Drivers’ safety organization Drive by Example has announced the launch of the Drive by Example Corporate Protection Program, a national driver safety initiative designed to help businesses and corporations address the serious risk and liability issues created by employee cell phone and smartphone use, while driving on the job.
The new employee training and education program is designed so human resource managers can easily integrate it as an enhancement to existing corporate wellness programs.
“Recent multi-million-dollar judgments against corporations whose employees killed or injured other drivers and/or their passengers, while using cell phones, have forced companies to come to terms with the new universe of risk created by employee on-the-job distracted driving,” said Douglas R. Horn, corporate protection consultant and founder of Drive by Example.
In an effort to limit risk and liability, Horn said that many companies have proactively enacted policies, procedures and protocols aimed at governing employee cell phone use, but such policies, although well intentioned, often do not produce the desired results.
“Issuing a policy to regulate cell phone use but then failing to reinforce that policy with a comprehensive and sustained driver safety program not only will likely prove ineffective in changing employee behavior on the highway, it may actually heighten corporate liability should a distracted employee cause an accident,” Horn said. “In such cases the company is admitting it recognized employee distracted driving was a problem but it chose not to take further steps to ensure distracted driving did not take place.”
The Drive by Example program is designed to interact with employees through Lunch ‘n Learn programs, email alerts and by presence at corporate events, including company picnics and fairs.
“The Drive by Example message is branded and reinforced on an ongoing basis through signage and displays, internal and external corporate communications, and a variety of other awareness initiatives,” Horn said.
“Our mission is to keep driving safety high on the agenda of the business or corporation and to make the existing company cell phone policies more effective,” Horn said.
Despite company policies and new state and federal laws, the demand for ever-increasing business productivity will act as a continual temptation for employees to multitask using cell phones and smartphones while driving, he added.