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Mixed Results from Poll on Distracted Driving in the Workplace

Distracted driving is clearly a safety issue on the roads. For example, according to the CAA, drivers engaged in the following distractions are more likely to be in a crash or near collision event than non-distracted drivers:

  • Texting: 23 times more likely
  • Reaching for a moving object: 9 times more likely
  • Talking on the phone: 4-5 times more likely
  • Applying makeup: 3 times more likely.

But when we asked readers if distracted driving of vehicles and powered mobile equipment was an issue in their organizations, we got a mixed response. Although 48% said it was an issue but not a big one, another 40% said it wasn’t an issue at all. The good news is that only 8% said distracted driving was a big issue—and 4% didn’t know.

Bottom line: If your employees must operate vehicles on the road or powered mobile equipment such as forklifts or backhoes in the workplace, it’s likely that distracted driving is at least a minor issue—and one you should take steps to address.

And don’t forget that distracted walking is also a safety hazard.

The OHS Insider has articles, tools and other resources to help you address distracted driving by your employees, including:

  1. A model distracted driving policy
  2. Information on the on- and off-site hazards of cell phone use
  3. A briefing for senior management on liability for workers’ distracted driving on the job
  4. A model employee-owned vehicle policy
  5. Spot the Safety Violation: Cell Phones Aren’t the Only Distractions for Drivers.

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