Do You Drive as Part of Your Job? Make Sure Your Employer Prioritizes Your Safety, Too!
We get it—it is really, really difficult to ignore your phone and other distractions while driving. In a culture where connectivity is king, it can feel almost inconceivable to be out of touch, even for a moment. Driving around during our free time, we may be able to convince ourselves that it can wait, or maybe take a few minutes to pull off the road to respond safely. When we’re on the clock for work, however, we are dealing with a lot more than our safety morality compass.
The Pressure to Be Reachable While Working
A lot of jobs involve driving as part of the job description, and even in the days before GPS navigation and cell phones, the men and women in these positions were at a higher risk of accidents simply due to the amount of time they spent behind the wheel.
Today, the business world’s insistence on being “reachable” at all times has placed new pressure on everyone, but it has also posed a unique threat to individuals who must drive for work. Sure, you know not to text and drive, but what about when it’s your super-intimidating supervisor who needs an answer right away? What if you are driving to a site and are lost, struggling with the GPS? When will the pressure to perform at work overpower your own personal “no texting and driving” rule?
While nearly all car accidents that occur while you are driving as part of your job would be covered by workers’ compensation, the real goal should be to avoid accidents in the first place. Each year, an entire week in October is dedicated to driving safely for work, and employers are encouraged to create a safety culture for their employees who get behind the wheel as part of their job duties.
If your employer does not already have work rules in place for the hours you spend driving, you can encourage your supervisor to adopt and enforce:
- A strict hands-free policy that includes texting and emails
- Providing you with high-quality hands-free equipment for making and receiving calls if necessary
- GPS equipment that does not require interaction while driving
It can feel impossible to disconnect for the entire duration of a drive—especially while you are driving for work—but feeling pressured to put yourself and other motorists in danger is unacceptable. If you feel uncomfortable with your company’s driving safety policy or lack thereof, speak with your human resources department about improving your work environment in order to stay safe. You deserve a safe workplace every week of the year, not just for one week in October!