I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at a stoplight and watched someone texting in the car beside me. The problem isn’t isolated to text-happy teens, either. Drivers of all ages use their smartphones to text, check email, search for addresses, and make calls—too often at very high speeds.
Texting and driving is a deadly mix. In fact, it causes more than 100,000 vehicle crashes each year, according to the National Safety Council. These distractions are also creating big problems for businesses with employees on the road. As a business owner, you can take the lead by asking your employees—and your friends and family—to take the pledge to never text and drive.
Follow these four steps to help change bad habits:
1. Develop a no-texting policy
Establish a mobile device usage policy for your company and get your staff to make a commitment to follow it. This is especially important if you have employees who travel frequently. Introduce your team to the AT&T It Can Wait® program, where they can learn more about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving.
2. Turn to technology
Technology can help make keeping drivers focused a little easier. These three mobile apps can help:
- AT&T DriveMode® helps to reduce distractions by automatically replying to incoming texts, emails and calls with an message similar to an “out-of-office” email alert. I love the simplicity behind this app. It’s so easy to let others know you’re busy driving and will get back to them shortly.
- Associate PLEDGE® can help pinpoint employees who put your company at risk. Not only does it notify you in near real time when they are breaking your no-text policy, it also lets you restrict device usage when a vehicle is moving. What I like about this app is that it may reduce your liability and insurance costs. It would be a good solution for mobile employees, fleet drivers, and sales teams who are on the road a lot or who operate company vehicles.
- SafeCell Enterprise® powered By AT&T tracks and reinforces good driving habits by letting you monitor your employees driving habits. Like Associate PLEDGE, I like how this app allows you to block web browsing and texting when vehicles are on the road. This app would be a good fit for businesses with commercial fleets, and it can integrate with many fleet management solutions.
3. Monitor driving habits
An easy way to ensure your employees follow safe driving habits is to put responsible people behind the wheel. Check prospective hires’ driving records and keep track of your team’s driving records on an ongoing basis. Post progress reports where everyone can see them.
4. Become an advocate
Sign up to become an It Can Wait advocate. On the website, you’ll find resources to help educate your employees, customers, and others in your community and convince them to make a personal commitment not to text and drive. Ask others to take the pledge to never drive while distracted.