Every year, more than 5 thousand people die as a result of texting while driving, an epidemic that is prevalent in South Florida and other urban areas around the United States. A good number of these are caused by workers who are trying to communicate with their employers and customers while operating motor vehicles. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) professionals are calling on employers to help prevent distracted driving by implementing no-texting policies for their drivers. By taking a stance against the dangers of texting while driving, employers don’t have to experience the loss of an employee or other damages to life and property as a result of this needless activity.
Bans on Texting While Driving Across the Nation
Florida, as well as 29 other states, have put bans on texting while driving into effect in a concerted effort to reduce the death and injury caused in the wake of these vehicle accidents. The Department of Transportation advises that, “Texting while driving has become such a prominent hazard that 30 states now ban text messaging for all drivers.” Even celebrities like Oprah have created campaigns to stop the impact of texting-related accidents. The United States government has set up a website called distraction.gov that employers can use as a resource to encourage employees to take a pledge and see sample company policies.
What Can Your Business Do to Prevent Texting and Driving Accidents?
The National Safety Council estimates that 28 percent of all vehicle crashes in this country can be attributed to cell phone use that distracts drivers behind the wheel. This amounts to the leading cause of workplace fatalities in America, above violence and equipment-related deaths.
While these facts about texting-related accidents are sobering, there are ways that employers in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and other heavily traveled areas can support the reduction of these events. Implementing a company-wide policy that prohibits the use of any mobile devices to communicate or send out text messages during travel is a start. Enforcing these policies protects your greatest asset – your human capital.
Taking Responsibility for Policy Updates on Texting Can Stop Lawsuits
Likewise, it’s in your favor as a business to educate employees about the dangers of cell phone use and texting while driving. Not only is it a needless distraction, but it also places a large degree of liability on the company. In 2008, a landmark lawsuit occurred that made more employers mindful of taking direct responsibility and the costs that it can rack up for not doing so. This case involved a California Metrolink commuter train driver who failed to stop for a routine signal and crashed head-on with a freight train, killing 25 innocent people and injuring 135 individuals. A 16-month investigation revealed the driver was texting with a teenager just before the collision. As a result, the Federal Railroad Administration passed a ban on the use of any and all electronic devices by their employees. Just think of the lives that have been saved as a result of one industry stepping up and making policy changes.
A professional employer organization (PEO) in South Florida can help your company develop and launch an anti-texting policy in your workplace to protect life and property. Your business doesn’t have to face an unnecessary lawsuit over a policy that is simple to implement and manage.
With offices in South Florida and New Jersey, SourceOne Partners can help you find a solution to create an anti-texting policy and better manage your payroll services, employee benefits and company taxes so that you can save time, money and avoid the penalties of non-compliance. Please call 561-674-0748 to speak with a payroll expert or click here to contact us online.