Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury among U.S. citizens and the problem only seems to be getting worse. Not only are drivers operating their vehicles distracted, but also carelessly which has led to the growing number of crashes that are being reported. Not only do these accidents affect your average citizen who is commuting to and from work or home, but they also affect employers and their employees as many companies operate solely on the roadway.
According to data shared by The Denver Post, “vehicle accidents were responsible for four in 10 workplace deaths and $173 million in claims [over] the past five years” in the state of Colorado.” The source goes on to highlight that “health care workers, truck drivers, chauffeurs, messengers, auto service workers, and police officers were at the highest risk of being involved in a wreck.” Now, because we would like to see car crashes reduce in number so that fewer lives are negatively impacted and ruined, below are a few safe driving practices employers can share with their workers whose position requires them to drive provided on behalf of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Encourage workers to not rush when out on the roadway.
With traffic congestion being an issue all across the country as it “wastes significant time and money, reduces productivity and promotes risky driving behavior,” many workers might feel the pressure of getting their tasks completed which results in them rushing and driving recklessly. But, if you want to reduce the chances of them engaging in an accident, encourage your employees to operate their vehicles at a safe speed and refrain from rushing. While it is important that deadlines are met, it is moreimportant that your employees make it to where they need to go in one piece.
- Discourage distracted driving.
Did you know that “distracted driving is a factor in 25 to 30 percent of all traffic crashes?” Therefore, it is important that you reiterate to your employees that they should be focused on the road and not their phone as this only puts them at greater risk of engaging in a crash.
- Encourage your employees to get enough rest.
Many individuals will often push themselves to the max so that they can complete their tasks and satisfy their employer’s needs. But you need to remind your workers that they should be getting in an adequate amount of rest, at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night so that they are refreshed and able to drive. Did you know that “fatigued or drowsy driving may be involved in more than 100,000 crashes each year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths?” Because drowsy driving is now being compared to driving while under the influence of alcohol, employers need to discourage workers who are overworked and fatigued from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
- Remind your employees to never engage in aggressive driving.
We all know how frustrating it can be to have to sit in traffic or deal with other motorists who are rude and inconsiderate, but under no circumstances should an employee operating a vehicle display any sign of aggressive behavior while driving. That includes driving at “excessive speeds, tailgating, failing to signal a lane change, running a red light, and passing on the right.”
- Discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk or under the influence of a drug or medication.
Although it is illegal for individuals to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any type of drug or alcohol, sometimes, employers must state the obvious and that is, they cannot drive a company vehicle if they have had something to drink or even if they took a prescription medication that makes them drowsy. The fact is, “alcohol, certain prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and illegal drugs can all affect a person’s ability to drive safely due to decreased alertness, concentration, coordination and reaction time,” so be sure your employees are reminded of this on a consistent basis.
- Encourage workers to take breaks.
If your employees are required to drive for extended periods of time, encourage them to take breaks, whether it is to stretch or grab a bite to eat so that they are energized and able to perform at their best.
While these are only some of the safe driving practices employers are encouraged to share with their employees, you can read about others by visiting OSHA’s website.
In the event one of your employees was recently involved in an accident in Denver, CO and you have a few legal questions you need answered, don’t hesitate to contact USAttorneys.com. We will connect you with a reliable and experienced accident lawyer in Denver, CO who is prepared to address your concerns and even provide you with some legal advice or guidance.