A recent Legal Intelligencer article underscored important reasons employers should adopt a mandatory distracted driving policy. Inspired by a presentation given by firm Shareholder Joel Feldman, Jessica L. Mazzeo, a member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrations, was moved to discuss the unavoidable distractions that come with our everyday technologies.
“Responding to emails or text messages while preoccupied is something that has become second nature for all of us in this culture of the 24/7 workplace,” Mazzeo writes. “Most of us are juggling many responsibilities at one time—between our professional and personal lives—so responding to that ping or vibration right away often seems unavoidable. And unfortunately for most of us, this happens while we are operating a motor vehicle.”
The Anapol Weiss Safe Driving Policy
To respond to the dangers of distracted driving and the dangers of businesses’ liability, Mazzeo suggests employers check out Distraction.gov, which offers free toolkits and pledge forms to help employers and others discourage distracted driving. Employers can include the site’s sample policies in employee handbooks. Aside from the risk of liability a distracted driving accident puts on a business, Mazzeo urges, it also “… puts our lives—and our families’ lives—on the line every day.”
Feldman’s daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver who ran a stop sign in Ocean City, NJ. Since Casey’s death, he has become a leading advocate for safe driving as the founder of End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org). “Teens whose parents drive distracted are three times as likely to also drive distracted. Our children learn from us—good and bad behaviors,” Feldman told Mazzeo. “We need to commit to being the drivers we want our kids to be and model distraction-free driving every time we are behind the wheel.”