Mobile technology has transformed how we communicate with each other. Through texting, email, and a plethora of instant messaging apps, instant communication has never been more accessible. Businesses have been able to expand like never before, but unfortunately, these improvements have come with dangerous consequences. Distracted driving accidents have risen. Employees are engaging in the practice when under the pressure of professional life.
According to a survey commissioned by Travelers Insurance, nearly half of employees aged 18-44 have said they’ve responded to or made a work-related communication while driving. While less likely to do so, the older generation of employees are not immune to this urge. About a third of employees aged 44-64 have done the same.
A Few Reasons Why Employees Engage in Distracted Driving
Many employees on the road who admit to answering work calls or emails do so because they feel required to maintain good standing in their workplace. While similar pressure can come from friends and family, a quarter of surveyed drivers said they do so in an effort to not upset their bosses, according to a Harris Poll of 1,000 people who drive for work. A quarter of respondents said their boss called or texted them when they knew they were driving.
After the company released its 2017 Risk Index, which compiled and analyzed the concerns of consumers and businesses, Travelers Institute, the public policy division of Travelers Insurance, started promoting safe driving among companies and young professionals. Their campaign kicked off with a tour of college campuses with the goal of reaching young professionals, recommending strategies for management teams that can help prevent crashes “before they become claims,” as said by Traveler's spokesperson, Sperry Mylott.
One of the strategies recommended by the insurance company is a distracted driving policy implemented by employers, something that only 27 percent of companies have and enforce. This strategy follows a 4-step outline: Create, Communicate, Follow, and Promote. With this policy or similar, employees can be reassured that work can wait until it is safe to respond.
In 2015, the NHTSA reported that 3,477 deaths and a further 391,000 injuries were the result of distracted driving, a number that has grown with the rise of mobile technology. While you can do your best to drive responsibly, there is no guarantee that other drivers will do the same. Should you or someone you know be the victim of an accident involving a distracted driver, please contact our offices at Dean Waite & Associates, LLC.