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The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to driver distraction. Hundreds of thousands more people suffered a distracted driving-related injury.
In addition to leisure-related travel, today, many workers spend all or a part of their day driving for work-related purposes. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (2009), the single highest cause of worker fatality in Indiana is attributed to highway vehicle accidents (20%). With thousands of lives impacted, Hoosier roadway safety is of the utmost importance
Workers at risk for suffering serious injuries and death may include; however, are not limited to the following:
Also, many construction and highway workers are dedicated to building Indiana's infrastructure to ensure safe and efficient travel for fellow Hoosiers and Indiana visitors. Engaging in distracted driving-related activities significantly increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes, posing a real threat to these and other workers.
You may be asking, "What is distracted driving?" Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a motorist engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving. Stressful jobs, busy lifestyles and technology advances are just a few of the reasons why individuals may engage in distracted driving activities. When motorists engage in distracted driving activities—it increases the likelihood of motor vehicle incidents and crashes.
Simply stated, when you drive for your job, your job is to drive.
To view the Indiana Department of Labor's Distracted Driving video as well as other videos, please visit our YouTube Channel by clicking here.
There are primarily three types of distracted driving.
It is important to note, that not all three types of distracted driving must be engaged to attribute to driver inattention.
There are a number of activities that are likely to distract motorists from driving. Some common distracted driving activities include the following:
Regardless of the type, all distracted driving activities have life-threatening consequences.
While all distracted driving activities a driver may engage in are dangerous, experts comment that texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction. Not only is texting or reading messages while driving dangerous, in Indiana as well as many other states, it is against the law.
Texting While Driving -- Effective July 1, 2011: It is unlawful to type, transmit, or read e-mail or text messages on a communication device while driving in Indiana. Violators may potentially face fines of up to $500. For more information about texting while driving or distracted driving, please visit DISTRACTION.GOV.
Employers must send a clear message to all employees—it is unacceptable to read or respond to text and e-mail messages while driving. To promote worker safety and health, a model cell phone usage policy has been developed for employers to customize to fit their needs.
Think you can safely drive and text at the same time? Try this online distracted driving simulator.
Combat distracted driving and other workplace safety and health hazards. Take advantage of free resources to develop and implement safe work practices and procedures for your workplace! Free, confidential and onsite consultation is available from the Indiana Department of Labor's OSHA consultation program, INSafe. Indiana employers will not receive citations for safety and health hazards identified by INSafe. Instead, INSafe Safety and Health Consultants proactively work with Hoosier employers and employees to identify and correct workplace safety and health hazards. Requests for consultation will not initiate and IOSHA inspection provided the employer corrects all serious hazards identified by INSafe.
Other helpful links and resources may be found by clicking on the links below