Effective January 3, 2012, interstate truck and bus drivers will be banned from reaching for or using handheld mobile telephones while operating their vehicles. This expands on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's previous regulation, which originally targeted only text messaging.
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to distraction.gov. In light of the risks as well as mounting regulations, employees should be reminded of the dangers of distracted driving, particularly when driving for business purposes.
- Policy refresher. Contact your HR Consultant at Nextep to review your company's safe driving policy in your employee handbook.
- Workplace campaign. Encourage safe driving at your worksite. Resources, such as an employer toolkit and downloadable posters, are available at distraction.gov/content/get-involved/employers.html.
- Use technology. Several smart-phone apps can help your employees be safer drivers:
- AT&T DriveMode (Android, BlackBerry) sends an auto-reply message to incoming texts, letting contacts know you're behind the wheel and will reply when it's safe.
- DriveSafe.ly (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile) enables hands-free operation.
- Safecell (Android, iPhone) automatically tracks your position while driving and alerts you to local no-text and no-cell rules. Plus, it records safe driving behavior and awards points that are redeemable for cash rewards at top retailers.
For assistance in enforcing your company's safe-driving policy, please contact Nextep's HR Department.