of teens reported their parents were distracted by their cell phone or other electronic device at least once while teaching them to drive. 17 percent of the parents said they were distracted while teaching “sometimes, often or all the time.”
Adults should set the example. Those of us with kids owe it to ourselves and to our children to help them make the right decisions — and that help starts with leading by example.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month is for everyone. Drive Alert, Drive Safe, Stay Alive.
Because texting is the #1 distracted driving behavior, a great deal of focus is being placed on it during Distracted Driver Awareness Month.
However, texting, as deadly as it can be, is not the only driving distraction.
last night I saw a car commercial on TV featuring two different drivers. In this 32 second commercial, both drivers were shown
1.- tapping their fingers on the steering wheel to the music,
2.- adjusting their tie,
3.- drinking coffee, and
4.- checking their hair in the rear view mirror.
Each of these behaviors constitutes distracted driving.
According to the DMV, there are three types of distractions. They are anything that takes your:
- eyes off the road (visual).
- mind off the road (cognitive).
- hands off the steering wheel (manual).
1.- Thinking about the song, keeping time to the music by tapping on your steering wheel or seat dancing is taking your mind off the road.
2. – Adjusting your clothing is taking both your mind and hand off the road.
3.- A driver drinking coffee or soft drinks is taking their eyes off the road because they are momentarily blinded by the lid and cup; and it could become eyes, mind and hands if they spill their beverage in their lap.
4. -Using the rear view mirror while driving not only takes your eyes off of the road in front of you it, blocks your vision from what might be approaching from behind you.
In this age of multi-tasking, it is common to do more than one task at the same time and too many people think that includes driving their car.
A split second can change your life. Car accident victims suffer life changing serious injuries, including death.
Don’t be like the drivers in the commercial. Choose to drive safe and stay alive.
April has been declared Distracted Driving Awareness Month nationwide. The effort is designed to educate drivers of the hazards of not concentrating on driving. Ordinarily a few seconds may not seem like a long time. If you’re behind the steering wheel of a moving vehicle, however, just a few seconds can change your life. Cell phones, texting, eating, changing CD’s – all such distractions can be fatal in the blink of an eye.
An estimated 1.8 million crashes are caused each year by alleged distracted drivers, according to the National Safety Council. The AAA Foundation notes that cell phone users quadruple the chance of a crash.
Despite these dangers, countless drivers engage in potentially distracting secondary tasks 30 percent of the time their vehicles are in motion, according to the AAA Foundation report. This law is about protecting the public. During National Distracted Driver Month, law enforcement agencies across the state will be on the lookout for those drivers who seem to believe they’re above the law by violating the hands-free law, eating or applying makeup while not focusing on the road. A distracted driving violation is going to cost you a minimum of $160 and the maximum ranges from serious personal injuries to the loss of lives.
Using a cell phone in the car is a habit. Saving your life and the lives of others can start with making new, safer habits.
1.) Turn your phone off or just put it out of reach.
2.) Stop using the phone when you get in the car. If it rings, let it ring. It’s not a matter of life or death to answer the phone, but it may be a matter of life or death if you do. Let your caller go to voice mail and leave a message and you can call them back when you are no longer on the road.
3.) If you believe the call is really critical – a.) let it go to voice mail b.) find the nearest place to pull over safely and c.) listen to your message, and d.) call back if necessary.
Using your cell phone and texting at stop signs and red lights is just as dangerous and illegal as when you are moving.
4.) Recognize behaviors that are dangerous and make the necessary changes.
A life is far more important than a cell phone call or a text message.
Study says teen girls top boys in distracted driving habits. It’s Distracted Drivers Awareness Month.
According to the in-car video study released last week by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teen girls are twice as likely as teen boys to use cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
Among the findings: the leading cause of distraction for all teens was the use of electronic devices, which was seen in seven percent of the video clips analyzed. Other than electronic device usage, teens engaged in some form of potentially distracted behavior in 15 percent of clips, of which adjusting controls, personal grooming, and eating or drinking were the most common. Many of the distracting behaviors – including use of electronic devices – were more prevalent among the older teens in the study group, suggesting rapid changes in these behaviors as teens get more comfortable behind the wheel.
As more teens hit the road with limited driving experience, we all need to be more aware. Eliminate the distractions we can control (texting, eating, grooming, etc) and be more aware of those distractions that show up on the road, pedestrians and other drivers.
It’s distracted driving awareness month. Be Aware. Be safe.
National Safety Council estimates that at least 1.6 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones and texting.
Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Alcohol-related accidents among teens have dropped, but teenage traffic fatalities have remained unchanged because distracted driving is on the rise. ( Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/State Farm Insurance Study and NHTSA Study)
In California, all drivers are banned from texting while driving, however, accident research still indicates that drivers are ignoring this law assuming they can “multi-task.” Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI).
Injuries in auto accidents can vary from small scratches, to life long life-changing injuries (i.e.: head injuries, spinal cord injuries, loss of libs, etc.) to loss of your life or the life of someone you love. Last month I posted how it how it cost one young lady her life. This teen proved in the last minutes of her life she knew right from wrong — but still committed a fatal mistake. She wrote in her final missive, “I can’t discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.”
A text message can wait, your life cannot.
Be aware. Drive safe.
Safe driving involves more than having two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The mind also must be focused on driving.
One text or call could change your life – and not in a good way. National Safety Council Estimates that at least 1.6 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones and texting and drivers who use a cell phone – either handheld or hands-free – are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. According to Distraction.gov, a website devoted to distracted driving education.
The top two are:
> TEXTING. The facts are alarming.
> USING A CELL PHONE OR SMARTPHONE. Hands-free devices do not eliminate cognitive distraction – the distraction
to the brain. Dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies have demonstrated the risks associated with using a cell phone while driving.
Other primary distracting activities include:
> Eating and drinking
> Talking to passengers
> Reading, including maps
> Using a navigation system
> Watching a video
> Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Law enforcement across California will be cracking down on distracted drivers as part of an awareness campaign this month. Don’t wait to be caught by the police, or worse – by a critical accident. One accident can change your life, and not fin a good way. Start now - drive aware and safe.
April is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month