The Human Factor of the Drive S.A.F.E. Campaign

How often do you consider that there are far more serious consequences to unsafe driving than just getting ticketed? In most states, if you kill or injure someone because of distracted driving or being involved in a road rage incident, you could be criminally charged. If that’s not bad enough, risky driving behaviors also put your loved ones in harm’s way, whether or not they are even in the vehicle with you.

The people affected by distracted driving reach far beyond the driver in an accident. Articles from newspapers and online sources report stories of family members who rally for legislation against distracted driving, especially in regard to mobile device use. The family members are spouses, children, and parents using their stories of loss to raise awareness. Sometimes, it is even a driver telling their own story of being distracted to help warn others. Everyone has, at some point, done something reckless while driving, such as speeding to make up for lost time or reading an incoming text message.

The majority of all auto crashes can be traced back to four factors: speed, attention, fatigue, and emotion. Branded Drive S.A.F.E., the Federated Insurance® driver awareness program helps business owners and risk managers call attention to these behaviors to help their employee drivers understand the risks each can present.

As an electrical contractor, your employees are constantly on the road. Keeping the S.A.F.E. factors in mind will help your drivers overcome the temptation to engage in behind-the-wheel conduct that puts them and others in danger. Before each trip, promise to:

  • Allow ample time to get where you’re going without having to hurry. Not only does it feel good to not have to rush, the chances of being involved in a crash can be reduced significantly.
  • Commit to just driving. Pay attention mentally and physically. Stay focused on the job of driving to help be aware of inattentive drivers and drive defensively. Put down the mobile device to help keep your focus on the road.
  • Get enough rest to help ensure mental sharpness, which can improve reaction times and help avoid hazards that may require split-second maneuvers.
  • Keep emotions in control and act responsibly. Put space between yourself and motorists whose actions aren’t sensible.

So, what might happen if you don’t Drive S.A.F.E.? The following are some actual Federated Insurance claims:

  • A service manager entered an uncontrolled intersection too fast for the posted speed limit and collided with another vehicle. The employee broke his leg and was ticketed for speeding. He was out of work six weeks.
  • An employee fell asleep behind the wheel of a company vehicle. His truck drove off the road and rolled. The foreman, who was the owner’s close friend, was killed.
  • A service technician received a phone call dispatching him to a new job while on the way back to the office. Because of the distraction, the employee rear-ended a minivan that was directly in front of him, severely injuring the other motorist and her infant daughter.

These are just a few driving incidents that resulted in deaths, injuries, large insurance claims and other expenses. Unfortunately, there are more. Too many more. As an employer and friend, what would you do if one of these accidents involved your employee? You’d take action to try to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

Risky driving habits typically develop over time and can be hard to break. An employee driving policy, including company drivers’ motor vehicle records checks, can help you make a point with your employees that these behaviors will not be tolerated. But a policy is worthwhile only if it is understood by those it affects.

Clear communication on driving expectations and regular employee training and reminders serve only to benefit all involved. It’s never too late to address these issues and send the message that your company believes in personal well-being and works hard to help make the roads safer for everyone.

To that end, Federated is going to maintain its continued focus on driving — and take it one step further. Drive S.A.F.E.R will help reinforce the importance of this challenge on our highways. The main goal is to help keep you, your employees, and your company out of harm’s way. Please make it home safe today!

Federated is a proud supporter and Bronze Partner of IEC National. For more information about Federated's Drive S.A.F.E.R initiative or other risk management programs, contact your local Federated marketing representative.