The Dangers of Distracted Driving

According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people were killed on our nation’s roadways in 2017, a 6 percent increase from 2015.¹ Distracted driving is a major contributor to these deaths and is a public health issue that affects all of us. Just one second of your attention—picking up your cell phone or reaching for an item in the back seat—could change your life forever. Distracted Driving Awareness Month is an effort to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths.¹

What is distracted driving?
Any activity that takes your attention away from driving is defined as a distraction.² Distractions increase your risk of being involved in a car crash because you can’t drive safely unless you’re completely focused on the road. Texting is the most alarming—reading or sending a text can take your eyes off of the road for 5 seconds. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.³

Common distractions
Some common driving distractions include:⁴

  • Texting
  • Viewing a navigation system
  • Taking a photo
  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup
  • Adjusting music
  • Talking to passengers
  • Tending to children and pets

Safer workers mean safer roads
Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of workplace death.² Through workplace policies and education, employers can help protect their workforce, their organizations and, in turn, their own families and communities. Every 7 seconds, someone is injured in a car accident, and every 15 minutes, someone is killed.² Whether a car accident happens on or off of the job, employers typically absorb the costs associated with crashes. Employers should manage the safety of employees on the road just as they manage risks in the workplace.

How to avoid becoming a statistic
It’s easy to become preoccupied while driving, but simple distractions can cost you your life or cause you to injure someone else on the road. Before you reach for your phone to respond to a text or lean over to take a photo, think about whether the distraction is worth the risk. If it cannot wait until you reach your destination, pull the car over to avoid putting yourself—and others—in danger.³

To learn more about how to prevent driving distractions, click here.

Be sure to contact your Summit Loss Prevention consultant if you have any questions or concerns.

Sources:

  1. National Safety Council, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, (https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/distracted-driving-awareness-month; accessed Feb. 15, 2019).
  2. National Safety Council, Safer Workers Mean Safer Roads for All, (https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/tools-resources/safe-driving-kit; accessed Feb. 14, 2019).
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Distracted Driving, (https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving; accessed Feb. 14, 2019).
  4. Department of Motor Vehicles, Distracted Driving, (https://www.dmv.org/distracted-driving.php; accessed Feb. 15, 2019).
The information presented in this publication is intended to provide guidance and is not intended as a legal interpretation of any federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations applicable to your business. The loss prevention information provided is intended only to assist policyholders of Summit managed insurers in the management of potential loss producing conditions involving their premises and/or operations based on generally accepted safe practices. In providing such information, Summit Consulting LLC does not warrant that all potential hazards or conditions have been evaluated or can be controlled. It is not intended as an offer to write insurance for such conditions or exposures. The liability of Summit Consulting LLC and its managed insurers is limited to the terms, limits and conditions of the insurance policies underwritten by any of them.