Posted on 03 Jun 2011
ZoomSafer, a leading provider of innovative software to promote the safe, legal and hands free use of mobile phones while driving, released a survey last month showing that 32% of companies have knowledge or evidence of on-the-job crashes that have occurred as a result of distractions stemming from employee use of cell phones while driving.
The first annual survey polled 500 business managers in North America and was designed to gauge corporate attitudes and best practices pertaining to distracted driving.
Overall findings indicate rapidly growing concern among corporate managers about distracted driving risks and liability. Results show that 62% of companies have adopted written policies prohibiting employees from using a mobile phone while driving for company business. The survey also reveals that while many companies have adopted written cell phone driving policies, only half (53%) make any attempt to enforce compliance. Among companies that do enforce compliance, the survey found that 61% rely on post-incident disciplinary measures, and only 2% currently utilize technology to proactively measure and manage employee compliance with cell phone use policies. Other important findings include:
• 32% of companies have knowledge or evidence of vehicle crashes that occurred as a result of distractions stemming from employee use of cell phones while driving. 50% of companies with >500 drivers have knowledge or evidence of such crashes.
• 7.6% of companies have faced plaintiff’s litigation resulting from damages alleged to have occurred as a result of employee use of cell phones while driving. For companies with >5000 drivers, the same statistic is 37%.
• 62% of companies have implemented a written cell phone use policy. Long-haul trucking and local trucking companies were the most likely to have a written cell phone policy (71% and 83% respectively) while home and business services companies were least likely (< 50%).
• 53% of companies with a defined cell phone policy claim to enforce the policy in some manner. Interestingly, 25% of respondents who claimed to have a policy declined to answer how such policies were enforced. For companies who did answer the policy enforcement question, 61% said they utilized “post-incident” employee discipline to enforce compliance.
“Judging from the survey results, it’s clear that corporate managers are waking up to the fact that they are liable for crashes that occur as a result of employee using cell phones while driving on company business,” said Todd Clement, from Dallas, Texas, a leading attorney specialized in representing distracted driving plaintiff claims against commercial fleet operators. “The only fiscally and morally responsible corporate response to this known danger is a policy banning it, coupled with employee education and enforcement through active monitoring and available technology before someone is seriously injured or killed.”
“The fact that so many companies are telling employees to put the phone down while driving is encouraging from a policy perspective – however, from a practical perspective, it’s simply not enough to change behavior,” said Matt Howard, CEO of ZoomSafer. “To truly change behavior and fully protect themselves from liability, companies must actively measure and enforce employee compliance with cell phone use policies.”
Results were collected on-line from 500 corporate managers via emails, newsletters, websites and trade shows. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.6% with a 90% confidence. For more information about the survey and to download a complete and detailed analysis of the results, please visit http://www.zoomsafer.com/distracted-driving-survey-results/.
ZoomSafer is a leading provider of enterprise software to prevent distracted driving. FleetSafer™ solutions enable employers to measure, manage and enforce cell phone usage policies to reduce crashes, risk, liability and expense. For more information, please visit www.zoomsafer.com.