“DWD” and “DWT” – You Can’t Afford Them!
If your driving can be described as “DWD” and “DWT”—“driving while distracted” and “driving while texting”—you are as dangerous as being legally intoxicated behind the wheel. It’s time to “DTD” (Dump the Distractions)!
Studies have shown that a majority of crashes and near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention. Your company can’t afford to have you included in those statistics. Can you?
- Has a passenger in your vehicle reacted to something you did—or did not do—while you were behind the wheel?
- Have you slammed on your brakes because you did not see the car in front of you stop?
- Have you ever missed an exit you intended to take?
- Have you ever had no recollection of driving from one place to another?
- Have you unintentionally run a stop sign?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, you were likely driving while distracted. Be honest—were you using a cell phone?
What Can You Do?
When you think about it, your vehicle is the ultimate mobile device. With smartphones, WiFi hotspots, laptops, radios, navigation systems, and any number of other electronic devices that compete for a driver’s attention behind the wheel, eliminating distracted driving becomes more urgent every day.
You are a critical part of the success of your company. How you conduct yourself behind the wheel while representing your employer can, literally, make or break your company. As one employer put it, “I’m one lawsuit away from going out of business.” If you are in a crash, cell phone records will be checked. You, and maybe even your employer, could be held criminally liable.
- Make calls before you start the vehicle. Then store your phone and other electronic devices out of reach.
- Notify everyone that you ignore device alerts and radio calls while you’re driving, but you’ll reply when you can safely do so. Stop in a safe spot before responding. (That does not include while you’re stopped at stop signs/lights—using your phone in those situations is illegal in many states.)
- Check GPS directions or driving instructions before you head out. The less often you have to check your route, the less you’ll be distracted.
Remember, there are a lot of people counting on you to make it home safely every day.
This article is only for general information and recommendations regarding risk prevention and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations presented may help reduce or eliminate the risk of loss, but are not guaranteed to do so. Seek qualified counsel with questions specific to your circumstances. ©2016 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.
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