Safer Driving Begins with Avoiding Distracting Temptations
Date: April 18, 2021
Especially considering current events, no one wants to hear the word “epidemic”. However, there is an epidemic surging throughout our country that tragically ended 2,841 lives in 2018 and injured an estimated 400,000 others. It is the cause of 25-30% of all traffic crashes, totally more than 4,000 incidents each day. The crisis of distracted driving does not discriminate based on age, gender, or class. In fact, it doesn’t care if you are a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist. Distracted driving has the potential to impact everyone in all parts of the country throughout all hours of each day. As we observe April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, PLH Group focuses on the first step to minimizing driving distractions—eliminating temptations.
PLH Group dispatches dozens of drivers on the roads each day. As a leading energy-focused construction contractor, PLH Group business units provide a variety of power line and pipeline services ranging from underground utility and directional drilling to helicopter airborne operations and emergency response.
Employees travel to sites throughout North America to transport heavy equipment and materials, as well as provide construction, safety, and quality oversight and expertise throughout the life of each project.
PLH Group prioritizes the safety of all employees. Because of the significant time many employees spend driving, the organization focuses on its strong commitment to keep safety a priority while on the roadways.
While many companies discuss distracted driving in terms of company policies and best practices, PLH Group takes this conversation even deeper. The organization works with employees to create lasting habits that avoid even the temptations of engaging in driving distractions, a crucial first step to driving distraction-free.
These habits include:
Keeping cell phones out of reach. Eliminate the temptation to look at or tinker with a cell phone while driving.
Pulling off the road to eat. Keep hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the roadways.
Acknowledging when your mind is distracted. Do not let thoughts override your attention to driving. If you find you cannot give driving your full focus, safely pull off the road until you are in the appropriate mindset to drive again.
Notifying friends and family of your travel schedule. Encourage those you regularly communicate with to only contact you when you are not driving.
Using phones only for emergencies. Even using hands-free features cause mental distractions. Avoid the temptation to use hands-free features by turning on your phone’s Do Not Disturb setting, which holds all messages, calls, and notifications until it is safe to operate your phone.
“We feel that keeping employees safe while on the job is not enough. We instead want to equip them with the safety tools needed to make lasting changes to their habits—including when they are in a vehicle,” said Elsie Bentley, vice president of Safety, Health, and Environmental. “By encouraging good driving habits, we hope our employees practice distraction-free driving in their personal lives as well, not only creating a safer lifestyle, but also setting positive safety examples for their friends and loved ones, too.”
Next time you get into a vehicle, think about what you can do to not only drive distraction-free, but also eliminate the potential for distractions. By making small changes to avoid distractions, you not only keep yourself safer, but also protect the safety of those in your vehicle and sharing the roadways.