Distracted Driving: A Call to Action

Driver distractions kill. Even a small distraction can have a lifetime of devastating consequences for individuals, families and employers. The statistics are eye-opening. International research shows that 20% to 30% of all collisions involve driver distraction. The use of cell phones and other handheld devices are the most common distractions, but there are many others you need to consider. These include eating or drinking, grooming, smoking, conversing with passengers, pets, reading (e.g., newspaper, directions, map), and using an electronic device such as a GPS, computer or tablet, MP3, CD or DVD player.

Eliminating driver distractions to reduce the risk of collisions can be achieved only when employers and drivers work together to create, communicate and implement clear policies and procedures supported by necessary training and resources, as well as a strong safety culture.

Road Safety at Work has assembled these “un-distracted driving” resources* to help employers and drivers take action.

For Employers

Watch this informative video. It outlines employer responsibilities for workers that drive, and describes four important steps businesses should take to help drivers avoid distractions and hazards caused by electronic devices.

  1. Develop and implement a distracted driving policy that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving. Use the resources available from WorkSafeBC, or download a Road Safety At Work sample distracted driving policy, customize it for your company, and ensure that all your employees that drive for work understand and sign it.
  2. Download the free cell phone policy kit for employers from the US-based National Safety Council. This includes tips, posters, communication strategies and a one-year plan and roll out calendar.
  3. For more background information on driving distractions, look at the following websites: Virginia Tech Institute, Transport Canada, American Automobile Association, National Academy of Engineering, Canadian Council on Motor Transportation Administrators ,
  4. Consider using technological tools to keep your drivers focussed on their driving responsibilities. There are wide variety of apps and tools available; consider one that:
    • Disables some phone functionalities when a driving situation is detected, locking the driver’s cell phone screen and redirecting calls to voice mail. Click here.
    • Locks the phone during driving to prevent calls, texts and e-mails. Click here.
    • Reads text messages and e-mails out loud in real-time and automatically responds without drivers touching the mobile phone. Click here.
    • Rather than using GPS technology to determine motion, directly integrates with the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics to determine motion and implement policy. Click here.
    • Is designed for fleet applications, and disables texting and other distracting applications on cell phones, but can be “set” according to company policy / law. Click here.
  5. Request ICBC’s distracted driving stickers and a countertop display box, for use at your workplace.

 

For Drivers

  1. Understand how distractions impact your driving. Check out this online simulator at the Canadian Automobile Association.
  2. See ICBC for some excellent videos and tips.
  3. Sign and follow your company’s distracted driving policy. Talk to your employer about developing one if none exists (link to samples).
  4. Sign the Canada-wide pledge on distracted driving and stick to it.

 

 

Other Resources

 

Online Videos

Distracted Driving Presentation

Faces of Distracted Driving (Playlist)

Your Last Text – Texting while Driving

Distracted Driving (Playlist)

Faces of Distracted Driving (Playlist)

*The links on this page are for guidance only. Road Safety at Work and its affiliates do not endorse any of the opinions or products on these pages. Other information and resources are available.



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