When the office phone of the health and safety manager of a UK-based logistics company rang, it was the company finance director on the other line. The finance director was furious that another vehicle crash had occurred and he challenged his health and safety manager to find a way to do more to prevent the liability and expense from these occurrences.
Proactive vs. Reactive
Being reactive in the business of health and safety can turn out to be too little too late. To that end, most directors of health and safety seek every effort to take proactive steps to ensure worker health and safety and minimize commercial risk for their companies. Being proactive truly is about controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after the fact.
Is training enough?
When it comes to distracted driving, taking a proactive approach typically means developing worker training and awareness programs and developing a company policy strictly prohibiting drivers, in their commercial function, from using a phone for any means while driving.
Whilst these efforts are a good start, they also fall short and don’t go far enough to eliminate the enormous expense and liability that distracted driving creates for companies. A study published by the National Safety Council in the US reports that the risk of a crash is 4X more likely when a person using a cell phone while driving, when compared to a regular driver. Moreover, distracted driving has been found to cause 40% of all commercial crashes.
The right kind of technology
The only proactive answer that completely eliminates vehicles crashes due to distracted driving is to apply a technology solution to this growing business problem. This means even more innovative solutions beyond mere in-vehicle camera systems. While good technology, these systems are more often a look back through video footage or a chain of evidence, rather than a technology capable of absolutely controlling the driver’s phone use behind the wheel.