Over the last several months, I gave a number of EndDD.org workplace distracted driving presentations across the country. These employee presentations included those at energy companies, utility companies, financial services companies, insurance companies, lawyer associations and hospitals as well as several law enforcement and EMS conferences.
I am finding that more and more employers want to do everything they can to keep their employees safe. The National Safety Council (NSC) released some sobering statistics – traffic deaths for the first six months of 2015 are up a whopping 14 percent as compared to 2014.
So far this year, 18,630 have died, while at this time last year 16,400 had died. Deaths actually declined from 2013 to 2014. Debbie Hersman, President and CEO of the NSC announced these alarming findings with this statement: “Follow the numbers: the trend we are seeing on our roadways is like a flashing red light – danger lies ahead. Be a defensive driver and make safe decisions behind the wheel. Your life really depends on it.”
Given that car crashes account for more than 20 percent of all work-related fatalities, employers have good reason to worry. The NSC indicated that since the economy has improved and gas prices have fallen dramatically, more of us are driving and driving longer distances –personally and for work. What I am finding from speaking with employees across the country is that nearly all recognize the risk of driving distracted – applying makeup, eating, changing music, turning to look at kids in the back seat, and using smart phones – but despite recognizing the risk, many still drive distracted. Some candidly admit they do take chances. When asked why they do so, many give the following excuses: “I’m a good driver,” or “I have never been in a crash,” or “it’s just a few seconds” and “It’s for work and it is really important.”
As we go through the workplace distracted driving presentations, we explore each of these excuses, provide statistics, hear some tragic and compelling stories from those who have killed while driving distracted and those who have lost loved ones to distracted driving, and take a look at what scientists say about our ability to multitask while driving. We also ask parents what their children see them doing while driving. By the end of our EndDD.org presentation, employees are committing to changing the way they drive, not only for work, but also personally and being better role models for their children. Many want to take our Family Safe Driving Agreement home and discuss how the entire family can drive safer.
Employees really appreciate their employers setting up the presentations. I remain very optimistic that working with employers can change the way we think about driving and reduce needless traffic fatalities.
To schedule a work-place distracted driving presentation, go to: http://www.enddd.org/about-enddd/distracted-driving-speaker/
About Joel Feldman
Anapol Schwartz Partner Joel Feldman founded End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) after his daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver in 2009. EndDD.org promotes driver safety through a scientifically-based distracted driving presentation that has been given by hundreds of lawyers, nurses, physicians, safety experts and other professionals. These presentations have been seen by more than 250,000 people across the U.S. and in Canada.
A partner of the Anapol Weiss law firm in Philadelphia, PA, Joel Feldman has successfully represented injured victims and families for more than 30 years. Feldman founded End Distracted Driving (EndDD) after he suffered the loss of his daughter Casey in a distracted driving accident in 2009.