Distracted Driving in the Workplace

OSHA Updates Guidelines on Distracted Driving in the Workplace

Distracted driving is estimated to factor into between 25 to 30% of all roadway crashes, which averages out to 4,000 or more distracted driving crashes every day. At least one 2019 study concluded the technologically connected culture of most workplaces along with increased workplace performance expectations contribute to distracted driving. The ubiquity of smartphones means workers are technically always reachable. But when the boss calls an employee with a work-related question outside of work hours, it can become a safety issue if the worker is behind the wheel. And while distracted driving is not a new issue in workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is making new efforts to educate both employers and employees of the rising risks involved in order to reduce the frequency of distracted driving in the workplace.

The new workplace distracted driving website information is a joint effort by Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and OSHA to reduce motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries in the nation’s workforce. The updated information encourages employers to implement a driver safety program in the workplace in order to reduce the risks faced by employees while also protecting the company’s bottom line.

Common Workplace Distracted Driving Behaviors

Despite one in four businesses reporting an employee getting in a distraction-related accident while driving to work, employers still generally expect their workers to remain connected and fail to actively discourage these distracted behaviors. Some of the more common reported workplace distracted driving behaviors include:

  • Making or answering phone calls with handheld devices
  • Making or answering calls hands-free with headsets, speakerphones, and in-vehicle systems
  • Reviewing or sending text messages or emails
  • Reading or posting social media messages
  • Taking or posting photos online
  • Recording or posting videos online
  • Eating a meal or snack

The article also introduces NETS’ “10-Step Program to Minimize Crash Risk,” to improve workplace traffic safety performance and minimize the risk of work-related crashes. These steps are designed to ensure employers hire, employ, train, supervise, and trust only safe drivers to drive for their companies, and that they maintain company vehicles properly.

Lubbock Workplace Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, you may have the right to recover compensation. It can often be difficult to prove a driver was distracted when causing an accident, so it is important to have an experienced Texas personal injury law firm by your side. The trusted legal team of Liggett Law Group can help. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.