Despite the fact that 44 states ban texting and emailing while driving, and others ban hand operated phones, each day the U.S. sees distracted driving crashes. In 2013 alone, 3,328 were killed when a driver took a call, sent a text, read an email, or otherwise failed to pay full attention to the road.1 And those numbers only include crashes where the distracted driving was reported.
If one of your drivers is held at fault in a distracted driving crash, your business can be held responsible—particularly if your company culture tolerates or encourages mobile phone use on the road.
Yet, to run your service business efficiently, you need to stay in touch with your field workforce, dispatching them to unscheduled jobs, providing driving directions and balancing workloads. Firing workers for cell phone use is an expensive answer. There are a number of other steps you can take to develop a culture of safe communications.
- Develop a clear distracted driving policy and make it clear to every employee that you take it seriously. This is not just a driver issue. Dispatchers, customer service associates, sales people and other employees must understand they are not to coerce drivers to answer the phone or read or respond to messages while driving.
- Empower field employees with software that lets them access schedules, work orders and customer records from job sites. This will allow them to check in and get the information they need without taking callbacks on the road.
- Text and email notifications, rather than phone calls, should be standard office-to-field communications. A phone call implicitly demands instant attention. Your field employees can read and respond to texts and emails when they have pulled over.
- Consider investing in an app that disables some or all functions of a phone when it is in a moving vehicle. This Mobile Day article mentions a few currently available: New Technologies, Apps that Help Drivers Focus On Driving.
At RazorSync we support small and mid-sized companies by supplying mobile service management software that keeps office and field in touch, safely. If you are interested, we encourage you to sign up for a live demonstration.
1. http://www.distraction.gov/take-action/employers.html Here you can also download a sample toolkit, company policy, and employee pledge form.