Distracted Driving Awareness Month occurs each April to raise awareness around the growing distracted driving epidemic. The need for this awareness is more significant than ever. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and fatal crashes. The National Safety Council (NSC) adds, “compared to pre-pandemic 2019, the mileage death rate in 2022 increased nearly 22%, showing just how dangerous it is to use American roads.” Company leadership can show their commitment to employee safety with distracted driving training.
Distracted Driving Training Outline
1. Kick off with a striking distracted driving video or story
With a heavy topic like distracted driving, many companies abstract the concept because people can become desensitized and need to think about the problem in a new way. Here are some creative, powerful visuals that companies use to get the message across.
Another option is to show the genuine and emotional consequences of distracted driving. In these videos, family members discuss their devastation after losing loved ones (see Jacy Good – Victim of Distracted Driving and Distracted Driving: Randall Siddens’ Story).
Taking it further, you could bring in a guest speaker over a web video conference or come in person to talk about what happened to them. Personal stories are memorable and can stick with employees for a long time.
2. Educate with distracted driving statistics and common myths
Statistics bring the abstract into reality and help validate personal stories by showing how widespread the problem is. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “9 people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.”
You can also discuss common myths about distracted driving. Some of the most common beliefs include:
- MYTH: “It is safe to text while stopped.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that people are distracted for up to 27 seconds after they put their cell phone down.
- MYTH: “I can multitask on my phone while driving.” National Safety Council representative, Kelly Nantel, explained that the human brain “cannot perform two tasks at the same time. We are able to juggle tasks rapidly, but we can’t handle more than one at a time. That leads us to erroneously believe that we’re doing two tasks at the same time.”
- MYTH: “Hands free calls do not distract me.” Drivers talking on phones fail to see 50% of their surroundings due to cognitive distraction.
- MYTH: “I can text and drive because I’m a skilled driver.” According to the National Safety Council , 67% of people they surveyed felt they were at risk because another driver was distracted by technology, yet only 25% said their own distracted driving behavior put others at risk. This “it’s them and not me” bias causes people to believe they are the exception to the rule.
How long can you remain distracted after putting your phone down? 27 seconds.
Also, check out TRUCE’s top 10 numbers to know for distracted driving awareness month infographic. For added employee engagement, try quizzing employees to see if they can guess the correct answers.
3. Remind employees of safety policies
Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a timely opportunity to remind employees of your policy on mobile device use in company vehicles. Clear expectations and guidelines help employees to succeed. (If you want to write or revamp your policy, check out TRUCE’s guide to creating a mobile device policy.)
This is also an appropriate time to mention tools you’re using to address distracted driving, such as telematics, cameras, and preventative software like TRUCE.
4. Grow buy-in through employee engagement
The most successful safety programs involve treating employees as stakeholders. When people contribute, they are more invested in the outcome and success of the program. You can try one or more of the following ideas to get employees more involved.
- Break employees into teams to create a department or company specific slogan to end employee distracted driving.
- Create a contest or a game using existing metrics for safe driving. For example, if TRUCE is on a safety scorecard for your organization, you can reward the team with the highest utilization.
- Incentivize teams to create a distracted driving video.
- Ask employees to sign a pledge, such as this one from the National Safety Council, or a custom one that shows your company’s commitment to getting everyone home safely each day.
- Ask employees to post on social media using common hashtags against distracted driving, i.e., #JustDrive, #ItCanWait, #DistractedDrivingAwarenessMonth.
5. Demonstrate company values beyond the training
To keep the issue in mind, reinforce the dangers of distracted driving throughout the year. You can distribute posters with relevant information. Download distracted driving posters for free here.
Periodically, share content from authorities on fleet safety or safety in general. This can be via email or an employee portal. In addition, you can hold “safety spotlight” or “safety moment” meetings during the year and include distracted driving as a topic.
All of this being said, one of the best ways to stop distracted driving is to incorporate technology that stops distracted driving before it ever happens. TRUCE Software specializes in reducing distracted driving in a way that fits each company’s policy and safety culture. Contact us to learn more.