Although commercial truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicles before takeoff and have plenty of other rules they must abide before they are permitted to drive, that doesn’t mean they are putting their cell phones down and focusing solely on the roadway ahead of them. Let’s face it, distracted driving is a serious issue in our society today and sadly thousands of people have been killed in accidents caused by a distracted driver. So, as much as we can commend these truckers for getting on the roadways for long periods of time and appreciate the fact that they comply with their company’s rules to help reduce the risk they pose, more needs to be done to keep truck drivers from glancing down at their cell phone or engaging in a long conversation while driving.
Below we share with you five best practices employers can implement to fight the effects of distracted driving:
- Understand how serious distracted driving is. It is likely that we have all taken a second or two to glance down at our phones only to find that we lifted our eyes just in time before we swerved off the roadway or nearly rear-ended the car in front of us. But, because we managed to survive that potential disaster we often think that the issue isn’t as serious as it is made out to be. Wrong. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2015, 391,000 drivers were injured in distracted driving accidents and 3,477 people were killed. So, one of the first things that need to be emphasized to truck drivers is not to engage in any type of behavior that will deter their attention away from the road.
- Hire safe drivers. Employers who will have employees driving as a part of their job description should have them “undergo a motor vehicle record (MVR) review for any state from which they have had a driver’s license.” Look for red flags from the past that might be an indication of what could come in the future.
- Coach current employees to be safe drivers. Employers are encouraged to have their drivers take yearly road tests and enforce safe-driving policies constantly. Employees should be well aware of behavior that is prohibited and dangerous and know the consequences that follow is they are to engage in it.
- Use technology that encourages safe driving habits. Things like Telematics and Cell Control can help identify drivers with dangerous habits and even prevent them from using their cellphone by blocking their cell signal when the vehicle is in motion.
- Help employees understand how to handle inevitable accidents. Although you may have risk control policies and procedures in effect, be sure your employees understand how to respond to a truck accident in the event one occurs.
[Source: Property Casualty 360].
Aside from the financial burdens that arise out of a commercial trucking accident caused by distracted driving, many lives are negatively impacted as well. People are killed and others severely injured, and many of these accidents can be prevented if company owners emphasize to drivers the importance of being attentive and cautious while operating their vehicles.
If you or one of your truck drivers were recently involved in an accident and could benefit from some legal advice, the Chicago, IL truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of John C. Wunsch, P.C. are available to provide you with that and more. With nearly 30 years of legal experience in handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, John C. Wunsch, P.C. is prepared to handle any concern or case you bring his way. If you would like to get in contact with this firm or schedule a consultation call 312-977-9900 now.