Despite all we know about the dangers of driving distracted, the National Safety Council in the United States has just released results of a survey that show 54 per cent of drivers drive distracted because of work-related pressures. Nearly half (45 per cent) feel pressure from work to respond to emails while driving, followed by answering a phone call (38 per cent) and responding to a text (34 per cent).
However, the most pressure comes from drivers’ own families, with eight in 10 (82 per cent) of the respondents citing family pressures as a reason for driving distracted.
- 25 per cent of all motor-vehicle fatalities in BC are related to distracted driving
- 81 people die every year due to distracted driving
- It is the second leading cause of crash fatalities in the province.1
What you can do
If you are an employer, supervisor or manager of people who drive for work, here is a four-step action plan to reduce the pressure your employees might feel to drive distracted:
- Develop and implement a clearly-worded distracted driving policy
- Make sure your employees know the policy and follow it
- Share these tips with your employees
- Lead by example
While driving hands-free is legal in BC, multiple studies have found that it is no safer than driving with a hand-held phone.
To reduce your risk and reduce the family pressures that cause distracted driving:
- Create family rules about distracted driving
- Make a commitment to turning off your phone when you drive
- Make sure your family, friends and work colleagues know you don’t answer the phone when you drive
1 ICBC Driver Distraction and Cellphone Use, February 2016.