AT&T recently released its latest advertisement in their “It Can Wait” Campaign. Meant to be a wakeup call to distracted drivers, it is getting widespread attention. According to the “It Can Wait” website (www.itcanwait.com), more than seven million drivers have made the pledge to “keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.”
But, are American businesses sending their employees the message that it can wait? If not employers may be unknowingly increasing their own liability.
Thanks to constant connectivity, there is tremendous pressure on today’s workforce to respond to emails and text messages immediately – even while driving. Subject matter expert David Lewis explains why employers have a responsibility to keep their employees safe while behind the wheel, and how they can do their part to limit distracted driving:
All businesses should have a policy in place explicitly stating that employees are to refrain from using their phone while driving. If not part of an overall employee handbook, the policy should be distributed to all employees to be signed and returned to the employer.
A business can be liable for an accident that occurs due to distracted driving, even when the device is not one they have provided. As such a policy statement of this nature is paramount.
If the acceptance of a call is unavoidable and the employee is able to utilize a hands-free device, policies should state that employees refrain from discussions of complicated or emotional issues while behind the wheel.
Source: David Lewis is the President / CEO of OperationsInc, a 14 year-old human resources outsourcing and consulting firm providing HR-related services to more than 1,200 clients in the small to mid-sized business space.