The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Survey Shows On-the-Job Crash Stats From Cell Use

May 19, 2011

RESTON, VA – ZoomSafer released a survey showing that 32 percent of companies have knowledge or evidence of on-the-job crashes that 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, according to the company.

Industries surveyed include sales and Service (sedan), trucking (local and long haul), construction, public sector, utilities (telecommunications, cable, etc.), home and business services, and chauffeured transportation (taxi, limousine, and bus).

Overall findings indicate rapidly growing concern among corporate managers about distracted driving risks and liability. Results show that 62 percent of companies have adopted written policies prohibiting employees from using a mobile phone while driving for company business. The survey also reveals that although many companies have adopted written cell phone driving policies, only half (53 percent) make any attempt to enforce compliance.

Among companies that do enforce compliance, the survey found that 61 percent rely on post-incident disciplinary measures, and only 2 percent currently utilize technology to proactively measure and manage employee compliance.

Other findings include:

  • 32 percent 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 percent of companies with more than 500 drivers have knowledge or evidence of such crashes.
  • 7.6 percent 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 more than 5,000 drivers the same statistic is 37 percent.
  • 62 percent of companies have implemented a written cell phone use policy. Long Haul Trucking and Local Trucking were the most likely to have a written cell phone policy (71 percent and 83 percent respectively) while Home and Business Services were least likely  (less than 50 percent).
  • 53 percent of companies with a defined cell phone policy claim to enforce the policy in some manner. Interestingly, 25 percent of respondents who claimed to have a policy declined to answer how such policies were enforced. For companies that did answer the policy enforcement question, 61 percent 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.”

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 percent with a 90 percent confidence rating.

You can download a report of the findings here.

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