Transportation accidents continue to be some of the deadliest on the job. That’s why officials have designated an entire week of October to “Drive Safely Work Week.”
According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), this year’s safety week is highlighting how being at your physical and mental best — along with the “health” of your vehicle–are all connected in making us safer drivers.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Massachusetts understand that employers have the ability to reach more than half of the driving population in the country to help to make our roadways safer. And this reaches out to even more people when you factor in workers’ friends and family members. Employers should not only educate driving workers about safe habits behind the wheel, but they should also keep an eye on accident trends to help to make safe changes for the future. Back in January of 2009, officials with the NSC called for a nationwide ban on all cell phone use while driving. Those who use cell phones behind the wheel are much more likely to get into a fatal accident, and it’s our working drivers who are most likely to use the phone behind the wheel.
Year after year, the leading cause of worker fatalities is motor vehicle crashes. There’s no question that new communications technologies are helping business work smarter and faster. But getting work done faster does not justify the dramatically increased risk of injury and death that comes with texting while driving.
Distracted driving is estimated to be a factor in between 25 to 50 percent of all traffic crashes – that’s between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes every day.
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.
If you’re an employer, we recommend that you enact a cell-phone policy for your workplace.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have published rules specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers and drivers who transport placardable quantities of hazardous materials from texting or using hand-held mobile phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rules are the latest actions by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to end distracted driving. Violations can result in fines and/or disqualifications and will impact a motor carrier’s and/or driver’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) results.
When it all boils down, there is a time and place for everything — even in business. And behind the wheel is no time for text messages or phone calls. Make sure you make this clear to your workers. Allow them without enough time to deal with these activities once their vehicle is stopped or parked. Your employees’ safety relies on you.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim– 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
OSHA Fines Massachusetts Contractor Over $350,000, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 6, 2013
Is the Drop In Work Injuries Really What it Seems?, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 21, 2013